The Washington Post

Trinidad-Style Aloo and Channa

Trinidad-Style Aloo and Channa 4.000

Justin Tsucalas for the Washington Post; food styling by Lisa Cherkasky for the Washington Post

Jan 21, 2021

Trinidadian Chief brand curry, with its unique combination of bright and smoky spices, gives this vegan potato and chickpea stew a touch of the unexpected. By using naturally buttery Yukon Gold potatoes — and leaving the skin on — the dish comes together quickly with minimal attention. It shines when paired with toasted and buttered naan or draped over a bowl of freshly steamed brown rice. It’s a comforting and creamy workhorse — especially during the winter.

If Chief curry powder isn’t readily available, substitute Madras curry powder.

Active time: 30 mins ; Total time: 45 mins

Storage Notes: The stew can be refrigerated for up to 3 days.

Where to Buy: Chief curry powder can be found in Caribbean grocery stores or online.

4 - 8

When you scale a recipe, keep in mind that cooking times and temperatures, pan sizes and seasonings may be affected, so adjust accordingly. Also, amounts listed in the directions will not reflect the changes made to ingredient amounts.

Tested size: 4-8 servings

  • 3 tablespoons neutral oil, such as canola or vegetable
  • 2 tablespoons curry powder, preferably Chief brand (see headnote); may substitute Madras curry powder
  • 4 to 5 (about 2 pounds) large Yukon Gold potatoes, well scrubbed and cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 1 3/4 teaspoons fine salt, divided, plus more as needed
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 2/3 cups water, divided, plus more as needed
  • One (15-ounce) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1/4 cup chopped scallions, white and green parts
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 5 large cloves garlic, minced or finely grated
  • 1/2 teaspoon chopped habanero chile pepper (about 1/2 chile), seeded and minced, or a few dashes of fruit-forward hot sauce, such as Yellowbird habanero hot sauce
  • Fresh chopped cilantro or scallions, for garnish (optional)
  • Naan or cooked brown rice, for serving


In a large, heavy pot over medium heat, add the oil and curry powder. Allow the curry powder to bloom, constantly stirring, about 30 seconds.

Add the potatoes and stir to coat them with the curry-oil mixture. Add 1 teaspoon of the salt, the black pepper and 1 cup of the water. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover and simmer until the potatoes are tender, about 25 minutes.

Using a wooden spoon, mash some of the potatoes against the side of the pot and stir to thicken the cooking liquid. Add the chickpeas and the remaining water and stir to combine. Stir in the scallions, cilantro, garlic and habanero, if using, and simmer until the chickpeas are warmed through and everything is coated in the golden sauce, 5 to 7 minutes.

If the stew is too thick or sticking to the bottom of the pot, add 1/3 cup water. Stir in the remaining salt and a dash of hot sauce. Taste and adjust salt and hot sauce, as needed.

Ladle the stew into bowls, garnish with the cilantro or scallion, if using, and serve hot, with naan or brown rice.

Recipe Source

From chef and journalist Brigid Washington.

Tested by Jim Webster.

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Nutritional Facts

Calories per serving, 3/4 cup (based on 8): 177

% Daily Values*

Total Fat: 6g 9%

Saturated Fat: 1g 5%

Cholesterol: 0mg 0%

Sodium: 689mg 29%

Total Carbohydrates: 27g 9%

Dietary Fiber: 5g 20%

Sugar: 2g

Protein: 5g

*Percent Daily Value based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Total Fat: Less than 65g

Saturated Fat: Less than 20g

Cholesterol: Less than 300mg

Sodium: Less than 2,400mg

Total Carbohydrates: 300g

Dietary Fiber: 25g

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