Chana Chaat, a Chickpea & Cucumber Salad where contrast is key. This Chana Chaat inspired recipe is turned into a robust and fresh salad with English cucumbers, chickpeas and fresh herbs kissed with a curry, brown sugar and lime juice vinaigrette. Make this for dinner tonight!
Chana Chaat is a chickpea salad that is popular among street cart vendors all over India. It is either a quick snack, spicy side dish or vegetarian meal. I think the original version is much hotter than this one. A lot of chaat recipes include sliced fresh hot peppers. The heat from this one comes from curry powder.
The one I am making today is inspired by my recent issue of Milk Street magazine. I liked how they turned a mysterious dish into something with mostly easy to find ingredients in a conventional supermarket.
There is always a tinge of guilt whenever I share a recipe that has you trekking all over the city looking for that ‘one’ ingredient. Although with the internet you can easily get most of these ingredients delivered to your door.
I took the original recipe and increased the cucumber ratio because I’m really looking to include more veggies in my diet, and substituted the tamarind chutney, a specialized ingredient, and increased the brown sugar and lime juice ratio. I’ve got your back.
If you love cucumbers as much as I do, try these light Cucumber Sandwiches for your workday lunch. Enough to satisfy without making you fall asleep at your desk.
If you decide to make your own tamarind chutney, you can learn how to make tamarind paste here.
There are Chana Chaat suggestions below if you want to add more authentic ingredients. For now, it’s the spicy, robust chickpea cucumber salad that would be great on it’s own or with Texas BBQ.
For a creamy version, add 1/2 cup of plain greek style yogurt.
Another variation is to add a can of tuna to this and make a spicy tuna salad. Serve it over greens and everyone wins.
More salad recipes you might enjoy:
- Easy Asian Slaw made with cabbage and crunch ramen noodles
- A fresh Citrus Summer Slaw with almonds and raisins
- Try our Polish Cucumber Salad with yogurt and dill
Other traditional ingredients for Chana Chaat
- Replace curry powder with Chaat Shan Chaat Masala Seasoning
- Add chilies, tomatoes, potatoes
- Small crunchy uncooked noodles as a crunchy garnish
CONFUSED ABOUT THE DIFFERENT CHILI POWDERS? I’ve got the details in my article What is Chili Powder?
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