Warm Chickpea Salad with Mango, Pomegranate and Chaat Masala
For some ingredients, I do a little happy dance every time we empty a container and put it to rest. White flour, please, I do not need you. Pasta, I loved you once before, but not now. Some ingredients just do not need to be replenished and those we celebrate empty containers!
Other foods have become staples. If we run out, I feel a bit antsy.
On the weekend, I inadvertently finished the last of our tamarind concentrate while making this salad. I also realized that we are awfully low on chickpea flour, due to Rob’s (healthy) weekend obsession with Besan Chilla. We also have no nondairy milk left.
These ingredients can be a challenge to find at reasonable prices, so I feel compelled to restock my pantry before we move. I know, terrible idea. We have hired movers, so it couldn’t be too bad, right? Actually, with my collection of beans and cookbooks, I am slightly worried that the 2 movers won’t be enough. Anyhow, before we move, I plan on fortifying our stocks. We will have tamarind and chickpea flour once again.
Now about this salad: It is a light yet hearty Indian-spiced chickpea salad from 1000 Indian Recipes that I first spotted on Lisa’s blog. Her high praise for 1000 Indian Recipes was one reason I picked it up, despite my embargo on new cookbooks. Lisa described this as a great salad for those not used to fiery hot dishes, which sounded right up my alley. Here, the chickpeas are mixed with sweet and creamy mangoes, sweet and sour tamarind, and tart and sweet pomegranate arils doused in a savoury dressing with ginger, tamarind and chaat masala. Cilantro, used both cooked and fresh, adds a brightness to the dish.
It was refreshing to break free of my typical Indian curries and savour such a nicely balanced salad.
2 cups cooked chickpeas
1 cup mango, peeled and chopped (I used one large Ataulfo mango)
1 cup cucumber, diced
1/2 cup scallions, chopped, white parts and some of the green parts
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped, divided
2 teaspoons chaat masala (store-bought or homemade), divided
1 tablespoon oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tbsp fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped
1 fresh green chilies, seeded and finely chopped
2 tablespoons ground coriander
1 tablespoon tamarind concentrate
dash of amchoor powder
1/4 cup water
1/2 cup pomegranate arils (half a large pomegranate)
1. Mix together the chickpeas, mango, cucumber, scallions, half of the cilantro and 1/2 tsp of the chaat masala.
2. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, heat the oil. Add the garlic, ginger, green chiles, stirring until golden, around 1 minute. Add the ground coriander, the remaining 1.5 tsp chaat masala, the remaining 1/4 cup cilantro and stir for about 30 seconds.
3. Add the chickpeas, water, tamarind and amchoor, and cook, stirring as necessary until the juices have partly evaporated, around 3-5 minutes. You don’t want to evaporate too much because this will become your dressing.
4. Remove the chickpea mixture from the heat and allow to cool slightly. Once cooled, gently toss with the mango mixture. Gently stir in half of the pomegranate arils. Sprinkle the remaining pomegranate seeds overtop. Serve at warm, room temperature or chilled.