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Chana Chaat Recipe | Chickpea & Cucumber Salad

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 Salad in a white bowl.
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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.

Chopping onion

 

More salad recipes you might enjoy:

  1. Easy Asian Slaw made with cabbage and crunch ramen noodles
  2. A fresh Citrus Summer Slaw with almonds and raisins
  3. Try our Polish Cucumber Salad with yogurt and dill
Chopped chives in a measuring cup.
Sliced English cucumber.
Ingredients for salad in a white bowl.
Curry powder and oil in a cast iron skillet.
All of the ingredients for Chana Chaat.
Tina pouring dressing on salad in white bowl.
Chana Chaat Salad in a white bowl.
Chana Chaat Salad in a white bowl.

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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Chana Chaat Salad in a white bowl.

Chana Chaat Recipe | Chickpea & Cucumber Salad

Yield: 6 bowls
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 3 minutes
Total Time: 23 minutes

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!

Ingredients

  • 15 oz can of chickpeas, rinsed and dried
  • 1/2 cup of red onion, diced finely
  • 1 English cucumber, cut in half lengthwise and sliced into 1/4 inch slices
  • 1 cup fresh herbs, I used cilantro and watercress
  • 1/2 cup chives, sliced small (may use more red onion instead)
  • 3-4 Tbs fresh lime juice
  • 2 Tbs light brown sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 2 Tbs cooking oil
  • 2 tsp curry powder

Optional Garnish - any of the 3 below or skip all together

  • Raw ramen noodles, crushed
  • Fried wonton strips
  • Fried noodles

Instructions

  1. Mix first five ingredients in a large mixing bowl.
  2. In a small mixing bowl, add the next four ingredients.
  3. In a small pan, heat oil and curry powder over low-medium heat until the spices have warmed or 'bloomed' but do not cook long or it will burn.
  4. Scrape curry spice into the small mixing bowl and stir until curry powder has dissolved.
  5. Pour over the salad in large mixing bowl and toss.
  6. Garnish if desired with crunchy toppings.

Notes

  • For a creamy version, add 1/2 cup of yogurt.
  • Add tuna for a tuna salad and serve over spinach or other greens.
  • Serve with chutney and Naan.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1 cup
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 316Total Fat: 11gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 8mgSodium: 677mgCarbohydrates: 45gFiber: 7gSugar: 9gProtein: 10g

Did you make this recipe?

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Shona

Wednesday 4th of July 2018

Well, I discovered after reading that many people reviewing have not actually tried this recipe. I made this today for a party this evening. It is delicious. I used Penzey's Sweet Curry powder and added a little more lime juice. I bought eastern flat bread and can serve it as an appetizer or as a salad, I only used Cilantro. Very good recipe.

Matt Kearns

Sunday 29th of April 2018

What a colorful and healthy looking salad! I love chick peas and they are a great source of protein when you want a meatless meal. Well done!

Carol Borchardt

Sunday 29th of April 2018

I love this and I love your photos! Cucumbers are something we can actually grow in the South so we have an abundance and we're always looking for new recipes. Definitely going to try this!

Jessica (Swanky Recipes)

Sunday 29th of April 2018

I just love chickpea salads with a bunch of fresh vegetables. Living in New Orleans, our garden is blooming right now. We'll be adding this to our dinner menu this week!

Christine

Sunday 29th of April 2018

This looks so delicious! I've never made Chana Chaat before, but it looks amazing. Saving this for later!

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