Indian Spiced Chickpea Salad

This Indian Spiced Chickpea Salad is a hearty and delicious side dish for chilly Fall days!

This Indian Spiced Chickpea Salad is a hearty and delicious side dish for chilly Fall days!*Beep* *Beep*  Ah, the 3:00pm alarm on my phone.  It’s not my reminder that the day is almost over.  Nor is it my reminder to go check on the cake in the oven.  Nope, it’s a text message from my wife.  Every day at 3:00 she texts me saying that she wants to eat her hand.  In fact, I caught her trying to sneak a bottle of BBQ sauce with her to work the other day…I suspect that she was actually going to slather it on her hand for her 3pm snack.

TextMy wife is due in just about 9 weeks now (9 weeks!?!), and she has literally been eating everything lately.  (Don’t worry, she approved this post!)  I get it though.  I mean, she’s got a baby in there who apparently is quite hungry.  Early on in her pregnancy, she craved watermelon.  I seriously think we ate a watermelon every.single.week for a couple of months there.  Now she just craves anything and everything.  In an effort to keep her from eating her hand, I set about creating this tasty Indian Spiced Chickpea Salad.

This Indian Spiced Chickpea Salad is a hearty and delicious side dish for chilly Fall days!The star ingredient in this salad is chana dal.  While chana dal looks like split peas, it’s actually more closely related to chickpeas.  Chana dal is a staple in Indian cooking, and it’s a great addition to soups, curries, salads and pilafs.  Plus, it cooks relatively quickly…always a bonus!

But more importantly, chana dal is packed with protein and iron.  That means it’s the perfect salad base for my pregnant (and very hungry) wife.  Cooked chana dal looks like corn, but it is definitely more bean-like in texture.  It’s slightly sweet with a noticeably earthy flavor…and it’s quite tasty!  Summers might get all of the credit with delicious pasta salads, but Fall is here.  And that means it’s time to give hearty bean salads some attention, too!

This Indian Spiced Chickpea Salad is a hearty and delicious side dish for chilly Fall days!My go-to source for chana dal (as well as other beans and rice) is Bob’s Red Mill.  If you’re familiar with Bob’s Red Mill, then you know they are an awesome company with a bunch of great products.  If you aren’t yet familiar with Bob’s Red Mill, then check out their website!

But back to this tasty Indian Spiced Chickpea Salad.  While the chana dal was cooking, I sauteed up a flavorful combination of curry leaves, cumin seeds, onion and jalapeno.  Add in fresh cilantro, tomatoes, a bit of chaat masala and some lime juice, and you’ve got one heck of a delicious bean salad.  (Curry leaves and chaat masala can be found in most Indian markets.)

This Indian Spiced Chickpea Salad is a hearty and delicious side dish for chilly Fall days!We actually ended up eating this salad for lunch, but it would make a great side dish for dinner as well.  While I normally serve it warm, we discovered that this salad tastes great chilled, too.  And thanks to the hearty chana dal, my phone stayed quiet at 3pm.  No *beep* *beep* for me today.

This Indian Spiced Chickpea Salad is a hearty and delicious side dish for chilly Fall days!Do you have a favorite Fall bean salad?

Have you ever contemplated eating your own hand?

Did you make this Indian Spiced Chickpea Salad at home?  Leave a comment.  Or snap a photo and tag me on Instagram (@Spicedblog)!  Cheers!

Looking for more tasty Indian-inspired recipes?  Check out these other favorites:

Chicken Tikka Masala
Masala Hummus Toast
Coconut Rice and Madras Lentils Burritos
Garam Masala Chicken Wraps

This Indian Spiced Chickpea Salad is a hearty and delicious side dish for chilly Fall days!

Indian Spiced Chickpea Salad

This Indian Spiced Chickpea Salad is a hearty and delicious side dish for any day of the year!
Print Pin Rate
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 8 servings
Calories: 194kcal


  • 2 cups chana dal beans
  • 5 cups water
  • 2 Tbsp canola oil
  • 15 minced curry leaves see note
  • ¼ tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 large red onion diced
  • 1 jalapeno ribs and seeds removed and diced
  • 2 medium tomatoes seeded and diced
  • 1/3 cup fresh cilantro minced
  • 1 tsp chaat masala see note
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 2 tsp lime juice


  • Sort and rinse chana dal; Place in a large pot and add water. Stir and bring mixture to a low boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook for 25 minutes, or until tender. (Note: If necessary, add a bit more water to keep beans covered while cooking.)
  • Drain and transfer chana dal into a large bowl; set aside.
  • Meanwhile, using a large skillet, add the oil, minced curry leaves and cumin seeds. Place over medium-high heat for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Add onion and jalapeno and cook for 2-3 more minutes, stirring occasionally, or until onion begins to soften slightly.
  • Transfer mixture into bowl with cooked chana dal. Add tomatoes, cilantro, chaat masala, salt and lime juice. Stir until well combined.
  • Optional: Garnish with additional minced cilantro before serving.


Both curry leaves and chaat masala can be found at most Indian markets.

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Bob’s Red Mill.
The opinions and recipe are all my own.  Thank you for supporting the brands that support Spiced!

 This Indian Spiced Chickpea Salad is a hearty and delicious side dish for chilly Fall days!

Spiced® is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associate Programs and other affiliate services. This means that receives a small commission by linking to and other sites at no cost to the readers.


  1. Hahaha Asheley went through a phase around the same time in her pregnancy where she was eating everything in sight. She too has a crazy affinity for BBQ sauce… I think our wives need to be friends! So pumped for you guys… you’re in the home stretch! Enjoy every minute. Have as many date nights as possible… because soon my man, it’s gonna get real! And this chickpea salad has a ton of big flavor… totally my style!

    1. Oh man, it’s definitely gettin’ real up in this house, Chris! We’re in teh home stretch for sure, and Laura has been nesting like it’s her job. I can’t tell you how many home projects we’ve done in the last several months! I mean, I like the projects and all…but it’s like over makeover overload here right now!

  2. I am a huge fan of chana dal and warm salads – and all those spices make this one heck of a recipe, David! My mom uses it often – she even makes her vada with it! Hey if only you could send this to Mrs. Spiced at 3 via drone delivery, she might not have to think of eating her hand!
    Though, now I feel like such a pig – Lil Shashi and I ate a watermelon a week for almost all of summer – and we are only 2 – not 3 like in y’alls case!
    Wow – 9 weeks??? I’m excited and nervous and happy all-together for y’all!

    1. How do you know I don’t already deliver Mrs. Spiced snacks via the 3pm drone? I mean, that’s why I can’t get them to you…my drone is actively engaged every afternoon on a very important mission! Dude…watermelon and pigging out just aren’t allowed to go in the same sentence together. Cake and pigging out? Yes. Cookies and pigging out? Yes. But watermelon and pigging out? No. Same as with lentil salad and pigging out? Grab a fork and munch away ’til your heart is happy! 🙂

  3. I love chana dal, it has the most fantastic texture ever and packs a serious flavor punch too. I love that you came up with this awesome recipe thinking about feeding your wife something delicious and nutritious too. That’s so cool

    1. I’m with ya, Mike…chana dal is the perfect base for salads! Hey, it was either come up with a fun snack for Laura, or watch her eat her hand. Plus, it gave me a perfect excuse to make a yummy chana dal salad!

  4. Okay this is crazy. Literally in the convo I sent to you, I mentioned cravings and wow. This knocks the mashed potato and gravy out of the ball park! I could actually eat my screen! Legit requesting this and apple waffles when I come visit…I’ll babysit in return.

    1. Hmmm…I’m literally imagining what it would look like if mashed potatoes and gravy were knocked out of the ball park. It doesn’t look good. But if you’ll babysit in return, then you can have anything. Seriously. You name it. It’s yours!

  5. David I bet you made her super happy with this delicious salad!! And I love this thing about lentils that they are affordable, super delish & can be cooked in so many ways. I love love your recipe! So creative 🙂

    1. I’m with ya, Ami! Lentils are such a versatile ingredient…and I feel like they often get overlooked. They were definitely the leader actor/actress in this salad though! Thank you!!

  6. Pasta salads? Just figured out I haven’t made any of them this summer. Again, shame on me. But I’m a huge fan of legumes and salads with them. And even though I am neither really pregnant nor hungry, I would definitely gobble up this salad in no time:) Well done, David!

    1. Shame on you, Ben! I bet a lavender pasta salad would have been so good. Oh well, there’s always next year, right? 🙂 Hey, I’m not pregnant and I gobbled up this salad, too…it’s totally allowed!

  7. David,
    I can totally relate to your wife wanting to eat her hand, hehehe 🙂 Love this chana dal salad, looks so yummy! keep the projects going there’s not much time left!

    1. Oh man, don’t encourage me to do more projects, Gaila! I was just starting to think most of them were done after last weekend. Don’t worry, though, we decided that our basement needs a second exit…so we’re having an egress installed down here. In like 2 weeks. Of course the right time to do this project would be less than 2 months until the baby arrives, right? 🙂

  8. So glad that I found your site! I’m drooling over your delicious recipes!
    Congrats on the new edition that you will soon welcome into your lives. My husband and I have 10 grown children and we are looking forward to the arrival of our 24th grand child in January. LOL, if only I had stopped wanting to “eat my hand” after my last pregnancy, I wouldn’t be in the shape I am today!

    1. Wow, you are too kind, Libby…thank you!! 10 children? Wowzers…that’s a lot! And to think we are worried about just one…haha! We have some friends visiting with their 11-month old son right now, and it’s just making me more and more excited to welcome our own in a few more weeks here. Thank you! 🙂

    1. Haha…Laura most definitely preferred this salad over her hand (even though BBQ sauce was not involved)! You’re right…I feel like it was just March or April. Where did the summer go??

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