Kala Chana Chaat (Black Chickpea Salad)

Chaats are basically street food. They normally contain a main ingredient with an assortment of vegetables and condiments – often spicy. There are numerous varieties of chaats available in India. No prizes for guessing that the main ingredient in this one is black chickpeas. It is very popular in many parts of the country. The recipe below, however, is not very spicy and can easily pass off as a salad. Or, it can be customised to an acceptable spice level. Not only does it taste delicious, but it is also packed with health.

Kala Chana Chaat

1/2 cup black chickpeas (kala chana, mookku kadalai)
1 onion, chopped fine
1 tomato, chopped fine
1 small raw mango, chopped fine (optional)
1-2 green chilis, chopped fine
1 tsp red chili powder
1 tsp chaat masala
1 tsp roasted cumin powder (jeera, jeeragam)
1 tsp dried mango powder (amchur)
3 tsp lemon juice
Black salt to taste
1 tbsp chopped coriander leaves
Soak the chickpeas overnight
Drain the water and add to a pressure cooker
Add enough water
Pressure cook for 6-7 minutes or till the chickpeas are done
Let the steam from the pressure cooker release naturally
Open the lid
If there is excess water, drain and keep the water as stock to be used in some other dish
Add all the ingredients, including the cooked chickpeas, to a large bowl
Mix well and taste to check if any ingredient/s need to be increased
Garnish with coriander leaves
Serve immediately or chilled

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