Gluten-Free Channa – Celebrating International Year of Pulses

Gluten-free channa is a typical Guyanese street food, any time of the day or night you’d be able to find a brown paper sack filled with this fragrant and steaming snack, top this with a garlicky mango sour (boiled green mangoes with lots of onions, garlic and hot peppers) and you’ll be in food-haven.


Guyana is a subtropical gem, one of the few places left mostly untouched. It’s a country rich with minerals and richer with fertile soil ready to grow organic foods at the drop of a seed. Known as the land of many waters and the land of six races, and as the country of countless national holidays in celebration of every religion…including cricket.

This is the International Year of Pulses.  Here’s a recipe made with channa or better known as Chickpeas – a pulse consumed by most cultures for the past 10 to 100 decades. The chickpea is a legume  known as gram, or Bengal gram, garbanzo, Egyptian pea, and channa. Chickpeas are high in protein, dietary fibre, iron, potassium and magnesium. Another great reason to eat less meat is the chickpea.


Channa made with Eathical Mexican Spice Blend



2 cups chickpeas, washed and soaked in cold water overnight. Drain and place in a pot of cold water and bring to a boil, simmer for 1 hour (skim off the foam that comes to the top and discard). When soft, drain and set aside.

2 tablespoons Olive oil (preferably Koroni Greek olive oil)

1 tablespoon Eathical The Mexican (substitutions below)

1/2 cup vegetable broth

1 bunch chopped cilantro


  1. Heat the olive oil
  2. Add the spice blend and roast quickly for about 10 seconds.
  3. Add the chickpeas and toss well, pour in the broth and stir, lower the heat, cover and cook until the liquid has evaporated.
  4. top with the chopped cilantro

Alternate substitute for the spice blend – 1 tablespoon diced onions, 1 teaspoon minced garlic, 1 tablespoon cumin, salt and pepper to taste.

Leftovers make a fantastic dip too:


Add the cold leftover channa (cilantro and all) to a food processor, add 1/2 cup olive oil and pulse to a finish. Transfer to a dip and chip bowl and serve.


Stay connected with each other, and come on by for all kinds of good stuff for the mind, body and soul. Catch me on instagram @sam_b_mcleod .

Thanks to Samco printers for the wonderful print and design work we collaborate on.



Samantha McLeod

Vancouver based food and travel writer.

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