Chana Chaat / Chickpea Salad

Chana Chaat, Chickpea Salad

Chana Chaat (Chickpea Salad) is a lip-smacking, tangy, savory and delightfully light salad that will forever change your perception of veggie salads as a boring, tasteless necessity on the dinner table. It is made of boiled chickpeas tossed together with veggies and flavorful Indian spices. Like yin and yang, the soft chickpeas balance perfectly against the peppy, punchy attributes of the other ingredients and spices; the contradictory interactions create a richness of texture and flavors that will knock your socks off with the first spoonful. Chana chaat can be served as a snack or as an appetizer, or even as a brunch dish or a party starter. To add to its versatility, this zesty dish can be served both warm & cold.

Chana Chaat is wonderfully quick and easy to make - so much so that boiling the chickpeas is the "hardest" step (& you can use canned chickpeas if you are feeling too lazy to do even that). Like all veggie salads, Chana Chaat is also super-nutritious and healthy - chickpeas are low in saturated fat, cholesterol and sodium, and are a great source of dietary fiber, protein and other minerals. You can also add crushed, crispy semolina wafers (Golgappa / papdi) to give a crunchy twist to this potpourri of flavors. Either way you like to serve it, this is one tangy dish that you would want to make again & again :)


Serves : 2-3

1 cup Dry Chickpeas / Garbanzo Beans (Kabuli Chana); See tip #1
1/2 cup finely chopped Onion
1/2 cup finely chopped Tomatoes
1 medium-size Potato (optional); peeled, boiled & cut into 1" cubes
1" fresh Ginger; peeled & julienned
2 Serrano Green Chillies or to taste (optional); destemmed & finely chopped
1 1/2 tsp Cumin Powder
1/2 tsp Cayenne pepper (Red Chilli Powder) or to taste
1 tsp Chaat Masala; available in Indian Grocery Stores
1 1/2 tbsp fresh Lemon Juice   
1/2 tsp Black Salt
Salt To taste
5-6 Pani Puri or Papdis (optional); crushed (available in Indian Grocery stores)
2 tbsp chopped fresh Cilantro (Coriander) leaves

How to make Chana Chaat / Chickpea Salad

  1. Soak the chickpeas overnight in 3 cups of water. Drain the water. Pressure cook the chickpeas with 3 cups of water & salt until the chickpeas are cooked but still have a bite to them.
  2. Drain the water from the chickpeas.
  3. In a large bowl, combine chickpeas, onion, potato, green chillies, cumin powder, cayenne pepper, chaat masala & black salt. Add lemon juice & tomatoes. Gently mix. Adjust seasoning as per taste.
  4. Transfer to a serving bowl. Sprinkle crushed papdis/puris (optional) over the Chickpeas. Garnish with ginger & cilantro leaves. Serve immediately.

  1. You can also use canned chickpeas, in which case skip step #1 mentioned above.
  2. Using potatoes is optional. If you are health-conscious, feel free to skip it (as I did!).


  1. A fav tea time snack of mine :) Yummy looking plate :)

    1. Thanks Chitz! They are my favorite too :)