Guyanese-style chickpea (channa) curry

Notes: This is spicy to very spicy depending on the type of pepper you use; if using dry chickpeas, soak them overnight for 12 hours

Makes: 4 servings
Total Time: 1  to 1 and a half hours, cook time: 30-60 minutes (depending on the type of rice and chickpeas used), prep time: 20 minutes


For Curry:
  • 2 tablespoons curry powder (mild, medium or hot based on your preference – I use Lalah’s brand)
  • 1 tablespoon garam masala (can be left out if you cannot find it in your area)
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon oil (I use olive because of its nutritional value, but you can also use sunflower or vegetable)
  • 1/2 -1 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
  • 1/2 – 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 small tomato
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • 1/2 small yellow onion diced
  • 1 habanero, scotch bonnet or wiri wiri pepper, or a milder pepper (e.g. cayenne, jalapeño, green chili)
  • 1 teaspoon ginger (ground or minced)
For Chickpeas and Vegetables:
  • 1 cup rice (I use basmati rice but use any rice you prefer)
  • 1 cup chickpeas, also called garbanzo beans (dry is better but canned is faster)
  • 1/2 small yellow onion diced
  • 2 green bell peppers, chopped or sliced
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped or sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 cups spinach, chopped


Directions for curry: In a blender, or hand blend, combine ½ onion, garlic, oil, spices, tomato and the 2 cups of water. Blend until smooth and thick.

Directions for rice: Cook rice according to the package.

Directions for chickpeas/garbanzo and vegetables: 

If using dry chickpeas/garbanzo beans:
  • Place chickpeas in a large bowl and cover completely with cold water. Allow to soak overnight, about 12 hours.
  • Boil two cups of water in a medium or large pot and then add the cup of chickpeas.
  • Cover and simmer for approximately one hour until tender.
  • Drain cool for 15 minutes.
If using canned chickpeas/garbanzo beans:
  • Place chickpeas in a large bowl and wash.
  • Boil two cups of water in a large or medium pot and then add the cup of chickpeas.
  • Cover and simmer for approximately 25 -30 minutes until tender.
  • Drain and cool for 15 minutes.

Directions continued:

  • While chickpeas are cooling, chop the vegetables.
  • Once the chickpeas are cool add the vegetables in the bowl and then add ½ the curry mixture, toss together and marinate for 15 minutes to 1 hour.
  • Heat one tablespoon of oil in a large pan.
  • Add in the remaining ½ onion, the rest of the curry mixture, the vegetables and chickpeas.
  • Sauté for 2-3 minutes

Serve over the rice.

Approximate Nutritional Information for 1 Serving (Based on brands and amounts used in the recipe)

  • Calories: 367g
  • Fat: 8.75g
  • Carb: 70g
  • Protein: 16.25g