Trinidad-Style Curried Channa

Trinidad Style Curried Chana with rice on a plate

Stephanie Lang, MS, RDN, CDN

Total Time: 75 min
Prep Time: 15 min
Cook Time: 60 min
Servings: 6 (1 cup each)

Nutrition Highlights (per serving)

231 calories
6g fat
36g carbs
11g protein
Show Nutrition Label Hide Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6 (1 cup each)
Amount per serving  
Calories 231
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 6g 8%
Saturated Fat 1g 5%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 268mg 12%
Total Carbohydrate 36g 13%
Dietary Fiber 10g 36%
Total Sugars 7g  
Includes 0g Added Sugars 0%
Protein 11g  
Vitamin D 0mcg 0%
Calcium 67mg 5%
Iron 3mg 17%
Potassium 393mg 8%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calorie a day is used for general nutrition advice.

This plant-based, Trinidad-style chickpea recipe is full of flavor and heat from sliced onions and hot chiles and contains a colorful spice blend of curry powder, cumin, and turmeric. So many cuisines from around the world feature vegetarian dishes that are tasty and nutritious, inspiring us to get creative in the kitchen and try recipes from different cultures.

What's more, a diet rich in plant-based foods may play a role in reducing ​the risk of cancer and other forms of chronic disease. To reap the benefits, aim to make at least two of the meals you eat each day from plant-based sources like beans and legumes, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and whole grains.


  • 4 cups chickpeas (either cooked from 2 cups dried chickpeas or from 2 15-oz cans, drained and rinsed)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium onion (yellow)
  • 3 medium garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 small serrano chile pepper, membranes and seeds discarded, minced
  • 3 tsp curry powder
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • Optional: 1/4 tsp methi (fenugreek)
  • 1 1/4 cups water (or chickpea cooking liquid or broth), divided
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp cilantro, chopped


  1. If cooking chickpeas from dried beans, soak the beans overnight, drain, and place in a large pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil and simmer until tender, about 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Drain the chickpeas, reserving the cooking liquid. If using canned chickpeas, drain and rinse the beans and set aside.

  2. Wipe out the same large pot you used to cook the chickpeas. Heat olive oil in the pot over medium-high heat. Add the sliced onion and saute until translucent, about 5 minutes.

  3. Add the garlic and serrano chile and cook another 2 to 3 minutes, until fragrant.

  4. Add the curry powder, turmeric, cumin, and optional methi to the pot and stir for about 30 seconds.

  5. Add 1/4 cup water, chickpea cooking liquid, or broth to the pot and stir. Add the cooked chickpeas to the pot, cover, turn the heat to low, and simmer for 5 minutes.

  6. Uncover the pot, add the remaining liquid and the salt and simmer uncovered for another 20 minutes.

  7. Stir in the chopped cilantro. Serve with brown rice.

Variations and Substitutions

Don't like spicy food or experiencing dry mouth? Omit the hot chile.

If you want to experiment with a new spice, try looking for methi, also known as fenugreek, which has been touted for its many health benefits, from aiding digestion to boosting heart health. The flavor is mild, but methi is a staple ingredient in many types of Indian-style curries and breads (and is also used in Caribbean cuisine).

Cooking and Serving Tips

  • Using dried beans over canned is inexpensive and relatively easy, but it does take some extra time. The beans are best when soaked overnight in water, drained, and then simmered on the stovetop with fresh water for a few hours. To save time, consider making a large batch of beans and add any extras to salads or vegetable dishes throughout the week.
  • Beans cooked from dry also freeze well, so you can also prepare a large amount and freeze the leftovers for another use. Frozen beans reheat in just 5 minutes when dropped into simmering liquid or heated on the stovetop.
  • You can also serve the chickpea channa with a side of quinoa for an extra serving of plant-based protein. A 1-cup serving of whole grains will increase the calorie and carb count slightly but will also provide you with a big boost of valuable nutrition.

Rate this Recipe

You've already rated this recipe. Thanks for your rating!
2 Sources
Verywell Fit uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Campbell TC. Cancer prevention and treatment by wholistic nutrition. J Nat Sci. 2017;3(10). PMID:29057328

  2. Nagulapalli Venkata KC, Swaroop A, Bagchi D, Bishayee A. A small plant with big benefits: Fenugreek (Trigonella foenum-graecum Linn.) for disease prevention and health promotionMol Nutr Food Res. 2017;61(6). doi:10.1002/mnfr.201600950

By Stephanie Lang, MS, RDN, CDN
Stephanie Forsythe, MS, RDN, CNSC, is a registered dietitian nutritionist who has developed recipes and blog content for Savor Health.