This Indian Chickpea Salad is a delicious, flavorful 5-minute recipe that’s healthy and packed with fiber and protein. Perfect to make sandwiches or wrap or to serve as a side dish as a creamy alternative to pasta or potato salads.
Indian Chickpea Salad: Why you’re going to LOVE this creamy, spiced chickpea salad recipe
- Indian spices make this chickpea salad fragrant and flavorful.
- Protein-packed, this yummy recipe will keep you full all afternoon.
- It’s a versatile salad that can be served on its own as a side dish, scooped into sandwiches or wraps, or spooned onto a bed of greens as a healthy lunch.
Want to make a can of chickpeas to taste a whole lot better? Here’s what to add.
- Curry powder: I use the standard curry powder you get in typical North American grocery stores. You could also use a different Indian spice blend, like garam masala. Just start with a teaspoon and add more to taste. A bit of cumin powder is also nice.
- Lemon juice: lemon juice makes canned chickpeas taste better by adding a fresh, bright flavor. Lime juice is a great substitute.
- Mayo: this adds the classic creamy salad vibes, adding the fat it needs to carry the flavor for true deliciousness.
- Yogurt: this recipe stays light and protein-packed by using half plain, full-fat yogurt for half of the dressing. Creamy but not as rich as mayo.
- Cayenne: a pinch of red chili powder amps up the heat a touch and adds a great counterpoint to the creaminess.
- Crunchy veggies: some minced red onion adds punchy flavor and a bit of celery adds wonderful crunch. Finely-chopped cucumber and seeded tomatoes would also be delicious, or even shredded carrot. Add some minced green chilies for more heat.
How to Make Indian Chickpea Salad
Truly, this chickpea salad (also known as chana salad) recipe is SO easy to make, even with a 10-minute lunch break. Here’s what to do:
- First, drain canned chickpeas and add them to a bowl large enough to stir without spilling over.
- Next, chop the veggies and everything together. That’s it!
(Alternatively, you can make fresh chickpeas. My favorite way to do this is in an instant pot or stovetop pressure cooker – when you pressure cook them, it makes super tender chickpeas quickly and without soaking).
What to Serve This With
- Serve this Indian Chickpea Salad on its own as part of a larger spread for a potluck or BBQ
- Scoop it into a folded naan for a yummy naanwich. Delicious with some sliced avocado or avocado crema.
- Spoon it over soft white dinner rolls as a nod to the Indian street food called chana chaat (sprinkle it with a little chaat masala, bean sprouts and serve with tamarind chutney to take it further in that direction).
- Tuck it into a flour tortilla with lettuce or other vegetables and leftover rice for a super-filling wrap
- Pile it between slices of bread for an eggless “egg” salad sandwich
- Make it part of a grain bowl with quinoa, avocado, roasted sweet potato, mint leaves, sliced cucumbers and crumbled feta cheese
- Serve it over a bed of greens with cherry tomatoes, chopped nuts, and favorite chopped vegetables for a protein-rich full-meal salad
Make Indian Chickpea Salad Ahead
You can prepare this salad up 3-4 days in advance. I love to make a double batch and have it for several weekday lunches.
Store leftover chickpea salad in a sealed, airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days. I don’t recommend freezing it.
Onions, lemon, fresh herbs, and sliced chillies taste good and go well with chickpeas. With their earthy flavor and starchy texture, fresh, bright flavors and juicy, crunchy textures work really well for a balanced dish.
Other names for chickpeas include garbanzo beans, gram and chana.
Yes, canned chickpeas are fully cooked and can be eaten directly from the can.
No, canned chickpeas do not need to be rinsed. In fact there are many vegan recipes that call for the can’s liquid (called aquafaba).
Canned chickpeas are just as good for you as the dried kind you boil at home. Choose canned chickpeas without added preservatives.
Other Favorite Indian Recipes
My Indian husband works with me to create authentic, delicious Indian recipes. Here are a few more of my love-filled vegetarian creations I think you you’ll adore:
Creamy Indian Chickpea Salad
- 3 cups cooked canned or homemade chickpeas
- ½ cup mayo
- ½ cup full-fat yogurt
- 4 tsp curry powder
- ¼ tsp cayenne
- juice of 1/2 lemon
- ½ – 1 tsp kosher salt
- ¼ cup minced red onion or shallot
- Add chickpeas to a bowl with remaining ingredients (starting with 1/2 tsp of the salt) and stir to combine. Taste and add more salt as needed until the salad tastes vibrant.
- 3 cups of chickpeas is about 2 15-oz cans. Do not use unsalted chickpeas if possible, they always taste bland.
- The amount of salt needed will vary depending on how salty your chickpeas were so start with less and add more to taste.
- If you like more sauce, use 2 cups of chickpeas instead or add another spoonful of yogurt.
- Add 1/4 cup minced celery, 1 seeded and diced mini cucumber, and/or 1 small diced roma tomato (seeds and liquid discarded)
- Add 2 tbsp minced fresh cilantro or mint.
- Add some minced green chilies for more heat.
- For even more flavor, add a bit of cumin and/or black pepper.
Last Updated on August 30, 2023 by Jennifer Pallian BSc, RD