Kuchela (relish)

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Kuchela in a supermarket
Alternative namesKucheela, kuchila
Place of originTrinidad and Tobago
Associated cuisineTrinidad and Tobago cuisine
Main ingredientsmango
Ingredients generally usedamchar massala, pepper, and mustard oil

Kuchela, also spelled kucheela, occasionally also kuchila, is a hot relish of the Trinidadian cuisine.

Main ingredient of kuchela is the pulp of unripe mangoes that has been grated and thoroughly strained, if necessary by drying.[1] Afterwards it is mixed with amchar massala and various additional spices. Amchar massala is a blend of spices containing cilantro seeds, cumin, fennel seeds, fenugreek seeds, brown mustard seeds, and peppercorns. The hotness level is regulated by adding either fresh peppers (scotch bonnets and "congo peppers" (habaneros) being common) or a hot sauce. The relish is then seasoned to tasted with salt, sugar and garlic; vinegar is also common. By adding oil, usually mustard oil, the texture can be adjusted. As a relish, kuchela is used in a lot of ways, for example as a side dish to curries or pelau (a rice dish similar to pilaf) or as a topping for doubles.

Kuchela, as well as the contained spice blend amchar masala, has Indian roots.[2] Roughly 40% of all Trinidadians are of Indian descent. Their ancestors came to Trinidad as indentured labourers from the mid 19th century on and brought with them their traditional recipes of their home provinces, which were subsequently adapted to the local offer of provisions. Nowadays kuchela (and amchar masala) are available as industrially produced, packaged goods in supermarkets. In neighboring Guyana, which as a former British colony shares parts of its colonial heritage with Trinidad, exists a similar relish called "mango achar".

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  1. ^ DeWitt & Mary Jane Wilson, Dave (1993). Callaloo, Calypso & Carnival. The Cuisines of Trinidad & Tobago. Freedom: Crossing Press. p. 37. ISBN 0895946394.
  2. ^ "Taste Of The Caribbean: Kuchela Adds True Trini Flavor To Almost Anything". UncommonCaribbean.com. Retrieved 2017-07-07.

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