Packaged chickpea salad tastes perfect for a summer lunch
Chickpea salad makes the perfect weekday lunch. Satisfying textures, filling proteins and colorful combinations of vegetables to help you meet your daily quota. But when it comes to taste, that’s where summer meals tend to fall short. Let me tell you, this chickpea salad – with mint chutney – is possibly the most flavorful salad you’ll ever have.
Thanks to some fond memories from my mom’s kitchen and a flavorful trio of ingredients, your mind is blown. Growing up, every dinner was served with a serving of kachumber. Kachumber is a simple salad made from tomatoes, onions and cucumbers. Similar to the chopped salad, my mom would mix it with a squeeze of lemon and spice it up with some chaat masala.
Clear and fresh, my brother and I would dive into the giant bowl and gobble it up with our hands (between channa masala and palak paneer). And while it doesn’t cut it into a main meal, I’ve since made salad one of my go-tos for a quick and easy side dish with an array of flavors.
Tips for making this chickpea salad
Truth be told: On their own, chickpeas can be a bit bland. Although this salad requires minimal cooking time, I wanted to add more flavor by sautéing the chickpeas in the best seasoning mix.
If you’ve tried my recipes before, you know that I’m the poster kid for fresh spices and getting as much flavor out of them as I can. The simplest way to do that is to activate those seasonings with a little heat on the pan. Bake the spices in the pan until fragrant, then add the chickpeas and stir until coated. Taste, complete.
How to pack your mint chutney full of flavor
Every mother-in-law I know has her own mint chutney recipe — tastes and preferences are different, and everyone has their own (definite) opinion on which flavor should come out. presently. So take this as my permission to use this mint chutney I adapted from my mom as you see fit.
Ingredients needed: mint, cilantro, lemon or lime, hot pepper, onion and sugar. My mom is adamant about making sure all the flavors are balanced (which is key to making this chutney the star of the show). You won’t know what you need if you don’t taste it. I used a very spicy and slightly heavy-handed serrano with lime, balancing things out with a bit more sugar than I thought.
When you strike the right balance, your chutney will produce an amount of fresh and bright flavor that can’t be beat—it’s really next level. The chutney makes this salad so delicious, but it also goes well on a sandwich, mixed with yogurt and used for dipping, or dipping into chaat (my personal favorite).
Can I make this chickpea salad first?
Sure! In fact, I recommend making this salad about an hour in advance to let the flavors blend. Or, you can pre-cut all your veggies as part of your weekly meal prep and eat individual portion salads fresh to take away.
I hate raw onions. How can I reduce their taste?
If you don’t like eating raw onions, cut the onions in half and soak them in water for about an hour. This will help cut the raw purple onion.
How to Serve Your Chickpea Salad
I like to serve this salad with a serving of naan for dinner to make it a little more hearty. You can also serve this salad as a salsa inside a pita with fresh greens and/or your favorite protein. Sometimes I’ll add chopped avocado if I have some in the fridge, or with hummus to eat with pita chips. However you serve it, this chickpea salad will be a flavorful addition to the table.
This post was originally published in May 2017, and has since been updated.