Curry Channa 

Almost every cuisine in the world has at least one vegan dish that you can try without needing to change the ingredients. One such authentic dish is the famous curry chana. It is similar to my Chickpea Curry (Jamaican Style)

It is made from chickpeas, and the blend of spices and herbs make it super delicious. Above all, it is effortless to make. It literally takes 10 minutes to make chana curry if you are using canned or frozen chickpeas.

If you come home after a tiring day of work and don’t feel like cooking a fancy meal, this dish is your ultimate savior. All ingredients are basic and are readily available in any kitchen.

Furthermore, if you use an instant pot, the cooking time is reduced to half. So, there is no way you won’t try this dish out. Serve it as a main course, aside, or a snack, the dish is versatile and goes perfectly well with any food.

chickpea curry in a saucepan with a wooden spoon on a white background

What Is Curry Chana?

You might have heard of curry chana, but not everyone knows about its origin. Chana masala actually comes from Trinidadian cuisine.

The cuisine comes from Trinidad and Tobago. Located in the Caribbean region, the cuisine is rich in flavors and uses native ingredients that add unique flavor to the dishes.

However, chana masala originated from the sub-continent region, especially the South Indian region. As the traders back in the day traveled from the Indian region all across the world, they picked up spices along the way.

So, we can say that the curry chana is actually a Trinidadian who adopted the dish by adding their flair.

The reason why this dish is so special is the use of unique herbs and spices. Moreover, it is made with chickpeas. So, they are one hundred percent vegan.

Above all, they are super easy to make. You can make these within 10 minutes. Literally! Also, you don’t need a lot of ingredients for this dish. It is super simple to make and a perfect recipe if you don’t feel like cooking at all. All the elements are essential and are always available in every kitchen.

Variations Of Curry Chana Over The Globe

Since the dish has several variations across the world, you will find several flavors and ingredients. Because the dish is originally from South India, you will find it with spices like turmeric, dried coriander, tamarind pulp, etc. furthermore, another famous variation that is seen both in India and Trinidad and Tobago is the Chana aloo, which means chickpea with potato.

Similarly, you can find different ingredients as you move from region to region with a little bit of difference in flavor or cooking method. Where in some cuisines, curry chana is prepared by boiling chickpeas; you can marinate them with spice and roast them in others. 

ingredients for curry channa

Ingredient breakdown

For Trinidad-styled chana curry, you will need the following ingredients:

  • Chickpeas: The main ingredient of the chana curry are the chickpeas. You can either use canned chickpeas or use dried chickpeas. Soak them in water overnight and boil them. You can also prepare chana curry in an instant pot.
  • Onion and Garlic: Onion and garlic set the base for the masala or gravy. It also adds a punch of flavor. Garlic is an important ingredient in Trinidad cuisine and gives the dish a depth of flavor.
  • Vegetable stock: Vegetable stock enhances the flavor of the dish. If you don’t have vegetable stock available, you can also use water.
  • Chadon Beni: Chadon Beni is a herb that is native o Trinidad. It looks a bit like cilantro and has a unique flavor. However, if you can’t find Chadon Beni, you can use cilantro instead.
  • Spices: for curry chana, the main spices you can use to bring out the flavors are ground cumin, curry powder, pink Himalayan salt.

What Are The Benefits Of Chickpeas?

Chickpeas are not just delicious. These are also known as garbanzo beans and are used in several different ways. There are a lot of health benefits as well. Here are a few to name:

  • Chickpeas are not just low in calories but are also full of healthy nutrients.
  • These are rich in dietary fiber. As a result, you feel fuller.
  • It is a good source of plant-based protein. And a perfect ingredient for people who have a vegan diet.
  • Chickpeas help in regulating weight.
  • It also improves the sugar level in the blood.
  • The fiber content improves digestive health.

What are the benefits of Chadon Beni?

Chadon Beni is a native Trinidad herb. It is usually found in wilds. The herb is not just known for its unique flavor but also has many benefits. Some of its benefits are as follows:

  • Chadon Beni posses’ anti-inflammatory properties. That’s why it acts as a pain reliever. It also helps relieve toothache and earache.
  • It is rich in calcium.
  • It also a good source of iron.
  • Chadon Beni is also rich is vitamins A B and C.
  • This herb also aids in digestion and also stimulates appetite.

Customization

Although curry chana is a pretty simple dish, you can customize it to add new ingredients and flavors to it. Here are a few ways to customize chana masala:

  • Chana aloo is a very famous dish that includes adding potatoes to the dish. You can either add raw or boiled potatoes and toss them in the spices.
  • If you love the flavors of the chana masala, you can turn the dish into a vegan wonderland. Add in vegetables like carrots, peas, and capsicum along with chickpeas, and enjoy the freshness of vegetables along with the flavors of the spices.
  • If you want to, it is a bit fresh and tangy, squeeze fresh lemon on top and serve.
  • Lastly, you can serve it with vegan sour cream as well.
  • If you are not a fan of chickpeas, you can substitute them with beans as well.

How To Make Chana Curry?

Making chana curry is probably the easiest thing in the world. Here is how you can make it at home.

  • Heat coconut oil and sauté crushed garlic.
  • Add cumin and curry powder and continue to sauté.
  • Add boiled chickpeas and mix until it is coated with spice.
  • curry chana with chickpeas being added to saucepan
  • Pour the vegetable stock and let it simmer for 7 minutes.
  • Add chadon beni and stir. Let it simmer.
  • Mash the chickpeas as you desire to get the consistency you like.
  • Serve alongside rice or quinoa.

Tips And Tricks For Perfect Chana Curry

Here are a few tips and tricks to get the maximum taste from the dish.

  • If you are using dried chickpeas, make sure you soak them in water for as long as 6 hours. The more you soak them, the faster they cook.
  • You can also store the boiled chickpeas in the freezer. Thaw them and use them to make delicious chana curry whenever you want.
  • Whether you use cilantro or Chadon Beni, make sure your chiffonade the. It is a slicing technique in which you cut thin and long strips of leafy green. As you add it to the chana masala, it forms the shape of a ribbon.
  • To speed up the cooking process, use an instant pot. Instant pot chana masala cook just as delicious as when cooked any other way.

Curry chana cooking in saucepan with wooden spoon stirring

Serving ideas

There are several ways to serve this dish. Here are a few ideas:

  • You can serve these with Boiled Rice and spicy roasted vegetables on the side.
  • You can serve it with mashed potatoes.
  • You can also serve it with Doubles or Trinidad roti (bread) and Tamarind Sauce.
  • If you are into a healthy diet, you can serve it with Quinoa as well.
  • Lastly, the dish is simply delicious, just the way it is. So, you can eat without any other thing.

Storing chana masala

The dish is super easy to store. You can store it in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to three days. Furthermore, you can also keep it in the freezer. However, because it is so easy to make, I usually advise you don’t freeze it. Instead to make it fresh every time to enjoy flavors. Furthermore, you can freeze boiled chickpeas to fasten up the cooking time.

Other Delicious Vegan Curry Recipes

overlay curry channa on a white rectangular plate with a black and white stripe

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Nutrition

(Per serving)
  • Energy: 203 kcal / 849 kJ
  • Fat: 6.5 g
  • Protein: 6.8 g
  • Carbs: 31 g

Cooking Time

  • Preparation: 10 min
  • Cooking: 10 min
  • Ready in: 20 min
  • For:
  • 3 Servings

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Heat Coconut Oil on medium/low heat. 
  2. Once heated, onion saute until softened, about 2 minutes. dad garlic and sauté for 30 seconds. 
  3. Add Ground Cumin and Curry Powder, sauté for another 30 seconds
  4. Add chickpeas and stir on low flame. Allow all chickpeas to get evenly coated in spices.
  5. Once all chickpeas are evenly coated, pour the vegetable stock and stir to combine all the ingredients.
  6. Cover and allow to simmer for about 5 minutes on medium heat. This will allow the cooked chickpeas to become softer. 
  7. Once chickpeas are softened, add Chadon benni and stir to combine. 
  8. Cook for another 2 -5 minutes to allow the Chadon benni to seep through the sauce. To create a thick sauce, mash a few chickpeas until the desired texture is reached. 
  9. Season with salt to taste, serve!
Recipe author's Gravatar image

Chef Marsha

I am Marsha Lee, Chef, Owner and Operator of Eat With Your Eyes LLC, located in Mount Vernon, New York.

My passion for food began at an early age, while still a child in St. Andrew, Jamaica. I began playing with simple breakfast and fried food recipes I would see, until I mastered them, based on my critics.