Caribbean Channa(Spicy crunchy Oven roasted Garbanzo beans)

I missed out on IHCC – It’s time for Bed in Breakfast event last week, because I picked out a recipe and didn’t have an ingredient, but mostly it was also because I didn’t have any books by Mark Bittman on hand to inspire me. So, this week, in preparation I headed to the library to get my sources ready. I got two books:

Mark Bittman’s Kitchen Express and

The Best Recipes in the World by Mark Bittman

Of these, the latter is my favorite. It showcases so many beautiful recipes from all over the world. What I loved about the book, was as I turned the pages, the influence of food from one culture to the next was evident. And kudos to Bittman, for having laid out the book in a way that makes you feel you’re touring the world.


My entry to IHCC – It’s movie time event is ‘Channa’ – a Crunchy Chickpea snack. As soon as I read the name, I knew it was Indian, but it was attributed as a Caribbean recipe. It says its a snack from Trinidad and Guyana. But, Bittman traces its roots back to India, just as I did. For those you don’t know the Hindi term for ‘chickpeas’ is Channa.

I was looking for something that was kind of like popcorn, that was healthy, no frying involved, no dipping involved and also easy to make. Crunchy Chickpeas, sure fit the bill. Here is the recipe:


One 16-ounce can chickpeas, drained or 2 cups cooked chickpeas(I used canned)

1 tsp canola oil

salt to taste

cayenne to taste


Preheat the broiler. Drain, rinse and lightly dry the chickpeas. Lightly grease a rimmed baking sheet with the oil and spread the chickpeas on it. Broil until golden brown and crunchy, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and cayenne and server or store in an airtight container for about a week.

Note: I tossed the chickpeas in the oil and Indian chilli powder(cayenne) before putting it in the oven. Also, it took me 8 -10 minutes for it to turn crunchy. I guess it depends on your broiler, and how far you place your baking sheet from it.

Verdict: It was crunchy and spicy and I could imagine it being sold as street food in the streets of the Caribbean, similar to the fried salted peanut being sold in India. It was the perfect snack for movie night, perfect portion size for the two of us and no guilty feeling later.

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