Trinidadian Doubles (Curried Chickpea Sandwiches)

I used to eat doubles or curried chickpea sandwiches (as the title states) regularly when I was living on St. Croix, but the dish is originally from the island of Trinidad. Doubles are seriously an explosion of incredible flavors that you won’t easily forget.  I truly crave doubles. And I’m not near a restaurant where I can get one (trust me, I would have happily left this up to the experts if I could have and purchased a few—but I don’t have that luxury). So I went digging and luckily found this recipe by SpiceBox Travels and I’ve made it 3x and it just gets better and better! I made very minor tweaks to her recipe.  But I highly recommend you try this, it’s so so good! And you will likely be craving doubles too! 

Trinidadian Doubles (Curried Chickpea Sandwiches) via SpiceBox Travels on Food52:


For the bara (flatbread):

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder (ideally Trinidadian) or ground turmeric–I use this
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon yeast
  • 1/3 cup warm water
  • 1/4 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 cup Canola oil (for frying)

For the curried chickpea filling:

  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 medium onion, minced
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder mixed with 1/4 cup water
  • 1 14-oz can chickpeas, drained and rinsed with cool water
  • 1 small-medium potato* (peeled, and diced)
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon Scotch bonnet or Habanero pepper sauce (optional)


For the bara (flatbread):

  1. In a large bowl, combine the flour, curry powder or turmeric, and cumin.
  2. In a separate small bowl, mix the yeast, sugar, and warm water. Set aside for about 5 minutes, until it foams.
  3. Add the yeast mixture to the spiced flour mixture and enough additional water to form a slightly firm dough. Cover with a damp cloth and place in a warm place to rise until doubled in volume, about 60 to 90 minutes. Meanwhile, prepare the chickpea filling (recipe follows).
  4. After the dough has risen, punch down and then allow to rest for 10 minutes. Then dampen hands with water or oil and pull off tablespoon sized pieces of dough and roll into 4 1/2 inch rounds. Repeat until you have used up all the dough and have an even number of rounds**
  5. Heat oil in a deep frying pan over medium high heat (should be about 3 inches deep). When oil is ready, fry the baras until puffed and golden, about 15 to 30 seconds on each side. Drain on paper towels or a wire rack.

For the curried chickpea (channa) filling:

  1. Warm a large frying pan or skillet, add oil, and warm until shimmery.
  2. Add garlic, onion, and the curry mixture and sauté for a few minutes.
  3. Add the drained chickpeas and cut potato, and stir to coat with the spice mixture and cook for another five minutes.
  4. Add cumin, salt, pepper, and 1 – 1.5 cups of water*** and stir. Then lower heat and simmer for 30 minutes, covered, until the chickpeas are very soft, and the potatoes are tender. There should still be sauce. If not, reconstitute with enough water to form a medium-thick sauce. Add pepper sauce and stir.
  5. Finally, assemble your doubles by placing one bara on a plate, spooning
    the chickpea filling on it and then place another bara on top.  Enjoy at once****! 


*can make between 6-8 bara/flatbread pieces depending on how wide and thin you roll them. 

**potato was not in original recipe.  I added it because I’ve always enjoyed curry flavoring with potato, and it works really well with other caribbean Indian dishes like roti.

***because of the potato, your water amount may vary…please be sure the water just covers up the potato.

****if you happen to have leftovers. – which would be surprising – but know that the bara/flatbread refrigerates really well and can be toasted the next day for leftovers.  and the chickpea filling is better the next day.  So this dish as a leftover is amazing.


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