In Memory Of Karen Nicole Smith, 1972 - 2016

You say guacamole, I say zaboca choka.

trini zaboca chokaZaboca (avocado) season was one of favourite times of the year when we were growing up on the islands. Now my seasons are reduced to summer, winter, spring and fall. As a kid we enjoyed, mango season, avocado season, plum season.. you get the picture… the fruit dictated the seasons for us. To this day, whenever someone’s visiting Canada from the islands they usually bring me some of those wonderful pears we call Zaboca(providing they’re in season). Sure they’re readily available in the grocery stores here, but they’re the tiny varieties we get from California and Mexico. On the islands we grow some that are just as or even bigger that grapefruits. I was at the supermarket this morning and after my eyes focused on the pile of avocados from California it occurred to me that I haven’t posted a zaboca choka recipe yet. Enjoy!

You’ll need…

1 tablespoon minced sweet onion
1 clove garlic crushed
1 teaspoon fresh squeezed lemon juice
dash of salt (less that 1/8 teaspoon)
1 med-large avocado (ripe)
1 teaspoon minced cilantro or shado beni
1/4 habanero or your favourite hot pepper

Start by crushing the garlic, hot pepper and salt. Place these ingredients in a bowl or mortar and crush to a fine paste. The salt will help break everything down.

zaboca choka

avocado choka

Peel and slice the avocado in pieces, then place in the same bowl with the crushed pepper and garlic, now crush this as well. You can also use the back of a fork to crush the avocado as well. I have a wooden pestle that I use for instances like this.

dip recipe

avacado dip recipe

Mince the onion and cilantro (or shado beni) and add to the mixture. If you don’t like the texture of minced onions, you may also grate the onion into the mix instead. Now add the lemon juice, stir and taste for salt. In the past I’ve also added a teaspoon of extra virgin olive oil to the mixture. This is up to you.

trinidad zaboca choka

avacado dip recipe

trini zaboca choka

Serving Suggestions.

– as a dip for your favourite corn chips or crackers

– as a spread on sandwiches

– as a spread on tortilla type wraps (I would add a bit of water cress or lettuce with this on a wrap)

– as a filling for pita bread

and… with hot roti or fry bake as I enjoyed as a kid. This morning I enjoyed mine on sourdough bread sandwich.

Leave me your comments below.

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  1. Carl
    August 3, 2016 / 1:17 pm

    Simple, tasteful and healthy.. thank you Sir!

    Btw, we say either Guacamole or Avocado dip, but here in Chile it’s simply called Palta

  2. Petal
    May 26, 2016 / 2:05 pm

    How I miss my childhood in Trinidad, mangoes, zaboca, plums, cashews, cerise, tipi tambu, gri gri, pewah, gru gru boef… I am so homesick here in NJ but have little family left in T&T and I don’t know where they are. I came here as a child in 1972. So homesick for our food, our people, our culture. It saddens me when I read of the crime and how things have changed in Trinidad. Good people you make the difference! Stand up! show yourselves. Thanks Chris.

  3. February 1, 2016 / 6:58 pm

    This!!!!! this is an awesome recipe! i have my own east indian twist with this by adding a teaspoon of MUSTARD oil! in any chokha, mustard oil is an amazing addition to flavour! try it out!

  4. April 8, 2015 / 8:06 pm

    Hello……How I miss my Zaboca from Trinidad….the stuff they sell in London makes me laugh…its so small,the one I had in trini was biggggg and taste like something so difficult to describe…..but I was never keen on choka ,,,with all the pepper,garlic,onion etc one could hardly taste the zaboca ….lemon yes as it prevents the fruit from turning brown…..anyway ”to each his own” thanks will keep in touch…….regards from Querino de-Freitas………….

  5. kenny ian smith
    May 23, 2014 / 11:02 am

    hey nice one, this is the mexican treat. but in trinidad we call that zaboca choka. or if you don’t know the meaning of zaboca, it is amarindians word for avocado.

  6. Rosie
    November 4, 2013 / 7:39 am

    Hi Chris,

    This tastes good with breadfruit chips.

  7. de Leon
    April 1, 2013 / 8:45 pm

    Chris you are a boss, always bringing the best of the islands to showcase. I like this simple quick fix, good for a get together or a house lime. Keep up the great work, it is greatly appreciated.

  8. Msmervene
    January 6, 2013 / 11:49 pm

    I love guacamole on bake with cheese

  9. Zora
    November 12, 2012 / 3:57 pm

    Hi Chris thank you sooo much for your lovely recipes everyone of your dishes is fingerlicking.going to Guyana on the 1st December 2012 and can't wait to see my country once again. would love to have the recipe for Cassava Bread….tried to make it but no sucess. Do you know the secret? If you do please let me know how to make it…Keep up with your good work.

  10. Ramona
    October 20, 2012 / 2:38 pm

    This is great …but U wont believe ..I always heard about it but preferred to eat my Zaboca as is…..but I got two ways to do it from two old timers:)….one way just as you did it except for the cilantro and it was 'chunka'.with hot oil…the other way which I havent tried yet is ….cut it in small chunks and add onion, garlic pepper, lil black pepper, lime juice, salt and then 'chunka' ….it's not that different but you know everyone has their favorite method.

  11. Cindy
    September 27, 2012 / 2:14 am

    And to believe….all this time I thought my parents invented "zaboca choka!" I guess it's a Trini thing after all! I'm going to have to give this a try, looks great 🙂

  12. Kecia
    June 10, 2012 / 4:33 pm

    Hey Chris,
    thanks for the recipe for guacamole. I love avocado so much I don't know if I will get to make the guacamole. Yes everything is great except the cilantro, can't stand to smell it or taste it, it gives me a headache but if it is cooked in the food and you can't taste it, then I'm good. Keep up what you're doing. It helps all of us out when we can't think of what to cook and just to have a great delicious dish to make and add to our recipes is always great.

  13. lisa maharaj
    August 25, 2011 / 8:14 am

    This is really known home here in Trinidad. Had this with hot sada roti last evening!

  14. Chrissie
    June 23, 2011 / 4:38 pm

    I'm lovin it! in the UK we get avocados that are smaller then my fist and they are labled large avocado. Can you imagine the look on an English person's face if they saw a true Trini zaboca pear from 8 to 12 inches in length. I miss the old tree in the house I grew up in back home, as well as the July mango tree, the coconut trees the plum tree, portugal tree, lime tree…… if ya catch my drift.

  15. Marvin
    June 3, 2011 / 2:48 pm

    This is so funny, yesterday I did your saltfish and pumpkin and recipe with the Sada just how your mom made it. It was a hit, my mother in law said all it was missing was the Zaboca lol One day too late Chris lol but next time I'll be ready for her. Keep em coming love your body of work

  16. Nerlene Sampson
    April 29, 2011 / 7:19 pm

    Fantastic!!!! the way you continue present the local dishes. Thank you.

  17. Zeppo Tate. E.T.I
    March 29, 2011 / 12:35 pm

    I am making this today. Hot sada roti is my carb of choice for it.

  18. Doonwati
    January 5, 2011 / 2:44 pm

    Hi Chris and everyone Happy New Year. I love Zaboca Choka with hot Sada Roti. I don't know if you ever heard of Ochro Choka but I usually make these two Chokas regularly, it tastes so good together. I can share the recipe for Ochro Choka if you would like so please let me know.

    • jumbieg
      January 5, 2011 / 4:34 pm

      I'd love to have it.

  19. clarice
    December 23, 2010 / 10:23 am

    Sounds will try this recipe right away. Thank again.

  20. Anemone
    August 5, 2010 / 1:37 am

    I love zaboca choka. Its hard to get the nice buttery avocados in Food Basic and Fresco etc… The ones with the stringy tings in them are sometimes too watery. Anyway…I LOVEE YOUR WEBSITE…and all your recipies… thank you…always delicious

  21. Chandra
    June 19, 2010 / 12:49 am

    This is a dish I could never get fed up of Chris, delicious! Thanks so much for the flavourful Trini recipes

    • June 23, 2010 / 10:00 pm

      You and I both.. actually I think I'm going to the grocery store to get a couple avocados to make one today.

  22. Dawn
    May 9, 2010 / 10:39 pm

    Yum, yum Chris. Love everything except the cilantro. Thanks for sharing another great recipe!

    • June 17, 2010 / 3:27 am

      Thanks. Let me know how you like it when you make up a batch.

  23. Kim
    March 28, 2010 / 5:22 pm

    Yum Chris. Looks and sounds delish. To mine, I chop up tomato for color and to add a lil something more to chew. It never crossed my mind to add garlic which is surprising considering how much I love garlic. I can't wait to try it!

    • March 30, 2010 / 12:10 pm

      Kim, yes the tomato will give it extra texture and I'm sure it will be delightful.

      happy cooking


      • sher
        April 16, 2010 / 10:05 pm

        hi chris nice one just love that with hot roti lol….

        • April 17, 2010 / 11:00 pm

          is there anything that doesn't work with hot roti?.. even just plain butter 🙂

  24. Pamela
    March 26, 2010 / 9:45 am

    Hey Chris, this is to die for. I just love avocado choka.
    Add a little chopped tomato to the recipe and some curry goat
    and rice, and I am in heaven. Thank so much and keep up the
    good work.

    • April 17, 2010 / 10:59 pm

      Pamela, thanks for stopping by and commenting. Speaking about curry goat.. just bought some form A Guyanese take out joint here in Hamilton and it was a "bess".Still licking my fingers!

  25. indira worrell
    March 24, 2010 / 5:11 am

    my mom is coming to visit me in july and she is bringing me some of those ones from the tree in the back of the house,,,,it’s going to be roti and zaboca every morning with some tomato choka ………..aah the taste of trinidad,,,,

    • admin
      March 26, 2010 / 10:21 am

      Indira, I was home a few years back and no-joke I was like a kid again when I went to the back of our family home and saw the big pears just waiting to be picked. Yup..I brought back a few with me on the plane home. I ate that with every meal for a few days well, when they were ripe.

      Thanks for taking the time to comment.

      happy cooking


      p.s. I hope you enjoy the visit with your mom.

  26. November 5, 2009 / 12:52 pm

    Hey Cynthia.. we were home recently and it just so happen the trees at the back of our family home was laden. I ate so much I’m sure my cholesterol spiked.

    Suzanne, to be quite honest I’ve never had or heard of adding banana to the mix. Thanks for sharing.

    happy cooking

    .-= Chris De La Rosa´s last blog ..The 2009 Ancaster Home Show. =-.

  27. suzanne
    October 28, 2009 / 3:41 pm

    Thanks Chris

    I also like it with a half banana in it and a diced tomato.

  28. September 7, 2009 / 6:26 pm

    Yeah, Chris, fix me up with a bowl of that and I don’t want no chips or anything, just give me a spoon!
    .-= Cynthia´s last blog ..When you come, what to bring =-.

  29. June 26, 2009 / 8:02 am

    Chris this is a great recipe. Love the cilantro in this. Hopefully all my hot peppers will come up in my garden to I can make some too!

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