'Kala Chana' Salad or the Indian Chickpea Salad with Ginger Lime Dressing

Its pretty unusual, that I make something and it goes the on the blog the very same day, especially when here are quite a few post in the Drafts folder, desperately waiting to see the light of he day. 

Weekday lunch mostly mean previous night's leftover for me. When there are no leftovers, I toss up an easy salad. This 'Kala Chana' or the Indian Chickpea salad features pretty often. Its filling, easy, earthy, fuss free, nutritious, delicious and me and Sam simply love it. This can be made with the Kabuli Chana (Garbanzo/ Chickpea) too, but I find the earthiness of the Kala Chana (Indian Chickpea/ Brown Chickpea) a lot more enticing.

Cucumbers, onion, tomatoes and green chilies with a squeeze of lemon juice is a "Classic Salad" as far as I am concerned. I am quite good at tossing up pretty neat gourmet salad. I'll give that to myself, but the word 'SALAD' brings up the image of cucumbers, red onions and tomatoes cut into perfect rounds, sprinkled with rock salt and lemon juice. That's the salad I grew up eating with my 'dal-bhaat'.

Kala Chana or the Indian Chickpea are smaller and darker than the Garbanzo Beans/ Chickpeas. They are also firmer and nuttier in comparison. Not to mention earthier.

Ginger and Kala Chana are soul mates! Especially when it comes to this salad. Mom usually added finely chopped ginger to the salad. Sam however, is not too fond of biting into those tiny ginger pieces. Hence I grate a little ginger and add its juice along with a generous squeeze of lemon/lime juice. That becomes the 'dressing' for the salad.

This is a very versatile salad. I love making it for my lunch. Its Sam's favorite pre-workout snack. They can become an innovative and healthy appetizer when served in Tostitos Scoops, topped with Coriander chutney.

Recipe Snapshot: 'Kala Chana' Salad or the Indian Chickpea Salad with Ginger - Lime Dressing

Serves: 2 serving
(1 serving = 1/2 cup)

What I used:
Cooked Indian / Brown Chickpea (Kala Chana) - 1 cup
Cucumber (preferably English Cucumber) - 1, chopped into cubes
Tomato (very firm but ripe and juicy) - 1, cubed (Grape/Cherry tomatoes would work very well too)
Red Onion - 1, finely chopped
Green Chilies - 3-4, thinly sliced (or as per heat tolerance)
Ginger Juice - 1 tsp (grate one 1" piece and squeeze out the juice)
Lime/lemon Juice - juice of half a lime or lemon
Rock Salt - ½ tsp
Roasted Cumin Powder -  ½ tsp (Use more if you like stronger cumin flavor. I prefer subtle hint of roasted cumin)

What I did:
1. To cook the Indian chickpeas, soak about 3/4 cup of dry Indian chickpea, overnight. They would plump up to one cup next morning. Cook in a pressure cooker for 1 whistle or pot for 30 mins until done. Indian chickpea will remain firm even when overcooked.

2. Combine the chickpea, cucumber, onion, tomato and green chilies.

3. Squeeze the juice of half a lime or lemon. Add ginger juice,  rock salt and roasted cumin powder.

4. Mix well and serve.

Tip: Boiled Potatoes, Peanut, Fried Noodles, Bell Peppers Shredded Coconut and herbs like Cilantro and Parsley can be added for variations.

Diabetic Platter:
A cup of boiled Kala Chana contains 269 calories. 1 cup of Kala Chana contains 15 grams of protein, 45 grams of total carbohydrates, including just 8 grams of natural sugars. Each cup of Kala Chana  provides 13 grams of dietary fiber and 14 percent of the daily value of Potassium and less than 1 percent of the daily value of sodium. Its also an excellent source of Iron, Calcium and Folate. 



  1. Vibrant and mouthwatering to look at kala chana. Wonderful pice as well. Could have it for lunch without any other dishes.

    1. Deepa... my very frequent lunch... Its so filling that you actually do not require a side dish.

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