Chickpea Doubles with Tamarind and Scotch Bonnet Pepper Sauce


Traditional Trinidadian doubles are served open-faced and quickly wrapped in wax paper, letting the bara steam, and keeping the spicy filling piping hot. Try leftover tamarind sauce in margaritas, drizzled over fresh mangoes, or with roast pork.

Chickpea Doubles with Tamarind and Scotch Bonnet Pepper Sauce Recipe
Photo: Photo by Greg DuPree / Prop Styling by Christine Keely / Food Styling by Chelsea Zimmer
Active Time:
50 mins
Total Time:
2 hrs 10 mins



  • 1 1/4 cups warm water (100°F to 110°F)

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons granulated sugar

  • 2 teaspoons active dry yeast

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour (about 12 3/4 ounces), plus more 

  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt

  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric

  • Canola oil


  • 2 tablespoons canola oil

  • 1 medium yellow onion, thinly sliced

  • 6 medium garlic cloves, finely chopped

  • 1 fresh Scotch bonnet chile or habanero chile, stemmed, seeded if desired, and finely chopped

  • 2 (15-ounce) cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed

  • 2 cups chicken stock or lower-sodium chicken broth

  • 3 tablespoons Caribbean curry powder (such as mild Trinidad curry powder)

  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin

  • 1 teaspoon paprika

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

  • 1 chicken bouillon cube, crushed

  • 2 teaspoons fresh lime juice

  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus more to taste


  • 3/4 cup water

  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar

  • 1/4 cup tamarind paste (such as Neera’s)


  • 1/4 cup Scotch Bonnet Pepper Sauce, plus more to taste

  • 1/3 cup grated (on medium holes of a box grater) English cucumber

  • Chopped fresh cilantro, for serving


Make the bara

  1. Place 1 1/4 cups warm water, sugar, and yeast in bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment; stir mixture using a fork. Let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes. Stir together flour, salt, cumin, and turmeric in a separate medium bowl. With mixer running on medium-low speed, gradually add flour mixture to yeast mixture, beating until completely incorporated, about 2 minutes. Continue beating until dough is smooth and glossy but still sticky, about 5 minutes. Lightly grease a large bowl with oil; transfer dough to bowl, and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Let stand at warm room temperature (80°F to 85°F) until doubled in volume, 1 hour to 1 hour and 30 minutes.

Make the curried chickpeas

  1. Heat oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium. Add onion, garlic, and chile; cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is softened, about 10 minutes. Stir in chickpeas, stock, curry powder, cumin, paprika, nutmeg, and crushed bouillon cube; cook, stirring occasionally, until liquid is reduced to a syrupy consistency, 25 to 30 minutes. Stir in lime juice and salt. Reduce heat to low; cover to keep warm.

Make the tamarind sauce

  1. Stir together 3/4 cup water, sugar, and tamarind paste in a small saucepan; bring to a simmer over medium-low. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until sugar is dissolved, 4 to 6 minutes. Remove from heat; let cool completely, about 20 minutes.

  2. Pour oil to a depth of 1/2 inch in a 12-inch cast-iron skillet; heat over medium to 360°F. Turn bara dough out onto a lightly floured work surface, and divide evenly into 16 pieces (about 1 3/8 ounces each). Shape each dough piece into a ball; cover with a clean towel to prevent dough from drying out.

  3. Lightly dust 1 dough ball with flour; roll into a 5-inch round (about 1/8 inch thick); repeat with remaining dough balls, and cover with a clean towel. Carefully place 1 dough round in hot oil in skillet; fry until slightly puffed and edges look dry, about 10 seconds. Flip and fry until bara is just cooked through, about 20 seconds. Transfer to a baking sheet lined with paper towels to drain. Repeat process with remaining dough balls.

  4. For each serving, arrange 2 bara on a serving plate. Top each bara with 1/3 cup curried chickpeas, 1 1/2 teaspoons pepper sauce (or more to taste), 3/4 teaspoon tamarind sauce, and 2 teaspoons grated cucumber. Garnish with cilantro, and serve immediately. Reserve remaining tamarind sauce for another use.

Make Ahead

Tamarind sauce may be covered and stored in refrigerator up to 2 weeks. Curried chickpeas can be made up to 3 days in advance. Reheat with a splash of water to loosen.

Suggested Pairing

Crisp, straightforward Trinidadian beer.

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