Trinidad Curry Channa and Aloo (Curry Chickpeas and Potato) Recipe

Trinidad curry channa and aloo is a delicious T&T favorite. It is a vegetarian dish made with chickpeas (or channa), potatoes (or aloo), and a curry powder blend unique to the Caribbean. It’s not the same as the East Indian version, but it’s still so tasty!

If you enjoy chickpeas, you’ll love these doubles channa and fried channa recipes. And, if you’re making curry channa and aloo, you should pair it with pumpkin talkari and buss up shut.

curry channa and aloo - delicious chickpeas and potatoes recipe cooked in a caribbean curry sauce with caribbean herbs
trinidadian curry channa and aloo (chickpeas and potatoes)

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Curry channa and aloo ingredients

For this recipe, you’ll need: chickpeas (garbanzo beans, channa), potatoes (aloo), Caribbean green seasoning, baking powder, sugar, salt, onion, garlic, pepper, Trini curry powder and vegetable oil.

Green seasoning is made with chadon beni, garlic, pepper and other herbs like Spanish thyme, thyme and more. You can make your own using my Caribbean green seasoning recipe. This curry powder is popular on the islands and contains coriander, turmeric, cumin, fenugreek, salt, fennel, mustard and chilies.

Trinidad curry channa and aloo (video)

Step by step instructions

Soak the channa

Dried chickpeas must be soaked before cooking – otherwise you’ll be left cooking the peas for hours. Check the chickpeas to remove any odd looking bits and peas. Rinse thoroughly. Place in a bowl with water – you’ll want to use four to five times more water than peas as they will expand. Cover the bowl and leave on the countertop overnight or for at least 6 hours.

After the soaking time, rinse the chickpeas thoroughly (at least three times) to remove any of the overnight liquid. If you are using canned channa, you can also rinse the peas out before moving on.

soak channa overnight for curry

Prep the ingredients

Add baking powder, sugar, half of the salt and green seasoning to the channa. Mix to incorporate and set the seasoned channa aside. Peel the potatoes and cut into 2- to 3-inch pieces. Chop the onion, garlic cloves and pepper.

seasoned channa and peeled aloo

Sauté the aromatics

Place a large pot on medium heat. Leave it to heat up before adding vegetable oil.

Add the chopped onions and pepper. Cook for a few minutes until the onions are translucent. Next, add in garlic. Sauté everything for another minute or two.

saute aromatics for curry channa and aloo

Cook the curry

Add the curry powder to the sauteed onion garlic and pepper. Mix thoroughly. If the curry powder is too dry, you can add a little more oil. Stir often to patch the curry powder for 2 minutes. You’ll want that curry to cook thoroughly.

cook-curry-powder-for-channa-and-aloo

Add about a quarter cup of water.

add water to cooked curry powder

Stir and leave to cook down to form a thick curry paste. This can take about 5 to 10 minutes, depending on the heat.

cooked curry powder to paste

Add the channa and aloo

With the curry well cooked, it is time to add the seasoned chickpeas and potatoes. Stir to make sure the curry coats all of the ingredients. Continue to stir often to prevent the ingredients from sticking to the pot. They should release a little water of their own. If the pot is too hot and the ingredients begin to stick, add about a quarter cup of water and stir. Cook for about 10 minutes.

cook down channa and aloo

Add water

As the ingredients start to soften, add enough water to cover the chickpeas and potatoes. The water level should be about one to two inches above the peas.

add water to cooked channa and aloo

Leave to cook until the chickpeas and potatoes are fully cooked. This can take anywhere from 40 minutes to an hour. Don’t cover the pot while cooking since the water can bubble over.

When completely cooked, crush a few chickpeas into the curry sauce. Doing this will thicken the sauce nicely. Taste test and add any additional salt.

This recipes goes great with curry chicken, curry duck, curry bodi, pumpkin talkari and Trini vegetarian food.

curry channa and aloo, curry chicken and buss up shut

Curry channa and aloo recipe

trinidad curry channa and aloo or curried chickpeas and potatoes side dish
Print Recipe
4.15 from 7 votes

Trinidad curry channa and aloo (chickpeas and potatoes)

Trinidad curry channa and aloo is a delicious curry dish made with chickpeas, potatoes, a unique curry powder blend and Caribbean herbs.
Prep Time8 hours
Cook Time1 hour 25 minutes
Total Time9 hours 25 minutes
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Caribbean, Indian
Keyword: curry, curry channa
Servings: 6
Calories: 200kcal
Author: Ros Singh

Ingredients

Channa prep

  • cups dried channa (chickpeas)
  • 5 cups water (for soaking)
  • 3 tbsp Caribbean green seasoning (with chadon beni, garlic, and pepper)
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • ½ tsp salt

Channa and aloo

  • 3 small potatoes
  • 1 onion
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 2 pimento peppers (or any pepper of choice)
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 1 tbsp curry powder (Caribbean version)
  • ½ – 1 tsp salt
  • 5 cups water (for cooking)

Instructions

Channa prep

  • Rinse channa thoroughly.
  • Place in a bowl with the 5 cups of water and cover. Leave to soak overnight (about 8 hours).
  • Rinse the channa again thoroughly at least 3 times. Drain water.
  • Mix the soaked peas with green seasoning, baking powder, sugar, and ½ tsp salt.
  • Set aside.

Channa and aloo

  • Peel the potatoes and cut into 1-inch pieces.
  • Peel and chop the onion and garlic. Dice the pepper.
  • In a large pot on medium heat, add oil and allow to heat up.
  • Sauté the chopped onions until translucent.
  • Add garlic and pepper. Sauté for 2 minutes.
  • Mix in curry powder.
  • Patch the curry for 2 minutes.
  • Add ¼ cup of water and stir.
  • Cook until the curry becomes a thick paste (5 minutes).
  • Mix in the potatoes and seasoned channa.
  • Patch for 10 minutes (the potatoes and chickpeas should release their own water).
  • As the channa and potatoes become dry, add the remaining water (5 cups), enough to completely cover everything. Add more water for a thinner sauce.
  • Cook until the channa is soft (this can take 40 mins to 1 hour).
  • Mash several peas with the back of a spoon to thicken the sauce.
  • Taste test the peas and add the remaining salt (adjust down for lower salt intake)
  • Serve hot.

Notes

  • Use canned channa as a substitute for dried channa. This will eliminate steps #1 and #2, reducing the prep time. The canned channa will also cook faster so add the potatoes to the curry paste first and allow to cook for about 10 minutes before adding the chickpeas and water (use less water too). Cook until the channa and aloo are both soft.

10 Comments

  1. 1 star
    10 cups of water?? I had a soup! This can’t be right. If I did something wrong, please tell me. I’m so upset because I was looking forward to this and I followed the instructions, but it didn”t work.

    1. “1. Rinse channa thoroughly.”
      “2. Place in a bowl with 5 cups of water and cover. Leave to soak overnight.” (this water is discarded after).
      “16. As the contents dry (after patching the curry), add the remaining water (which will be 5 cups), enough to completely cover the peas. Add more water for a thinner sauce.”
      I’ll edit the recipe card to make it a bit clearer.
      You can also follow along with the Youtube video.

  2. 4 stars
    How much canned channa is recommended? Seems like 1.5 cups of canned, pre-soaked channa would be less than 1.5 cups of dried before soaking.

    1. Depends on what part of Trinidad this recipe applies. We in the north use a different ingredients recipe than that of the southern part of the island.??

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