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Guyanese Gojas with Pepper Sauce

The loose Caribbean vibes continue. We started north in the Bayou, moved onto Jamaica, then kicked it old school with a mushroom West Indies pepper pot, and the grand finale lands us at the northern tip of South America in the English colony turned country of Guyana.

It's the sweetest recipe of the week. Probably better suited as a dessert, I forced it through as a dinner, though, by adding a spicy dipping sauce and using unsweetened coconut. In all honestly, I think the sauce was the star of the show. I have a decent amount leftover and I'll likely be pouring it over some eggs this weekend.

Guyanese Gojas with Pepper Sauce

Sources: Food & Wine Magazine | Tasty

Makes: 12 | Time: 1 hr + 15 min

Changes: used unsweetened coconut; replaced brown sugar with coconut sugar and used more; replaced whole milk with coconut milk; used vegan butter; added a habanero to the sauce to kick it up a notch; used lime infused EVO in the sauce and added some Lemon Garlic marinade, because why not?


Goja Dough

2 1/4 cup all purpose flour

1 tbsp coconut sugar

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

2 tbsp cold unsalted vegan butter cut into 1/4 inch pieces

2/3 cup plant based milk (I used coconut)

1/2 tbsp vegetable oil, plus more for frying

Goja Filling

2 cups unsweetened shredded coconut

2 tbsp coconut sugar

1 1/4 tsp freshly grated or minced ginger

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp cardamom

1/4 tsp salt

2 tbsp unsalted vegan butter, melted

2 tsp vanilla extract


1 tbsp Tubby Olive Persian lime infused olive oil

8 #jalapeños, seeded and sliced

2 #habanero, seeded and sliced

3 cloves garlic, chopped

½ cup onion, chopped

1 tsp salt

2 cups water

½ cup white vinegar

A few dashes of Penzeys Trinidad lemon garlic seasoning, optional


I went ahead and made the sauce earlier in the day. Heat the olive oil in a large pan over high heat, then add the jalapeños, habanero, onion, garlic, and salt. Stir and cook for 4 minutes.

Add the water and vinegar. Reduce the heat to medium-low. Simmer for 20 minutes stirring continuously.

Remove the pan from the heat and let cool. Pour the mixture into a blender, add a few dashes of Trinidad Lemon-Garlic marinade (if you'd like) and puree until smooth. Using a funnel, pour the sauce into a bottle or jar and store in the refrigerator.

Now let's get to the gojas.

Make the dough by whisking the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt together. Add the cold butter and work it through with your fingers. Make a well in the center of the mixture and add the milk. Work the milk into the mixture. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 1-2 minutes. Roll the ball all over with vegetable oil. Move to a bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let it sit for at least 30 minutes.

Meanwhile get to work on the filling. Stir all the dry ingredients together. Then add the melted butter and vanilla. Combine well. Set aside.

Divide the dough into 12 equal sized balls. Working 1 dough ball at a time, with the remaining dough balls in a bowl and covered, press each ball into a 2 inch disk. Place dough on lightly floured surface and roll into 5 inch circles. Brush edges of dough with water. Place 1 1/2 tbsp of filling in the center. Fold the dough over the filling and crimp the edges with your fingers. Repeat until all 12 gojas are ready.

Fill a medium-sized Dutch oven with vegetable oil 2 inches deep and heat over medium. Fry the gojas in batches, turning often, for 4 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel lined bake sheet to sop up the extra moisture.

Serve immediately with the chili sauce. Enjoy!

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