Chanta Masala, Indian Chickpeas

Indian Chickpea salad… perfect for this weather and goes well with my wish of ” I am going to eat much healthier in 2013″.

I made this salad and took it to a friend dinner party, it proved very popular.  The recipe is from a book called Mighty Spice by J.G.Smith. I really enjoy just reading the book like a bed time read kind of thing as much cooking from it. The author has a memory for every dish in the book, it’s quite personal. The stories seem to be from far away lands, quite exotic, sometimes I wish they were my stories!

Here I leave you with his memory of Chanta Masala:

“For most people Delhi is a place to land and leave: it’s hot, busy and full on. However, my friend Ayesha for me to stay with her father in new Delhi and my experience was somewhat different. I was greeted at the airport by a smart driver with an even smarter Merc and driven to Ayesha’s family home- Fantastic! There were three chefs, and I spent every waking hour in the kitchen. The food was outstanding, and this chickpea dish is from there.”

New Dehi image taken from

New Dehi image taken from (If you are a food geek like me, probably will enjoy picturing yourself eating the food in where it comes from )

My Chanta Masala

My Chanta Masala

New Delhi pic taken from

New Delhi pic taken from

New Delhi pic taken from

Serves 4


  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp garam masala
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 green chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
  • 800g/1 lb 12oz tinned chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • juice of 1 lemon plus extra wedges to serve
  • 1/2 red onion, finely sliced
  • 1 handful coriander leaves
  • good-quality olive oil to serve


  1. Heat the vegetable oil in a large pan over a medium heat, then add the cumin seeds. Let them crackle for 10 seconds, then chuck in the salt, ground coriander, garam masala, black pepper and half the green chilli. Fry, stirring constantly, for a couple of seconds until fragrant.
  2. Add the chickpeas, lemon juice and about 250ml/9fl oz/ 1 cup freshly boiled water, which should be enough just to cover everything. Gently mash some of the chickpeas with the back of a spoon to help the sauce thicken. Turn the heat up to high, bring to the boil and cook, stirring occasionally ,  for 10 to 12 mins until the sauce has reduced right down and is very thick and just coating the chickpeas
  3. Throw in the onion, chopped coriander and the remaining green chilli. This will give the dish a lovely fresh flavour and raw crunch. Mix everything together, drizzle over some olive oil and serve with wedges of lemon to squeeze over.

Also very delicious served cold.

Thanks for looking and come back soon!  ( My next post will be when I am in Dubai about food and Bazaars over there!)


This entry was published on January 18, 2013 at 6:54 pm. It’s filed under All the Recipes jumbled up!, VEGETARIAN and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

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