Doubles (Curry Chickpeas and Spicy Flat Bread)

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Doubles (Curry Chickpeas and Spicy Flatbread) are the most famous of Trinidad’s street snacks or sandwiches. Spicy chickpeas sandwiched between deliciously chewy flatbread epitomize Trinidad and Tobago street food culture. And it’s my favorite Caribbean street food – hands down.

Spicy, messy, and sensational, this recipe is not your everyday sandwich. I don’t use sensational lightly, but when I do, it has to count for something. This sandwich, my friend, is not your everyday fare.

Once you taste this soul-satisfying goodness, you’ll crave it ALL the time. Where delicious ends, this sandwich begins. What I’m trying to say is that it goes beyond delicious!!!

Yellow baras with curry chickpeas for doubles

Doubles: A One-of-a-Kind Treat

Why am I tempting you with so many pictures? Because I want you to try it. Doubles, in a nutshell, are curry chickpeas infused with aromatic spices sandwiched between two deep-fried, aromatic flatbreads (bara).

What makes it so amazing? Channa (curried chickpeas) creates the ideal filling between two bara (flatbread). Top it with optional hot sauce, grated cucumber, or chutney. The best part is you can customize them and make them as mild or spicy as your taste buds crave!

Recipe Ingredients

Here is my recreation of this sensational Trinidad sandwich with pantry staples. Loaded with tons of flavor but not too greasy. The wait is the hardest part.😉

  1. Homemade Flatbread Recipe – All-purpose flour is a traditional flatbread base. Cumin spices it up, and turmeric adds a gorgeous yellow. I prefer yeast flatbread, but for a quicker version, go with baking powder.
  2. Curry Spices – I used my channa aloo, chickpea curry, without the potatoes. Curry powder, onion, garlic, allspice, nutmeg, smoked paprika, thyme, cumin, and white pepper deliver the chickpeas’ signature flavor. A scotch bonnet pepper helps kick up the heat.
  3. Chickpeas – The base of the channa, chickpeas lend a nutty, slightly earthy flavor to the curry. Bouillon and broth
  4. Broth – Broth, water, or bouillon and water create a delectable sauce and more flavor.

How to Make Doubles

Make the flatbread dough

Flatbread (Bara)

  • Combine – In a large bowl, combine all-purpose flour, salt, sugar, cumin, turmeric, and yeast. Mix thoroughly. (Photo 1)
  • Make Dough – Add warm water a little at a time until you get the desired consistency – a soft, slightly sticky ball. If the dough is too sticky, oil your hands to prevent it from sticking. Knead for a minute or two. (Photo 2)
  • Rise – Place dough in an oiled bowl. Set it in a warm area and let it rise and double in size—1-2 hours. Then punch it down. (Photos 3-4)
  • Divide the dough into 18 or more medium-sized pieces. You can make them smaller for appetizers. (Photo 5)
  • Roll – Place each piece on a cutting board or palm of your hand. If the dough ball is too sticky, oil both sides. Roll out flat and set aside or place directly in the frying pan. Repeat with the remainder of the dough. (Photo 6)
  • Heat – In a large saucepan, heat oil over medium until the oil is about 350℉ (175℃).
  • Cook – Fry for about 30 seconds or less on each side. The bara should puff up. Take it out of the oil with a large spoon or something similar. Place them on paper towels right away to soak up the excess oil. (Photos 7-8))
  • Serve doubles by placing one bara on a plate, spooning one tablespoon of the chickpea filling on it, and topping desired condiments. Then top with another bara.
Divide the dough, roll it out, and fry it

Chickpea Curry (Channa)

  • Saute – While the bara dough rises, heat the oil in a large saucepan. Add onions, garlic, thyme, cumin, allspice, smoked paprika, nutmeg, and curry powder. Stir occasionally for 2-3 minutes until onions are translucent. Add a bit of stock or water if necessary to prevent burning.
  • Add – Next, add chickpeas, scotch bonnet, green onion, and broth. Bring to a boil and simmer until the sauce thickens (about 20 minutes). Throw in some parsley, and adjust salt and pepper to taste.
Assembling the flatbread and chickpeas for insanely delicious doubles

Recipe Variations

  1. Vegan – Replace the bouillon and broth with vegetable bouillon and broth for a filling vegan meal.
  2. Lemon – Top the doubles with a squeeze of lemon or lime juice.
  3. Open-Face – Although doubles use two flatbreads with the filling in the middle, you can top one bara for an open-face sandwich.
  4. Garnish – Optional toppings include chopped white onion, fresh cilantro, grated cucumber, pepper sauce, or green mango chutney.
  5. Meat Add-In – Add cooked chicken, duck, or shrimp for a complete meal.

Tips and Tricks

  1. Double dough should be soft and slightly sticky. If it’s too sticky, let it rest on the counter for about 10 minutes so it absorbs more water and is easier to handle.
  2. The flatbread fries quickly, so keep your eye on it while frying. If you prefer a more golden flatbread, fry it for 1-2 seconds more on each side.
  3. To get a beautiful golden-brown color on your flatbread, maintain a consistent oil temperature. You may need to lower the heat midway through cooking for the best results.

Make-Ahead Instructions

This recipe is a great make-ahead snack! You can make the bara dough the day before, allow it to rise on the counter for about an hour, and then refrigerate it. Then, remove it from the refrigerator and roll out the dough before frying.

You can also make the curry chickpeas ahead; it’s even tastier the next day. Prepare, refrigerate overnight, and reheat before serving. If they get a little dry while reheating, a splash of water or broth will fix it.

Serving and Storage Instructions

Soft bara is so good at room temperature, filled with warm chickpea curry, and topped with fresh condiments! To keep the flatbreads moist, line a pot or baking dish with paper towels and place the flatbreads inside while frying. Cover it with the lid while you finish frying the rest.

Store leftover flatbread and curry separately in the refrigerator for up to five days or freezer for 2-3 months.

Wrap the baras in a damp paper towel and microwave them for 15 seconds or warm them in the oven at 325℉ (160℃). The curry filling reheats fine in the microwave or stovetop.

Topping a doubles with your favorite condiments

What to Serve With Doubles

For a flavor-packed Caribbean spread, Jamaican beef patties, grilled jerk chicken tacos, and tropical guacamole are incredible. A glass of sorrel or mango lemonade is a refreshing drink.

More Tantalizing Curry Recipes to Try

  1. Ground Beef Curry
  2. Jamaican Curry Chicken
  3. Curry Beef Satay Skewers
  4. Lamb Curry Recipe
  5. Caribbean Curried Shrimp

Watch How to Make It

This blog post was originally published in April 2016 and has been updated with additional tips, new photos, and a video.

Doubles (Curry Chickpeas and Spicy Flatbread)

Doubles are the most famous of Trinidad’s street snacks or sandwiches. Spicy chickpeas sandwiched between deliciously chewy flatbread epitomize Trinidad and Tobago street food culture. And it’s my favorite Caribbean street food – hands down.