Chick Pea or Channa?


In my home country of  Guyana we have a  heavy influence of Indian food.   This is a very popular dish which we call Boil and Fry Channa.  In America its called chick pea or garbanzo but in Guyana it’s channa.  Channa is hindi for chick pea.  This is an easy, quick dish to make.  I usually make this on an afternoon when I’m too hungry to make a full meal.  Its sauteed chick peas.  Since I’m using precooked chick peas from the can, its definitely not boiled, but it will be fried.    This dish is flavorful, delicious and just very pleasing to the tummy.   If you’ve never had this before I urge you to give it a try.  I grew up stealing spoonful when my mom’s back was turned cause it’s just that darn good.   I know some of you may want to know what is garam masala.  Its an Indian spice blend that could found be at the Indian or Caribbean grocery store.  It’s very flavorful and just takes this dish to another level.


Sauteed Chick pea a.k.a Boil and Fry Channa

1 12 oz can chick pea

2 tbsp oil

1/2 sweet pepper

1 plum tomato chopped

1 small onion chopped

3 sprigs fresh thyme

1/2 tsp chopped garlic

1/2 tsp Paprika

1/2 tsp garam masala*

1/2 chicken bouillon cube

black pepper

Heat sautee pan with 2 tbsp vegetable oil.  Add tomatoes, onion and peppers.  Cook about 3 minutes and add the garlic and thyme.  Cook for another 2 minutes then add chick pea, paprika, black pepper, garam masala, bouillon.  Stir to combine and let it cook for about 8-10 mins.  Serve hot and enjoy.

*For those who cannot find Garam masala in the store here’s the recipe.

Garam Masala

2 tablespoons cumin seeds
2 tablespoons coriander seeds
2 tablespoons cardamom seeds
2 tablespoons black peppercorns
1 (3-inch) stick cinnamon, broken up
1 teaspoon whole cloves
1 teaspoon grated nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon saffron (optional)


Put the cumin, coriander, cardamom, peppercorns, cinnamon, and cloves in a dry heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Toast the spices, stirring occasionally, until they turn several shades darker and give off a sweet smoky aroma, about 10 minutes. Do not raise the heat to quicken the process, or the spices will brown prematurely, leaving the insides undercooked. Cool completely.

Working in batches if necessary, transfer the mixture to a spice mill or coffee grinder and grind to a powder. Stir in the nutmeg and saffron. Use immediately or store in an airtight container in a cool, dry place.

Garam Masala keeps for 3 months.

Yield: Makes about 1/2 cup

This recipe was adapted from



  1. February 8, 2009 / 5:58 pm

    I love Indian food, but rarely make it at home. This willl definately be changing that. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Kath the cook
    February 8, 2009 / 7:05 pm

    Hi – In the recipe you list ” 1/2 chicken bouillon” – what does this mean?

    is it 1/2 cup of chicken stock or bouillon? thanks – can’t wait to try this out

  3. highwine21
    February 8, 2009 / 7:34 pm

    its 1/2 bouillon…this recipe has no stock in it. I used the maggi chicken bouillon, I believe Goya has chicken bouillon, beef bouillon and also vegetable for those who are vegetarian.

  4. February 9, 2009 / 12:32 pm

    Those chickpeas look good!

  5. Rayann
    March 12, 2009 / 4:44 pm

    I’m Guyanese and this picture gave me a flashback. I’m definitely going to try this.

  6. March 14, 2009 / 9:29 pm

    I need to make this! I’ve only ever had it at restaurants, but a homemade version must fragrance your house wonderfully. Thanks for sharing!

  7. May 24, 2011 / 4:18 pm

    My parents are Guyanese and No doubt it’s called…Channa…Love the site btw

  8. AnjaliMohan
    June 24, 2012 / 9:01 am

    Umm loved this recipe. Im a huge chickpea fan and my husband usually make a different version of it thats really yummy too. This one is healthy since it also includes some vegetables (bell pepper & tomatoes) so its good when on a diet. I used olive oil, mari-wee pepper instead of black pepper and u did not say to add salt so i added some to taste. Delish! I’ll be keeping this one. Thanks Jehan xo

  9. JehanP
    June 24, 2012 / 3:14 pm

    You’re welcome Anjali, I’m glad you enjoyed it. I did not add salt to the dish because I used chicken bouillon and felt that it had enough salt.

  10. Antoinette
    June 16, 2014 / 11:33 am

    What do you eat with this?

  11. JehanP
    June 16, 2014 / 6:47 pm

    Antoinette it’s served by itself.

  12. Rehana Bacchus
    January 19, 2016 / 2:31 am

    Love this recipe! Great taste, but I have a dumb question: do you drain the can of chickpeas before cooking? I thought this was obvious (so I did drain) but my channa didn’t come out as soft as I’m used to (ie. the way Mom makes though she made her channa old school by soaking overnight). The taste was amazing, but just had the afterthought of ‘maybe I did this wrong…”

  13. JehanP
    January 20, 2016 / 2:54 pm

    Rehana, that’s a great question and yes I do drain the chick peas. Simply add a little bit of liquid and cook a little bit longer until it’s the way that you like it!

  14. Zena
    August 8, 2016 / 7:49 am

    Hey you forgot the pepperpot or where is the recipe, where can I buy wirri pepper