All of us love to indulge in a nice fried snack almost every day knowing very well that it’s not the right thing to do. But then there is almost nothing which matches the satisfaction one gets after having those awesome french fries from Mc Donalds, hot “pakoda’s” or that bag of Lays from your office pantry.
To overcome these fried and crunchy cravings we decided to go healthy and make a nice warm chickpea salad. I know it doesn’t sound half as appetizing as fried potato but when you make it this way I promise it won’t be all that bad. What is better is it is quick and easy to make and full of flavor (and did I mention healthy?)! The only prep you need to do is soak the chickpeas overnight and cook them (either in a pressure cooker or in a big pot of water on medium flame) them the next day. You can do this over the weekend and use these all through the week and make variations of the salad!
In fact I make this salad with Bengal Gram (kala chana) and Sweet Corn as well. The Bengal Gram needs to be soaked overnight and cooked (just like the chickpeas) but the sweet corn just needs a minute in the microwave with a little water right before you want to make your salad. For those who don’t want to go through the trouble of soaking and cooking- feel free to use canned chickpeas or Bengal gram (which are already cooked). Just ensure you drain the water and rinse them well with water to get rid of the excess salt.
So here is how I made three different salads with Chickpeas, Bengal Gram and Sweet Corn (of course on different days!):
- 3 cups cooked and drained chickpeas/ Bengal gram/ sweet corn (see the note below on how to get these done)
- 2 tablespoons (or lesser if you don’t like raw onions too much) finely chopped red or white onion
- 3 tablespoons finely chopped tomato
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped green onion (aka spring onion or scallion)
- 1 tablespoon of finely chopped coriander leaves and some more for garnish
- 1 teaspoon finely chopped mint leaves
- salt & pepper to taste (I usually eyeball the amount of salt and pepper I add and don’t really measure it, but for about 3 cups of chickpeas/ Bengal gram/ sweet corn you could start with about half a teaspoon of salt and then add more if needs be)
- a pinch of red chili powder
- 1/8th teaspoon of chaat masala (a tangy Indian spice mix available at any Indian grocery store)
- juice of one big lime
- Just bring together all the ingredients in a mixing/ serving bowl and garnish with fresh coriander leaves and enjoy- see that is how easy it is!
- You could obviously up the spice level by adding fresh green chilies and adding more pepper and red chili powder.
How to get your chickpeas/ Bengal gram ready:
1. Soak 1 cup of chickpeas in water overnight or for about 8 hours.
2. The next morning, drain the water and in a pressure cooker add about a cup and a half of water and the chickpeas and pressure cook for about 10-12 minutes (about 2 whistles)
3. Turn your burner off and let the steam come out naturally without removing the whistle. You could also cook the chickpeas in a big pot of water on medium heat until the chickpeas are Al Dente.
4. Once cooled you can drain any additional water remaining and your chick peas/ Bengal gram are ready for your scrumptious salad! Like I said, pressure cook the chickpeas/ Bengal gram on a weekend and have a snack every other day. In the coming days I will surely post another variation of this to add some variety!
Now that is hopefully not a boring snack and you’ll enjoy it as much as we did.