Sunday, March 13, 2011

Fried Channa (Chickpeas) Made Healthier

I just wanted to let you all know that I am alive!   I know it seems I have fallen off the face of the earth these past few weeks but the truth is, things have been so hectic!  We are moving and coupled with me job hunting, I just have not had a lot of time to cook.  So I really do apologize for abandoning my blog, but I am back now and hopefully will get a handle on posting some new recipes and replying to emails!  Here is one of my favorite Guyanese snacks that I could gobble up at any given time of day.

Every Saturday or Sunday my family would make their weekly errands run to Liberty Avenue (Queens, NY) to purchase all of our nourishing vegetables and West Indian baked goods for the rest of the week.  During our visit to the West Indian stores, I would always make sure I picked up a pack of fried channa (chickpeas) to snack on in the car.  The most popular brand of fried channa would have to be Patsy's, here is a picture of what it looks like.  Channa is a popular snack in Guyanese and Trinidadian cuisine, it's not typical to make this at home since it is time consuming and easily accessible in West Indian stores, but if you are feeling brave, give it a try, trust me you will love it!

Since I cannot easily access a pack of Patsy's split channa, I decided I would just have to make it myself to satisfy this craving.  If you haven't noticed, I have also been trying different methods to try to make some of our favorite West Indian foods a bit more healthier.  Oven-roasting these chickpeas instead frying them definitely saved a lot of calories and to be honest, you cannot even tell the difference in terms of texture!  It was just as crunchy and tasty as the fried version. 

I used Goya, but you can use any brand of dried chickpeas, make sure it is 1 lb

Soak beans overnight in 6 cups water.  You can also follow the directions on the back of the package on how to reconstitute the beans. 

In the morning, the beans will change color and also plump up

Drain beans

You can put the beans back into the same bowl/pot that yo used to soak them in

Dry beans thoroughly with a napkin to remove excess moisture 

Add these seasonings to the chickpeas, if you do not want them spicy then skip the cayenne pepper! 

Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil, you need a baking sheet big enough so that the chickpeas can lay flat and not on top of each other. 

Bake for 50 minutes at 350 degrees, let it cook and enjoy your healthy snack!

Oven-roasted Chickpeas 
  • 1 lb dry chickpeas
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  1. Soak beans overnight in 6 cups water, beans will swell by morning.  Or, you can soak beans in 6 cups water and boil for 10 minutes, then leave for 4 hours to swell.
  2. Once beans are swollen (reconstituted), drain in a colander and dry beans with napkins to remove moisture. 
  3. Add oil, black pepper, salt, and cayenne pepper and toss well. 
  4. Cover a baking sheet with aluminum foil and spread chickpeas evenly so they are not laying on top of each other. 
  5. Bake for 50 minutes at 350 degrees.  You can taste one at this point to see if it needs to bake for a few more minutes, you want the chickpeas to be very crunchy. 

I leave you with these important words that I have come to really understand over the past year, no matter what you do in life, make sure it is something that you love! 


  1. that first shot of the channa is lovely. now I am craving fry channa :-) spicy!

  2. Hey! Jus wanted say i made it and it turned out great!!!! It's the first time I tasted it also! My husband loves it! Thank u sooo much! :-)

  3. Do you need to stir the channa every now and then whilst it is baking?

    Mary Ann

  4. Hi Anonymous- I turned mine a few times. Let me know how it turns out!

  5. Hi Alica, I made the Fried Channa tonight and it was excellent. I doubled the recipe and got 2 pans.

    The first pan I baked on the middle rack but found that it had a soft texture even though I cooked it longer than the 50 mins. recommended.

    I decided to bake the 2nd pan on the second rack from the bottom (the one just below the middle) and the channa was EXCELLENT. It turned out very crispy and one would never be able to tell it was baked and not fried.

    Thanks very much for posting such a healthy recipe that doesn't have to be fried but tastes soooo good.

    Mary Ann

    1. That is wonderful Mary Ann! Good thing you tried the second batch differently, it's all about the experimentation!

  6. I so wanna try this right now, 9pm & craving channa. Luv Luv Luv your recipes. - Cindy P

  7. I think i will try this receipe. I have been to Trinidad recently and had chana with nuts in do you reckon you cook the nuts same way. ie soak first then fry. Joanna

  8. Can I use canned chickpeas to make channa or is it better to use chickpeas that you soak?

  9. Thanks much for the recipe. I think I might try sprouting the chick peas longer so it might end up more crispy than crunchy.

  10. These recipes are great and all ingredients are quite aquireable. Thank you for thinking about us Guyanese cooks :)