In Memory Of Karen Nicole Smith, 1972 - 2016

Curry Channa (Chickpeas) With Aloo Recipe.

aloo and channaChanna and aloo or “chickpeas with potato” cooked in curry and stuffed into “hops” bread was a fav of mine growing up. I would visit my uncle who was a teacher at Marabella Junior Secondary school and just outside the gates were vendors selling all sorts of local street food. Including channa and aloo sandwiches (they also had a range of hotsauces to top this off with). Then how could one forget Divali time when we would get invited to our friends place down the road for dinner. This usually meant curry channa and aloo with roti. It was a festive time and the table would be packed with a huge assortment of dishes, but all I ever wanted was the buss-up-shut roti and channa with aloo.

In my recipe I used canned channa, but if you have access to the dry peas and you have the time, give those a try as well. It just means you’ll have to boil the dry version until tender before adding to the curry potato. But you’ll avoid having to use processed peas which sits in a ton of salt and whatever else is used in canning process.

You’ll Need…

1 can chickpeas (also known as channa, garbanzo bean, Indian pea, ceci bean, bengal gram, Kabuli chana, konda kadalai, kadale kaalu, sanaga pappu, shimbra, Kadala)
2 tablespoon curry powder (madras)
1/4 teaspoon salt (add more to your taste)
dash black pepper
1/2 medium onion sliced thin
1/4 hot pepper (I use habanero or scotch bonnet)
3 cloves garlic – crushed and minced
3 leaves of shado beni (or 2 tablespoon cilantro)
2 medium potatoes cubed
2 tablespoons water for the curry paste
4 tablespoons water to add to the cooked curry
2 1/2 cups water
2 tablespoon vegetable or olive oil

You have 2 options when using the canned channa. You can rinse and cook or rinse, remove the skin and then cook. Since I hate the sort of gritty taste the skin gives the dish, I usually remove the skins from each channa grain. Yes, it does take about 15-20 minutes to remove them all, but the end result is much better in my opinion. Side note: If you were to purchase any dish that comes with curry channa (doubles to name one) the vendor would not have taken the time to remove the skins off the channa. So you know it tastes good even with the skin.. it’s just my personal choice.

After I’ve emptied the can of channa and rinsed it under running water, I start removing the outer skin. This is rather simple… take a channa between your fingers and apply a little pressure. The skin and channa will separate easily.

chickpeas or channa

channa for curry

how to remove the skin from chickpeas

cooking curry channa

channa with aloo

Now that we’ve removed all of the outer layer from the channa it’s time to slice and mince up the onion, pepper, garlic and shado beni to start cooking. Don’t forget to peel and dice the potato as well. In a fairly deep saucepan, heat the oil on medium to high heat and get ready to cook the curry a bit. Put the curry in a small bowl and pour in the 2 tablespoons of water, then stir to a thick paste. Pour this into the heated oil and allow to cook for a few minutes. As it dries down a bit, add the onion, garlic, pepper and shadow beni and stir around. To give this a bit of time to cook, add about 4 tablespoons of water. (you’ll cook the curry mixture for 4-8 minutes in total)

curry channa ingredients

curry channa recipe

curry for channa

fry curry for channa

When the onion and garlic is soft and the liquid is all burnt off, add the potato and stir around to coat every piece with the curry mixture we just made. Immediately after add the channa and stir.

curry chickpeas

trini curry channa

channa and aloo

Pour in the 2 and 1/2 cups of water, add the salt and a dash of black pepper then bring to a boil and reduce to a gentle simmer (pot closed). Allow this to cook for about 20 minutes or until the potato is tender. By now the water would have dried up and a thick sauce should have started to form. I like this dish with a bit of a thick gravy or sauce so using the back of my cooking spoon Iย  press down on the potato and some of the channa. Then stir around so any runny liquid will get nice and thick. If you notice that after the 20 minutes cooking time you have little or no liquid in the pot, feel free to add some more and bring it to a boil. Same trick applies.. push down using the back of your spoon to help thicken the sauce.

trini curry channa and aloo

curry aloo and channa

trinidad curry channa

Sometimes you wonder why it’s taken you this long to make something you usually purchase, when it’s so simple to make. leave me your thoughts below.

Happy Cooking


p.s. hops bread is a a local bun the size of a hamburger bun in Canada and the US. It’s the main bun used for making sandwiches and you can get a fresh made batch at any of the local bakeries.

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  1. Sara
    November 30, 2023 / 9:53 pm

    Made this tonight and it was awesome! I was disappointed in myself for not having cilantro which I usually do but it was a quick and easy toss together. I used a jalapeรฑo because thatโ€™s all I had in the fridge. My 4 and 6 year old were quite happy with it and we have some left overs. Thank you and look forward to trying more of your recioes

  2. Helen
    April 19, 2019 / 3:21 pm

    Hey Chris, I love receiving your recipes. My best friends family is from Guiana, they have adopted me, I love her mother’s cooking. I often cook your recipes for them. We are putting together a cookbook of mom’s recipes as a Mother’s Day surprise. She just turned 90, dad is 95.
    My question about this recipe is, can you use other kinds of beans or peas? I really don’t care for chickpeas.
    Thanks again for sharing island foods with us!

  3. June 30, 2018 / 8:54 am

    This is a miracle to my eyes, love me my garbanzos, I will use culantro since that is the herb I use. Thank you for this recipe.

  4. Laurie Weekes
    April 13, 2017 / 5:38 pm

    everytime i make this dish its a winner. my family can never eat enough of it.

    Hey Chris, i humbly thank you for sharing

  5. August 31, 2016 / 9:55 am

    Excellent dish, always a favorite in my home, especially with the fasting period (Divali)approaching, it’s a welcome.

  6. MoeJo
    May 23, 2016 / 5:01 pm

    I removed the skin from channa and I will never make this dish again without removing the skin. Yum!

  7. Stacy Watkins
    March 27, 2016 / 7:19 pm

    OMG! Thank u Mr. Carribean Pot! You are my go to for ALL RECIPIES West Indian.


    AFTER 20 YEARS of trying I finally mastered roti!now for the chana!

  8. Ivone
    January 7, 2016 / 9:54 am

    My favourite recipe!! I made this channa yesterday and it was very tasty ,so today i am going to make chicken curry the same way . I am sure it will be lovely , it was best curry i ever made and i been trying long time to find simple and good recipe . Thank you !!

  9. Mark
    September 12, 2015 / 10:12 pm

    Made this today along with curry chicken and buss-up-shot, it came out like a boss, my family could not get enough of it, thanks for all the great recipes Chris

  10. Lau
    August 23, 2015 / 4:24 pm

    One of my favourite vegan dishes on this website. I make this at least once a week. Thanks for the recipe Chris

  11. June 28, 2015 / 8:42 am

    Thanks chris, I am cooking this right now, I’m still not sure what cilantro or shado beni is, I’ve asked at the Asian shops here in london and they don’t know what I’m talking about. So I’ve not used any.

    God bless

    • admin
      June 28, 2015 / 4:12 pm

      you can use cilantro (coriander)

    • Denise
      August 12, 2015 / 6:20 pm

      Try an Asian supermarket, the Vietnamese caked it ngoc change, or a Latin one, they call it culantro. I think white ppl call it sawtooth herb.

    • Lau
      August 23, 2015 / 4:28 pm

      Cilantro is called coriander in the UK… You can find it in the vegetable aisles (near the fresh herbs) of Tesco,Sainsburys,Morrison or Asda

  12. Debbie Horne
    June 3, 2015 / 3:08 am

    Tried this last night and it went down a treat..I was surprised at how easy and quick it was to cook once all the prep was done..Next time I’m going to make a lot more a freeze it.
    I have have watched your recent video about chicken curry with channa and potato. I have cooked chicken curries with potato but never thought about adding the channa.

    Thanks Chris

  13. Yolande
    April 6, 2015 / 3:01 pm

    Can’t wait to try this tonight for dinner. I have all the needed materials in my cupboard.I plan to eat it with Whole wheat wrap since I can’t make Roti and haven’t found a good Caribbean food place here in San Diego since I moved here recently. Thanks Chris

  14. Heather
    February 11, 2015 / 11:55 am

    Hey Chris, I can’t wait to try this recipe!

  15. Mich
    November 17, 2014 / 6:26 pm

    I love this recipe! It is so quick and easy.

  16. Donna Taylor
    August 31, 2014 / 3:10 pm

    Dear Chris, Thank you for all recipe.

  17. Zora
    July 23, 2014 / 2:55 pm

    Chris, how can I write to you privately? I have an old Jamaican recipe that I use often and wondered if you have it. I would like to share it with you as it is a favorite standby for me.

  18. June 9, 2014 / 3:48 pm

    Hey I am in London UK and tried this out tonight, it was tasty and we will be having it again! hubby loved it, next time I am going to double the amounts as we like to cook some and freeze some so we are not cooking all the time.
    I cant wait to try out some of your other dishes!

  19. Ian Abraham
    April 13, 2014 / 9:09 pm

    I don’t particularly like the tsste of canned channa. I use dry channa. Soak it and cook it in the pressure cooker. The result is the same – delicious. It only takes a bit longer.

  20. Michelle
    March 28, 2014 / 4:23 am

    I live in Singapore, and while there is a new Trinidadian restaurant, there is no roti on the menu! I miss roti from Canada – at friend’s houses and great roti places… SO, this recipe did the trick for me today, for sure… I paired it up with Chris’ Pepper Sace recipe, and added spinach to the roti… I’m surprising my husband with it tonight and I also know that not only is he going to have a happy Friday night, I’m having an awesome rest of the weekend now!!! Thanks Chris!!!!

  21. Shay
    January 12, 2014 / 1:09 am

    Couldn’t believe how close this recipe came to the channa I usually buy from my favorite Trini restaurant. I boiled it a little longer than what the recipe called for and I didn’t use as much onion, but it still came out yummy. My two year old loves it (I used very little pepper) and I’m so happy you shared this!!!! Thanks

  22. Brenda
    December 17, 2013 / 5:22 pm

    I love this recipe Chris,thanks

  23. Mark H
    December 11, 2013 / 6:07 pm

    Chris this is the food I eat whilst here in Trinidad, I will make it soon, thanks to you and your lovely recipe you are turning me into a chef.Nuff Respect Chris

  24. Gani
    December 6, 2013 / 4:01 pm

    Ok so this recipe is everything. It reminds me a little bit of the doubles men by the maxi taxis in curepe and Diwali picked into greatness….. I make it all the time and forgot to comment. Great recipe and representation of Trinidad.

  25. Mel
    November 6, 2013 / 12:55 pm

    I love this recipe, thank you!! I didn’t realize this dish could be so easy to make. Even my toddler daugter loves to eat this (we just omit the hot pepper). Thank you!!

  26. Anna Kataoka
    October 27, 2013 / 9:48 pm

    Hi Chris: I added a bit of geera, which I got from my Grenadian granny. Th taste of my aloo gobi became nutty.

    Would you, actually, recommend adding geera?

  27. Laura
    September 2, 2013 / 5:09 pm

    I am an american whitey lol.. and I love love trini food, thanks to my best friends family!! I absolutely LOVE channa and aloo….. i have watched her mother make it a few times over the years, and today i decided to give it a whirl… I found ur recipe to be the closest to hers online, and OMG its absolutely amazing…delish, just like hers!!! I love love it, and I love love knowing I can make it ๐Ÿ™‚

  28. njyarna
    July 27, 2013 / 2:09 pm

    Chris, made this recipe here in Peru to get a taste of home over a long weekend. True to form. Probably with a special extra using native potatoes. Sadly, no trini pepper here, or anything close to it. But that is why I keep a store of kuchela. Thanks!

  29. forestparks
    July 11, 2013 / 3:49 am

    Made this last night and my god it was yummy and just like the simple curry I have had from various Roti shops in London. So pleased I found a decent recipe!

    So I added a touch of cinnamon and a little more salt than you and also had to boil a little longer to get it to thicken (will try simmering with the pot open next time).

    I'm going to try and use less oil, sweet potato and add a another vegetable (maybe green beans) next time.

    I've been getting worried because I am moving to Hungary and I am not sure how widespread Caribbean food is there! About time I learned to make it for myself.


  30. January 28, 2013 / 12:04 pm

    you know what I have an issue with. My chana never seems to cook down in the same texture as buying it from the doubles man. I am cooking chana now and i just mashed it down, so I'll see if I get it right this time lol

  31. rich
    October 29, 2012 / 7:49 am

    I made this recipe last week and it testes very similar to my local Trini Roti Shop. Great recipe, Chris.

  32. Samar
    August 19, 2012 / 2:43 pm

    I just tried this today and it turned out excellent. Thanks so much for sharing!

  33. Sweetpuss/new york
    July 8, 2012 / 1:16 pm

    How do you make the salt and hot dried chana wrap in brown paper

  34. Yvonne
    June 13, 2012 / 2:17 pm

    Chris, thank you for helping two Americans who loves the taste of food from the islands, but never knew how to prepare it. I have learned so much from you in the past few weeks, my husband thanks you also, he is enjoying my new creations. I love the green seasoning, I am now on the hunt for shado beni. Keep up the great dishes.

  35. February 7, 2012 / 11:16 am

    Curry channa and potato, what a splendid combination. I enjoy it every time. Thanks Chris

  36. Asha Bostic
    January 5, 2012 / 12:21 pm

    Just a tip to consider….. try seasoning the channa with fresh green seasoning including shadon beni ahead of time before cooking. It will be worth the wait.

  37. Stari
    December 28, 2011 / 6:15 pm

    Hi Chris. I love Trinidadian Chinese food. I live in Louisville, Kentucky and the Chinese food here is not the same.My favorite is Chi su Kai Fan ( not sure about the spelling) It is fried rice with roasted pork ( red & brown) and chicken. Do you know how to make this? Thanks so much, Stari

  38. Beverley
    October 4, 2011 / 12:45 pm

    We cooked the curry channa and aloo last night, it was lovely I even shelled the peas..there was a little left over this morning. ๐Ÿ™‚ so can you guess what I had for breakfast..yep the rest of it , thank you for the recipes..

  39. Old Doug Irvine
    April 18, 2011 / 5:55 pm

    Hi Chris…last night I did a pork tenderloin frenched and filled with Walkers Wood Jerk then rolled and baked it in the oven at 425F for 10 minutes then 300F for another 20 or so. Took it out and sliced it for the two of us. Served it with a green veggie and fried rice, sorta fusion meal. VERY happy with the Walkers Wood jerk and it was good and spicy with the habs in there.
    Cheers, old Doug on Vancouver Island BC

  40. Old Doug Irvine
    April 18, 2011 / 2:35 pm

    Hi Chris…last night I did a pork tenderloin frenched and filled with Walkers Wood Jerk then rolled and baked
    in oven! It was absolutely fabulous. Cooked it at 400F for 10 minutes then 325F for 25 more. Sliced it and served it with fried rice and a green veggie! Very good dinner! And tonight I shall do your Chana Aloo and maybe add some cauliflower!

  41. gorachael
    July 16, 2010 / 2:13 pm

    cant wait to try with some curry chicken on the side ๐Ÿ™‚ as i've sd b4 the pics of the step-by-step process is so helpful. im becoming less and LESS afraid of the kitchen

    • July 18, 2010 / 5:49 pm

      thanks again, for your wonderful comments.

  42. Marici
    July 14, 2010 / 7:09 pm

    Waw, hops, cheese, pepper sauce & curried channa…love it!!! Chris, I can't believe you pick off every skin off the channa grains..real patience..:)

    Thanks again for the rec

    • July 14, 2010 / 7:24 pm

      yea, time consuming but that's just the way I like it ๐Ÿ™‚

  43. amal
    December 1, 2009 / 1:39 pm

    hey chris, i gotta tell yuh man LOVE ur recipes. Im lebanese and my husband trini so we love eachotha food. im sooooo glad i came across ur site ive cooked many things from it already and we are both lovin it! so i decided to give this a try for today but to put it on some leftover rice (is that ok)????. still waiting on the roti recipe!haha I do also have a request please, we dont eat pork so im wondering if u have any variations to ur soup (maybe including some dumplin and mmmm sweet potato). i duno wat part of canada ur livin in but here in toronto and mississauga we got plenty caribb groceries.
    Thanks alot chris…ill big it up!

  44. October 30, 2009 / 7:37 pm

    Hello! Have got a packet of dried channa hidden somewhere in the pantry ๐Ÿ™‚ Was on the look out for a recipe for it ๐Ÿ™‚ will definitely give it a try.
    .-= peanutts´s last blog ..Oatmeal crumbed chicken nuggets =-.

  45. October 27, 2009 / 10:20 am

    Hi Chris,
    Thanks for dropping by, always pleased to meet another foodie!!
    I love your recipe! I’m glad you mentioned about the chickpea skins, if a job’s worth doing…it’s worth doing properly right?
    .-= lesley´s last blog ..A Nice Easy Recipe for Homemade Chutney =-.

  46. October 26, 2009 / 5:25 pm

    Hops and channa with a little shadow benny pepper sauce…yum…it does taste different when you buy it though ๐Ÿ˜€
    .-= Chennette´s last blog ..Farewell Geocities =-.

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