I am in love with this Guyanese sweet delicacy! The Salara is a soft rolled bread with a fragrant cinnamon coconut filling that is tinted red.
#twelveloaves is a great group where we bake a bread with the addition of the monthly theme, flavor or ingredient. I am pretty sure you will have a general guess as to what February inspired as a theme: red of course, for the month of Saint Valentine. We were given lots of suggestions but I wanted something really original. I was thrilled to come across this exotic Guyanese Coconut Roll recipe called Salara.
Where is Guyana?
Guyana is located in north-eastern South America. It has an Atlantic Ocean coastline in the northeast, and lies between Suriname to the east and Venezuela to the west, with Brazil to the south. The name Guyana (from Arawak Wayana) means “Land of many waters.” Originally a Dutch colony in the 17th century, by 1815 Guyana had become a British possession. Guyana achieved independence from the UK in 1966, but under socialist government until 1992.
Guyanese cuisine has a Creole/Caribbean foundation with Indian and Chinese influences. Popular dishes include curries with any meat and seafood, rotis, chow mein, cassava dishes, and stews. Homemade bread-making, an art in many villages, is a reflection of the British influence.
Salara is a rich and sweet bread dough that is rolled out into a rectangle, covered with a coconut mixture that has been tinted with red food color, and then rolled into a log. Although I found this recipe on the Guyana Outpost site , it actually comes from the Recipe from “Caribbean Cuisine” By Dr. Betty “K”cookbook, which you can purchase at various store, such as Kohl’s and the like.
I believe the original recipe calls for freshly grated coconut flesh, so a bit wet, and has sugar added to the coconut. I did adapt the recipe by using regular store bought sweetened coconut and adding a bit of milk to it. The recipe said also to add 5 drops of food coloring. I added WAY more – like close to 1 teaspoon – to get the deep red I wanted.
The recipe makes 2 generous bread rolls. I brought one Salara to work and it was declared a big hit by every taster. Having a second complete roll at home has been dangerous: constant snacking. It is really addictive stuff! The only different thing I will do next time is I plan on doubling the filling to get more coconut goodness.
This month we’ll be baking breads with a RED theme in honor of National Heart Month, Valentine’s Day, and the Oscars (red carpet) – any red ingredient goes! For more bread recipes, visit the #TwelveLoaves Pinterest board, or check out last month’s mouthwatering selection of #TwelveLoaves enter last month’s breads featuring a “new to you” type of flour!