One loaded kala chana chaat coming at ya! A popular South Asian street food, here kala chana, aka black chickpeas, are tossed in a delicious blend of Indian spices, citrus fruit, and fresh herbs to create a simple, irresistible chickpea salad. This quick 30-minute recipe is perfect for a healthy, high-protein nutrient-packed breakfast, lunch, or anytime really! Vegan and gluten free.

Two bowls of salad with chopped peppers, orange cubes, onion and herbs topped with a brown sauce placed on a wooden board.

If you’re looking for a hearty, filling salad to delight your taste buds, you’ve come to the right spot. Because it’s my edible rainbow!

This black chickpea salad is brimming with nutritious ingredients and the most delicious zesty tamarind chutney to tie it all together! It’s my breakfast of choice and perfect as a post-workout snack.

As a registered dietitian and certified diabetes educator, I’m pleased to report that this black chickpea recipe has been carefully crafted with a blend of plant-based protein and fresh veggies. It’s a nutritious, fibre-rich recipe perfect for the whole family. I love to prepare it alongside my Indian vegetable curry recipe. And, like this healthy chaat salad recipe, it’s just as delectable.

Legumes, such as chickpeas make a great addition to curries, stews, dips, salads, casseroles, and so much more!

Chickpeas vs. black chickpeas

Chickpeas (or garbanzo beans) and black chickpeas (also known as kala chana or Bengal gram) are both members of the legume family.

Chickpeas are known as “chole” in India and Pakistan.

Overhead shot of two bowls of black chickpeas salad with orange cubes, peppers, potatoes and onion placed on a wooden board.

Kala chana or black chickpeas are smaller than the regular garbanzo beans. They have a more intense flavour and firmer texture that includes the skin.

If you like hummus, then kala chana is your new BFF because it can be used as an alternative to regular chickpeas.

Black chickpeas have a sturdy texture with a nutty flavour and a slight hint of bitterness. But the key difference between kala chana and regular garbanzo beans is that dry kala chana takes a bit longer to cook. However, the pressure cooker does a fine job of cooking kala chana rather quickly.

Commonly from India, black chickpeas are sun-dried until they turn a deep rust colour. In contrast, regular chickpeas are harvested before they dry out and turn light brown.

Ingredients

Here’s a snapshot of the main ingredients you need to make this quick kala chana chaat:

nine bowls of ingredients including black chickpeas, chopped peppers, orange cubes, chopped onions, cubes of potatoes, fresh herbs, chopped chillies and fresh herbs.
  • Black chickpeas: I prefer to cook with black dried chickpeas that have been soaked overnight. This shortens the cooking time.
  • Potatoes: You may use any potato, but golden potatoes work best in this recipe.
  • Bell pepper: For extra crunch, flavour, and colour. Remember to cut the pepper into small, mouth-friendly pieces.
  • Onion: I prefer using white onion, but red onion works just as well. If you don’t care for raw onions, you may substitute them with green onions or omit them altogether.
  • Cilantro: Provides a pleasant twist of taste and colour. Try to use fresh leaves, if possible. You could also substitute with fresh parsley.
  • Mint: A fragrant, flavorful herb that works its charm in this recipe. Simply chop it as finely as possible.
  • Lemon juice: For a little zingy flavour that pairs perfectly with the tamarind chutney.
  • Green chillies: Add a nice bit of heat to the salad. You can omit them if you’re not a fan of spicy food.
  • Cumin powder: Adds a touch of warmth and earthiness to the chaat salad.
  • Chaat masala: This is a combination of spices that is often used in Indian street food. It may be purchased at your local Indian or Pakistani grocery store, or from any major supermarket’s international aisle. If you can’t find chaat masala, you may substitute it with a mix of cumin powder, coriander powder, and paprika.
  • Mango powder: This is a souring agent that is used in many Indian dishes. If you can’t find it, chaat masala will do.
  • Orange: To add a nice sweetness and juiciness to the salad.
  • Salt: To taste.
  • Tamarind paste: This is used to create the chutney to top the chickpea salad. It’s a necessary condiment for kala chana chaat and can be found in most Indian grocery stores. It’s sweet, sour, and slightly sticky.

Instructions

  1. Soak the dried kala chana (black chickpeas) overnight (Step 1)
  2. When you’re ready to cook the chickpeas, drain the water and add the chickpeas to an Instant Pot with 2 cups of water. Cook for 10 minutes (Step 2). If using a pressure cooker, cook the chickpeas with 8 cups of water for 10 minutes (3 whistles) or until cooked.
  3. Then, in a medium saucepan, cook the potatoes with 5 cups of water for 10 minutes or until soft (Step 3). They should not be overly soft, or they will turn to mush.
  4. Now it’s time to assemble all the ingredients for the salad. To a large bowl, add the drained cooked chickpeas along with the remaining ingredients – except the potatoes and orange segments (Steps 4-5). At this point, you want to mix all of the ingredients before adding the cooked potatoes and orange segments. That way, you’re less likely to have your potatoes break apart as a result of combining them. Plus, the orange segments preserve their shape and retain their juice.
  5. Finish the salad by adding the potatoes and orange chunks and toss again gently to mix (Step 6).
  6. To top your kala chana salad, make the tamarind chutney (Step 7).
Two bowls of salad with chopped peppers, onion and herbs topped with a brown sauce placed on a wooden board.

How to make tamarind (imli) chutney

In terms of amounts, it really depends on how much you like to douse your chana chaat with chutney. I keep it rough and rustic, and simply make it fresh every time we serve this chana chaat salad – it only takes a minute! Plus, we prefer our chutney to be nice and thick. Here’s how to make it:

  1. Place tamarind paste into a small blender with water and blend until thick and delicious!
  2. Transfer to a small bowl and add to the chana chaat salad. Toss to mix and enjoy!

You can find the complete ingredient list, along with detailed instructions in the recipe card below.

Tips & substitutions

  • If you’re looking for a little more protein in your kala chana chaat, then top with some roasted peanuts or hemp seeds.
  • To give kala chana chaat added heat, add additional green chillies.
  • For a sweet boost, drizzle the chaat with a dash of maple syrup before topping it with the tamarind chutney.
  • I like to serve the kala chana chaat over chopped romaine lettuce for some added crunch. Plus, it helps check off my daily dose of greens when I’m reaching for seconds!
  • Despite the fact that I adore black chickpeas, you may also use conventional ones in this dish.
  • To prevent a mushy salad, don’t overcook the potatoes and black chickpeas.
  • This salad is versatile and a great way to use up other leftover veggies such as cooked zucchini and eggplant.
  • You can serve this chickpeas salad hot or cold.

Storage

You may store this kala chana chaat in an airtight container in the fridge for up to three days.

Nutrition information per serving

This recipe has an impressive nutrition profile. Following is the nutrition information for one serving of kala chana chaat:

  • 19 g of protein (high-protein)
  • Reduced in total fat and low in saturated fat
  • An excellent source of fibre
  • An excellent source of iron
  • An excellent source of vitamin C
  • An excellent source of vitamin A
  • An excellent source of calcium
  • An excellent source of potassium

*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet

Are chickpeas good for you?

There is considerable evidence that eating diets high in fibre reduce the risk of heart disease, diabetes, and some types of cancer. A high-fibre diet also helps to improve gut health.

Chickpeas, in general, are great for heart health. They’re low in total and saturated fat and high in heart-healthy monounsaturated fatty acids. In addition to dietary fibre, potassium, B vitamins, iron, magnesium, and selenium (which are all present in chickpeas) support heart health.

Overhead shot of two bowls of black chickpeas salad with orange cubes, peppers, potatoes and onion placed on a wooden board. Surrounded by a bunch of fresh herbs, orange halves, and a small bowl of brown sauce.

Kala chana nutrition & health benefits

Kala chana, like regular chickpeas, offer a powerhouse of nutrients. They are naturally high in fibre and protein and low in fat. They also boast a low glycemic index, which helps to maintain steady blood sugar levels. This is especially significant for folks wanting to avoid type 2 diabetes complications.

What is the glycemic index? The glycemic index (GI) measures how quickly a food raises blood sugar levels. Foods with a low GI rating are beneficial for people with diabetes and those trying to lose weight because they help keep blood sugar levels stable. Kala chana has a low GI rating, so it’s a good choice for people who want to maintain healthy blood sugar levels.

Chickpeas vs black chickpeas nutrition

Black chickpeas have a lower calorie, carbohydrate, and fat content than ordinary chickpeas. The two are comparable in terms of protein and salt.

In general, black chickpeas offer significantly more fibre and micronutrients than regular chickpeas; they contain greater amounts of calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, and zinc. More manganese can be found in regular chickpeas than in kala chana.

The following is the nutrition information for black chickpeas, as well as a side-by-side comparison with regular chickpeas.


Black chickpeas (kala chana)*Regular chickpeas**
Energy363 kcal378 kcal
Protein20 g20.5 g
Fat5.7 g6 g
Carbs60 g63 g
Fibre17.1 g12.2 g
Iron6.2 mg4.3 mg
Sodium23 mg24 mg
Phosphorus312 mg252 mg
Calcium202 mg57 mg
Magnesium154 mg79 mg
Manganese1.01 mg21.3 mg
Zinc3.3 mg2.8 mg
*Black chickpea values for phosphorous, calcium, magnesium, manganese and zinc are taken from Nutritive Value of Indian Foods, National Institute of Nutrition, India. **All other values for both types of chickpeas taken from Food Data Central, United States Department of Agriculture

Black chickpeas benefits

Chickpeas offer the following nutritional and health benefits:

  • Rich source of energy to support physical activity.
  • Source of protein that is easily absorbed by the body.
  • Promote bone health because kala chana contains high levels of calcium, magnesium, and manganese. These minerals are naturally present in kala chana or black chickpeas. Healthy bones require adequate stores of these nutrients to prevent osteoporosis.
  • Nutrients in black chickpeas help reduce LDL (bad) cholesterol levels while raising HDL (good) cholesterol levels.
  • Antioxidants that are known as polyphenols in kala chana protect cells from damage caused by free radicals. Free radicals can contribute to inflammation and lead to chronic conditions like heart disease, cancer, and diabetes.
  • Kala chana is also rich in iron – an essential nutrient that helps the body produce hemoglobin and transport oxygen throughout the body.
Desi~liciously Yours, Shahzadi

What’s your favourite way to snack?

If you try these vegan kala chana chaat recipe, I’d love to hear from you! Leave a comment, rate it, or share a photo and hashtag #desiliciousrd on Instagram. Can’t wait to see your photos.

RD Approved Badge - Immune Supporting
RD Approved Badge - Staying Power
two bowls of black chickpeas salad with potatoes, orange segments, onion and peppers.
5 stars (2 reviews)

Get the Recipe:

Quick Kala Chana Chaat (Black Chickpea Salad)

Prep Time: 15 mins
Cook Time: 15 mins
Total Time: 30 mins
Yield: 6 servings
One loaded kala chana chaat coming at ya! A popular South Asian street food, here kala chana, aka black chickpeas, are tossed in a delicious blend of Indian spices, citrus fruit, and fresh herbs to create a simple, irresistible chickpea salad. This quick 30-minute recipe is perfect for a healthy, high-protein nutrient-packed breakfast, lunch, or anytime really! Vegan and gluten free.

Ingredients
 

Kala chana chaat salad

  • 1 cup kala chana, dried, soaked overnight
  • 7 cups water, for boiling black chickpeas and potatoes
  • 2 potatoes, medium, diced into medium-sized chunks
  • 1 bell pepper, red, diced into in small cubes
  • 1 onion, medium, finely chopped
  • 1 cup mint leaves, fresh, washed, finely chopped
  • 1.5 cups coriander, fresh, washed finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp chaat masala
  • ½ tsp cumin powder
  • ½ tsp mango powder
  • lemons, fresh, juice
  • tsp salt, sea salt
  • 1 orange, medium sized, sliced into medium chunks
  • 2 green chillies, washed, finely chopped

Tamarind chutney (imli)

  • ¼ cup tamarind paste, no added sugar or salt
  • ½ cup water, adjust according to preferred consistency

Equipment

  • 1 Pressure cooker or Instant pot You could boil the black chickpeas on the stove as well.

Instructions
 

Kala chana chaat salad

  • Drain the soaked black chickpeas and cook in an Instant pot with 2 cups of water for 10 minutes
  • In a medium saucepan, add potatoes along with 5 cups of water and cook for 10 minutes. They should not be overly soft, or they will turn to mush
  • Now it's time to assemble all the ingredients for the salad. To a large bowl add the drained cooked chickpeas along with onion, pepper, green chillies, mint, coriander, chaat masala, cumin, mango powder, salt, and lemon juice. Toss to mix
  • Add cooked potatoes and orange chunks and gently mix to combine well. Set aside and make the tamarind (imli) chutney

Tamarind (imli) chutney

  • Place tamarind paste into a small blender with water and blend until thick and smooth
  • Transfer to a small bowl and use to drizzle over the chana chaat salad. Toss kala chana chaat and enjoy!

Notes

  • If you’re looking for a little more protein in your kala chana chaat, then top with some roasted peanuts or hemp seeds.
  • To give kala chana chaat added heat, add more green chillies.
  • For added sweetness, drizzle the chaat with maple syrup before topping it with the tamarind chutney.
  • I like to serve the kala chana chaat over chopped romaine lettuce for some added crunch. Plus, it helps check off my daily dose of greens when I’m reaching for seconds!
  • Despite the fact that I adore black chickpeas, you may also use conventional ones in this dish.
  • To prevent a mushy salad, don’t overcook the potatoes and black chickpeas.
  • This salad is versatile and a great way to use up other leftover veggies such as cooked zucchini and eggplant.
  • This salad may be served hot or cold.

Nutrition Information:

Calories: 333kcal (17%)Carbohydrates: 65g (22%)Protein: 19g (38%)Fat: 4g (6%)Saturated Fat: 1g (5%)Polyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 1gSodium: 785mg (33%)Potassium: 3135mg (90%)Fiber: 14g (56%)Sugar: 14g (16%)Vitamin A: 4456IU (89%)Vitamin C: 396mg (480%)Calcium: 793mg (79%)Iron: 27mg (150%)

Keep in mind that the nutritional values provided are approximations and suggestions. This nutrition facts table cannot account for your individual needs. Your body — including your hunger and satiety cues — change daily. It’s perfectly fine to eat more or less on different days. Instead of letting food guilt take over, consider mindful eating.

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Cuisine: Indian, pakistani
Course: Salad, Side, Snack
Did you make this recipe?Mention @desiliciousrd on Instagram or tag #desiliciousrd.
;