Channa Aloo

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves:

    4 to 6

Appears in

Sweet Hands: Island Cooking from Trinidad and Tobago

Sweet Hands

By Ramin Ganeshram

Published 2018

  • About

Legumes were a traditional source of protein for vegetarian Hindus and they remain a staple in the diet of both East Indian and other-heritage Trinidadians. Unlike East Indian versions of channa-based dishes which are popularly seasoned with garam masala, like so many foods in Trinidad, these chickpeas are curried.


  • 1 cup dried chickpeas, or 1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • ½ small onion, chopped (optional)
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • 1 tablespoon chopped shado beni or cilantro leaves
  • ¼ Scotch bonnet pepper or other hot red chili pepper
  • 2 tablespoons Trinidad curry powder
  • 1 pound Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into ½-inch chunks


  1. If using dried chickpeas, soak them in 3 cups of water overnight.
  2. Drain the chickpeas and rinse. In a deep saucepan, cook the chickpeas with 3 cups of fresh water, simmering until tender, about 15 minutes. If using canned chickpeas, drain and rinse with cold water. Set aside.
  3. Heat the oil in a heavy-bottomed pot and add the onion, garlic, shado beni, and chili pepper. Cook for 1 minute, stirring often.
  4. Add the curry powder and cook, stirring constantly, for 30 to 45 seconds (do not allow the curry to scorch).
  5. Stir in the chickpeas and potatoes. Cook, covered, for 1 to 2 minutes. Add just enough water to cover the potatoes and simmer, uncovered, for 25 minutes. Serve hot with roti.