Mmmm chickpeas, garbanzo, channa, chole.. whatever you want to call them. They are the most delicious protein-packed little legumes money can buy. I love making vegetarian dishes with chickpeas because they’re delicious, filling, and satisfying. While I am not vegetarian, I could completely get behind a completely vegetarian diet if I only ate Indian food. There are so many fantastic indian dishes that involve legumes that you can eat meals full of flavor and protein and feel permanently satisfied. However, I have decided to not limit myself to one type of cuisine thus remain an omnivore4lyfe.
In India there are street vendors that sell various savory snacks referred to as Chaat. There’s no official rules for what chaat is or is not, but it typically includes some sort of chickpea or potato ingredient as well as fried dough. I haven’t been to India myself, so I really have no idea if this recipe is authentic, but it is extremely delicious and Dave and I were both devouring it for the last week.
This particular dish is “in the style of chaat” because there is no fried dough involved. It’s still pretty darn awesome, however. It is best served cold or at room temperature. It can be served as a main meal or as a side dish. I served it along side grilled swordfish and it was the perfect accompaniment. I imagine it would be great served alongside burgers, tandoori chicken, or kabobs as well.
The recipe calls for Chaat masala blend, which is a mixture of amchoor powder, cumin, coriander, and other spices. You can buy the spice blend online or at your local indian store. You can also make your own if you’re feeling ambitious. It gives the dish a nice tangy and spicy flavor that is very distinctive.
This salad will keep for several days in the refrigerator. It is probably best on day 2-3 because the flavors have had a chance to combine and the chickpeas are nicely marinated in the seasonings.
If you’re a fan of chickpeas you’re really going to like this one!
Indian Chaat Salad
- 5 cups cooked chickpeas
- 1 cucumber peeled and diced
- ½ onion diced
- For vinaigrette
- 1/3 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
- 1/3 cup vegetable oil
- ½ cup cilantro
- 1/8 large onion
- 1 garlic clove
- 3 teaspoon chaat masala powder
- 1-3 teaspoon kashmiri chili powder depending on your spiciness preference
- Combine all vinaigrette ingredients in a blender. Puree until very smooth.
- Combine chickpeas, diced onion, and diced cucumber in a large bowl. Pour dressing over salad ingredients. Mix well.
- Refrigerate for 1-2 hours before serving, or until flavors are well combined.