A beautiful tangy salad inspired by Chaat – the famous street food of India, this Chickpea Chaat Salad has all of the delicious sweet, sour, salty and spicy flavours along with the freshness and crunch of salad veggies. A colourful, healthy and fun salad you can make in minutes!
A Salad Inspired By Chaat – The Famous Indian Street Food
Chickpea Chaat hails from the streets of India and is a popular street snack in the country. It is made of boiled chickpeas and potatoes mixed with crunchy salad veggies like onion and tomato, sweet date chutney, spicy chilli chutney and an assortment of herbs and toppings. My Chickpea Chaat Salad is inspired by that delicious dish. It is made with (almost) everyday ingredients, lots of fresh veggies and heaps of flavour. An Indian salsa of sorts, this salad despite being savoury and complex has a very fresh, almost palate-cleansing flavour.
It is as simple as dumping a can of chickpeas and some chopped veggies in a bowl, adding the dressing and mixing it all up. As is a tradition at Gujarati meals (my regional cuisine from India), kathol (which means pulses) is a huge part of every meal. It could be in any form – either a dal/curry, stir-fry or salad. This Chickpea Chaat or a version of it used to be at many of my meals growing up. I have taken that simple, humble, homestyle recipe and run with it; amping up the ingredients and creating an exciting explosion of flavours.
Having a chopped salad at every meal is another good habit mum cultivated early on. One that I try and stick to as much as possible. Often, it is as simple as chopping onion, tomato and cucumber – the glorious trifecta of all salsas. And at other times, I make this Mango Pico De Gallo or a chopped Kachumbar Raita or a hastily put together bowl of fresh seasonal ingredients chopped really fine. It always adds a zing and pep to all our meals.
- 1 X 400g canned chickpeas, rinsed and drained
- 1 red onion, peeled and finely diced
- 1 green capsicum, top and membranes removed, finely diced
- 1 cucumber, deseeded and finely diced
- 1 tomato, seed and pulp removed, finely diced
- 1 carrot, peeled and coarsely grated
- 1 tablespoon chopped red chilli (deseeded, less spicy variety)
- ½ cup fresh coriander leaves, chopped
- A handful of mint leaves
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1–2 teaspoons Sriracha or chilli sauce
- 3 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 large garlic clove, minced
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon chaat masala *
- 1 tablespoon coconut/rapadura sugar
- 1 teaspoon tamarind paste **
- ½ teaspoon crushed sea salt flakes
- ¼ cup peanuts, toasted and chopped
- Extra coriander leaves
- Lemon wedges
- Place chickpeas, onion, capsicum, cucumber, tomato, carrot, red chilli, coriander and mint in a large bowl. Toss and mix well.
- Prepare the dressing by mixing all ingredients for it in a small lidded glass jar or bowl.
- When ready to serve, add the dressing to the salad in the bowl. Toss and mix well to coat everything evenly with the dressing.
- Top with chopped peanuts and extra coriander. Serve with lemon wedges.
* Chaat Masala is a complex Indian spice mix most often used in street-style snacks. It has a salty and sour flavour. It can be substituted with dried mango powder (amchur). Both can be sourced from spice merchants or Indian grocery stores.
** Tamarind paste is available at Indian grocery stores or Indian sections at supermarkets. If you can’t find it, pomegranate molasses is a great alternative to add a similar sourness. You could also potentially substitute with store-bought mango chutney.