This delicious and healthy black chickpea or kala chana salad is bursting with fresh flavour. Perfect as a side and sufficiently satiating, it makes for a lovely snack or salad.
Black chickpeas are high in protein and fibre. I normally make a kala chana curry with them.
These are generally used after soaking overnight in water and then boiling them. Sometimes, I also sprout them to increase their nutrition.
These sprouted chana are then used in salad or curry after steaming them.
You may also like: cucumber and tomato salad, Avocado and cucumber salad, cucumber radish Summer salad, sprouted lentil salad, chickpea cucumber salad and cucumber radish salad.
What is Kala Chana?
Kala Chana is also known as black gram or black chickpeas. These are small and dark brown chickpeas. These are generally used after boiling them.
You can easily source them in Indian grocery stores as a dry legume. These are high in complex carbohydrates, protein and fibre.
Kala chana is high in nutrition as it packed with protein, fibre, Calcium, Iron and Magnesium along with complex carbohydrates with low glycemic index.
Kala Chana: These brown chickpeas are very handy to have boiled in the fridge. They can be quickly added to salads to up their nutrition quotient. Here I have used sprouted black chickpeas.
Tomato: Finely chopped tomatoes are used to add tang to the salad.
Cucumber: Cucumber is my favourite salad ingredient and lends a freshness to every salad.
Onion: For a little bite, half red onion is added to the salad.
Green chillies: Finely chopped green chillies or jalapeño is used for a hot bite to the salad. This is optional.
Chopped cilantro: For freshness and flavour, cilantro is added to the salad.
Lemon juice: Generous amount of lemon juice is added to enhance the taste of the salad.
Spices: I use cayenne, roasted cumin powder, Himalayan pink salt and chaat masala to the salad. You can skip any spice that you don’t like or can’t source. Plain salt and pepper also taste good in this salad.
How to Cook Kala Chana?
I soak 1 cup kala chana overnight in 3 cups water. They increase in size and soften. The water is then discarded.
This kala chana is then cooked in manual pressure cooker with 1.5 cups water and ½ tsp. salt for 4 -5 whistles till it is soft but not mushy. I let the pressure open naturally. Drain the water and use.
Don’t forget to use this cooking water in soups or curries, as it is very nutritious.
To cook kala chana in Instant pot, follow the same method of soaking it in water overnight.
Discard the soaking water. Add drained kala chana along with 2 cups water. Set IP at bean setting. Add ½ tsp. Salt, close the lid and cook on high pressure for 30 minutes.
Then let the pressure release naturally. It only takes about 20 minutes to do so. Use the kala chana in your recipe.
You can use boiled or canned white chickpeas or kidney beans in place of kala chana in the salad.
Any vegetables that are available can be used. Feel free to use chopped peppers, boiled corn, steamed broccoli in this salad.
Just lemon juice with spices is enough to season the salad but you can add extra virgin olive oil to the salad to make it more satiating and healthy.
Cooked quinoa or broken wheat can be added to the salad for a full meal with grains.
This salad is vegan, vegetarian and gluten free. It is also a handy and loved kala chana recipe.
Don’t add salt and chaat masala to the salad if you are planning to store it in the fridge.
Adding these will make the salad release salt from the veggies and hence will make it wet and unappetising.
You can store the prepared salad for upto a day in fridge and consume.
- This is a fresh salad and very satiating with plant based protein, carbohydrates and minerals.
- Add any other fresh veggies that you have with you like chopped peppers, chopped lettuce, boiled corn, steamed broccoli, avocados, steamed peas etc.
- You can use white chickpeas and kidney beans in place of brown chana. Yes, you can use them canned too.
- If you want your salad to be more fulling, add 1 tbsp. of extra virgin olive oil to it when serving. It enhances it with healthy fats.
- You can store the salad for up to a day in the fridge.
- Adjust seasonings as per taste. You may skip chillies if you don’t like heat.
Boil black chickpeas and keep aside. Here I had some sprouted black chickpeas that I have boiled and used.
Chop finely all the vegetables you are using: onion, cucumber, tomato, chillies and cilantro.
Take a large pan and add chickpeas along with the chopped veggies and mix well.
Now add the spice powders and salt and mix well.
Add lemon juice for taste. You may also add extra virgin olive oil if using here.
Mix well and serve cold. Your delicious and healthy kala chana salad or kala chana chaat is ready.
Here's the recipe card:
📖 Recipe Card
Kala Chana Salad | Black Chickpea Salad
- Instant Pot or Pressure Cooker
- 1 cup black chickpeas cooked or kala chana
- 1 cup cucumber chopped
- ½ red onion chopped
- 1 tomato chopped
- 2 Thai red chillies finely chopped or 1 jalapeño optional
- 2 tbsp. cilantro chopped
- 2 tsp. Lemon juice
- ½ tsp. Cayenne optional
- ½ tsp. Himalayan pink salt
- 1 tsp. Chaat masala
- Boil black chickpeas and keep aside. Here I had some sprouted black chickpeas that I have boiled and used. You may also use canned chickpeas after draining them.
- Chop finely all the vegetables you are using: onion, cucumber, tomato, chillies and cilantro.
- Take a large pan and add chickpeas along with the chopped veggies and mix well.
- Now add the spice powders and salt and mix well.
- Add lemon juice for taste. You may also add extra virgin olive oil if using here.
- Mix well and serve cold. Your delicious and healthy kala chana salad is ready. Enjoy.
2. Add any other fresh veggies that you have with you like chopped peppers, chopped lettuce, boiled corn, steamed broccoli, avocados, steamed peas etc.
3. You can use white chickpeas and kidney beans in place of brown chana. Yes, you can use them canned too.
4. If you want your salad to be more fulling, add 1 tbsp. of extra virgin olive oil to it when serving. It enhances it with healthy fats.
5. You can store the salad for up to a day in the fridge.
6. Adjust seasonings as per taste. You may skip chillies if you don’t like heat.
If you liked this recipe, I request you to leave a star * rating. Thanks.
I couldn't find brown chickpeas, but I used regular ones instead and it was delicious! Thank you for sharing.
Glad to hear you liked it, Lara.
I’m always looking for new salad recipes and this hit the mark! It was wonderful and tasted amazing thanks so much!,
I bought some chaat masala today and used it in this salad! We all really liked it and will make again soon. It's a great change from our usual salads!
The veggies in this are terrific! Lots of crunch, lots of flavor. Loved that it was delish AND good for me!
Karen Kelly says
I love trying new foods like these black chickpeas- I didn't even know they existed. This salad was delicious!
Sarah Walker Caron says
I am so excited for the new-to-me ingredient of Kala Chana. Question on them though: if you don't have a pressure cooker or InstaPot, is there another method for cooking them? Can't wait to try this!
You can do them on the stove top but just like any bean or legume, it will take about 30-45 minutes to cook.
I loved the spice in this salad! We are big fans of heat in my house so we definitely left in the chilis. Just delicious, thank you!
Im so glad I tried this recipe. It was so easy to make yet it was so satisfyingly delicious. Thank you.
This was super tasty! I couldn't find black chickpeas but I used canned ones and it was delicious. I'm going to have to stop by the Asian market and look for black one next time.
We don't have any place to buy black chickpeas but I used regular canned chickpeas and it was still a delicious salad! Thanks so much for the recipe.