Quick and Easy Channa

Meredith Bond

When my husband was a poor grad student in Philadelphia, he longed for a taste of home, Kolkata, and his mother’s cooking (she’s a fabulous cook!). Unfortunately, he didn’t have the time or money to go home, so he did the next best thing, he called his mother to ask her for a recipe. She happily gave him one for one of his favorite dishes, channa (chickpea) curry, but he didn’t have enough money to buy all of the ingredients necessary, so in true good-cook method, he made do with what he had to make it taste as authentic as possible.

This recipe has been floating around the internet ever since the first tubes were connected and it was beginning to be a popular medium. I had to search pretty hard to find it, and over the years it’s gotten corrupted by various posters, so here is an updated and corrected version of

Quick and Easy Channa


  • 1 medium onion, chopped finely
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 2″ stick cinnamon
  • 4 cloves, crushed
  • 2 cardamom pods, crushed
  • 2 teaspoon INDIAN curry powder (McCormick’s just isn’t the same or nearly as good. If you can’t get to an Indian grocery story, you can make a fair approximation with 1/2 tsp. coriander, 1/2 tsp. cumin, 1/2 tsp. turmeric, 1/4-1/2 tsp. hot chili powder)
  • 2 or 3 tablespoon tomato ketchup
  • 2 14-16 oz. cans chick peas (garbanzos)
  • 1 bunch coriander leaves or two cubes of frozen chopped coriander from Trader Joes
  • Sugar to taste
  • Frozen chopped spinach, about 1 cup


  1. Fry onion in veg. oil until soft
  2. Add garlic, fry another minute
  3. Add the rest of the dry spices, fry until fragrant
  4. Add the ketchup and fry until everything is well blended.
  5. Add the chickpeas with the water that’s in the can.
  6. Let the mixture come to a slight boil, then cover and simmer for 10 minutes.
  7. Add in the spinach, cook another 5-10 minutes.
  8. Add sugar to taste.
  9. Finally, add in the coriander, blending well if it’s the frozen one, otherwise, take it off the heat after adding your fresh coriander.

Serve with chapattis (you can get really good frozen ones at the Indian store which you just heat in a frying pan) or heated tortillas.


Meredith Bond is an award-winning author of a series of traditionally published Regency romances and indie-published paranormal romances. Known for her characters “who slip readily into one’s heart,” Meredith’s heart belongs to her husband and two children. Meredith’s second favorite pastime is teaching others to write.

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