Created by a Trinidadian family of Indian descent in the 1930s, this popular breakfast food of curried chickpeas served between two pieces of fried dough is also a late-night favorite after a good lime, the Trini term for hanging out. It is often mistakenly thought that doubles are the Trinidadian version of channa bhatura or chole bhatura, but they're more likely related to a type of vada or flatbread served with spiced beans. It's common to northern India, from where many indentured Indian laborers traveled to Trinidad. The original dough for doubles was made entirely of besan, or chickpea flour, but was eventually adapted to wheat flour; here we use a combination of the two.

EatingWell Magazine, March 2022


Credit: Penny De Los Santos

Recipe Summary

45 mins
1 hr 45 mins


Tamarind Sauce
Cucumber Chutney


Instructions Checklist
  • To prepare dough: Combine 1/3 cup lukewarm water, yeast and granulated sugar in a small bowl. Set aside until the mixture bubbles, 1 to 2 minutes.

  • Whisk all-purpose flour, chickpea flour, turmeric, 1/2 teaspoon each cumin, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Stir in the yeast mixture. Add more lukewarm water as needed, about 1/2 cup, until the mixture comes together into a slightly firm dough. Knead by hand, or with a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, until smooth and elastic, 2 to 3 minutes. Drizzle the dough with 1 tablespoon oil and turn to coat. Cover with a damp kitchen towel and set in a warm place to rise until doubled in size, about 1 hour.

  • Meanwhile, prepare filling: Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add curry powder, 1/2 teaspoon cumin and coriander. Cook, stirring, for 30 seconds. Add chickpeas, 1 1/4 cups water and pepper and bring to a simmer. Cover and cook until the chickpeas are tender, about 30 minutes. Stir in 1/2 teaspoon salt and set aside.

  • While the chickpeas cook, prepare tamarind sauce: Combine hot water, tamarind concentrate, brown sugar, cumin, garlic powder, fennel and salt in a small saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium heat and cook until reduced by half, about 10 minutes. Set aside to cool.

  • To prepare cucumber chutney: Trim cucumber and grate on the large holes of box grater to get 2 1/2 cups. Combine the cucumber, garlic, culantro (or cilantro) and salt in a small bowl. Set aside.

  • To fry dough: Punch down the dough and let it sit for 10 minutes. With oiled hands, pinch off 16 walnut-size pieces of dough and flatten each into a circle about 4 inches in diameter.

  • Heat the remaining 2 cups oil in a deep skillet, wok or medium saucepan over medium-high heat until it reaches 350°F. (If you don't have a thermometer, test the temperature by sprinkling a bit of flour into the oil. If the flour bubbles and sizzles, it's ready.) Working in batches, add the dough circles and fry, flipping once, until lightly browned on both sides, about 40 seconds per side. Transfer with a slotted spoon to a wire rack set over a baking sheet or to a paper-towel-lined plate. Cover loosely with foil to keep warm.

  • To assemble doubles: Place a heaping 1/4 cup chickpea filling on a piece of fried dough. Top with about 3 tablespoons cucumber chutney and 1 tablespoon each tamarind sauce and Kuchela. Top with another piece of fried dough.

To make ahead:

Refrigerate tamarind sauce (Step 4) for up to 1 week.


Much stronger than cilantro (a cousin), culantro is a long-leafed herb that's widely used in Latin American, Southeast Asian and Caribbean cooking. Buy it fresh at international markets or dried online.

Associated Recipe:

Nutrition Facts

1 double
364 calories; protein 10g; carbohydrates 47g; dietary fiber 7g; sugars 9g; added sugar 2g; fat 16g; saturated fat 1g; sodium 321mg; potassium 386mg.