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Indian Spiced Chickpea (Garbanzo) Salad with Yogurt, Lemon, Scallions, Mint, and Cilantro

Chickpea SaladWe’re celebrating the Three Year Anniversary of Weekend Herb Blogging this week, and you have until 10:00 P.M. on Friday to leave a comment voting for your favorite herb, favorite vegetable, or favorite fruit of 2008 for a chance to win some pretty fantastic prizes. Mean while I’m hosting the anniversary edition of WHB before I turn the event over to Haalo, who’s taking over as new Herb Goddess-in-Chief.) For the anniversary week people can blog about their favorite herb, favorite vegetable, or favorite fruit, so if you’d like to participate, here’s more about how to send an entry.

Since I named my own favorites as cilantro, chickpeas, and lemon, I was quite excited when I tried this recipe recently and realized it contained all three. Not only that, I got to use my new pressure cooker to cook the chickpeas (my first time using it, and I loved the results.) This is a slightly unusual recipe, but I loved the combination of Indian-spiced chickpeas, yogurt dressing, and plenty of chopped fresh cilantro and mint.

I soaked one cup of chickpeas overnight and then pressure-cooked them for 12 minutes to achieve chickpea perfection. You can also use two cans of well-rinsed chickpeas.

The first time I made this I used some old mustard seed that had been hanging out in the spice rack too long, so when I went to Boston I bought some fresh mustard seeds at a charming spot near Lydia’s house. Much better with fresh mustard seed.

Besides the mustard seed, the chickpeas are seasoned with a mixture of cumin seed, fennel seed, and crushed red pepper flakes. I ground them up a bit in the mortar and pestle.

You know how I never can seem to make recipes the way they’re written, so I also added the step of heating the chickpeas for a couple of minutes in the spicy oil.

Then when the chickpeas have cooled a little, they’re mixed with the yogurt, lemon juice, chopped mint, chopped cilantro, and green onions. Looks like I took the photo before I mixed in the green things, but you can see in the top photo what the finished product looked like.

Indian Spiced Chickpea Salad with Yogurt, Lemon, Scallions, Mint, and Cilantro
(Makes about 6 servings, adapted slightly from a recipe by Jerry Traunfield in Food and Wine.)

1 cup dried chickpeas, soaked and pressure-cooked (or use 2 cans chickpeas, rinsed well and drained)
2 T peanut oil (or other high smokepoint oil)
1 tsp. mustard seeds
1 tsp. cumin seeds
1 tsp. fennel seeds
1/4 tsp. Aleppo pepper (or use other dried red peppers)
3/4 cups plain yogurt (I used my favorite fat free Greek yogurt)
1 1/2 T fresh lemon juice
2 scallions (green onions) thinly sliced
1/4 – 1/2 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro
1/4 – 1/2 cup finely chopped fresh mint
salt to taste


If using dried chickpeas, soak overnight or for at least 6 hours. Drain and put in pressure cooker and cook until chickpeas are softened, about 12 minutes, then release pressure and drain well. (You can also cook chickpeas on top of the stove, or use 2 cans chickpeas, drained well and rinsed until no foam appears.) While chickpeas drain, measure out cumin seeds, fennel seeds, and red pepper flakes and combine, crushing slightly with mortar and pestle or heavy meat mallet if desired. Have a teaspoon ready to measure out mustard seeds.

After chickpeas are well-drained, heat oil in large heavy frying pan until shimmering. Add mustard seeds, cover pan, and cook until popping stops, about 1 minute. Remove lid and add cumin seed/fennel seed/red pepper mixture and cook, stirring for 30 seconds. (Be careful not to burn these aromatic ingredients. Lower heat and add chickpeas, then cook 3-4 minutes, stirring a few times so the chickpeas are well-coated with oil. Turn off heat and let chickpeas cool about 15 minutes.

While chickpeas cool, slice scallions, and finely chop mint and cilantro. Stir together yogurt and lemon juice in a medium-sized glass or plastic mixing bowl. When chickpeas are cooled nearly to room temperature, add them to yogurt mixture and stir to combine. Then gently fold in sliced scallions, chopped mint, and chopped cilantro. Season with salt, then let sit at least 15 minutes for flavors to combine. Serve salad at room temperature.

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South Beach Suggestions:

All the ingredients in this low-glycemic salad are great for any phase of the South Beach Diet. This would make a great side salad for grilled meat or fish, or it could be served as a main-dish salad for lunch.

More Great Salads with Chickpeas:
(Recipes from other blogs may not always be South Beach Diet friendly; check ingredients.)
Chickpea (Garbanzo Bean) Salad with Tomatoes, Olive, Basil, and Parsley)
Garbanzo Salad with Olives and Herbs
Tomato and Garbanzo Salad (all phases)
Garbanzo, Tomato, And Cilantro Salad with Lime and Chile Dressing (all phases)
Spinach Salad Recipe with Marinated Garbanzo Beans and Feta Cheese
Squash and Chickpea Salad from Mostly Eating
Warm Butternut and Chickpea Salad with Tahini from Orangette
Mediterranean Wheatberry Salad with Lentils and Chickpeas from Food Blogga
Radish, Cucumber, Onion, and Chickpea Salad from She Spills the Beans
Chickpea and Eggplant Salad with Fresh Tomatoes and Peppers from Lucullian Delights

Want even more recipes?
I find these recipes from other blogs using Food Blog Search.

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18 comments on “Indian Spiced Chickpea (Garbanzo) Salad with Yogurt, Lemon, Scallions, Mint, and Cilantro”

  1. Karlynn, hope you enjoy it even if the kids don't get too excited about it!

  2. Oh, now this looks good! Perhaps not for the kids, but the husband and I would love this.

  3. Jami, thanks for letting me know you liked it. Always love to hear that.

  4. YUM!!

    Made it tonight, it was soooo good!!

  5. Fabfrugalfood, so glad you liked it. I really liked the recipe when I made it too!

  6. Ok, I know this is an older post, but I came across it in a search and WOW. I made it today – and I now have a new favorite salad.


  7. Kalyn,

    Congratulations on celebrating your 3rd anniversary for WHB! That’s awesome!

  8. This sounds wonderful. I try to cook for my parents once a week or so and I like to make a big batch of something so they’ll have leftovers for lunch the next day or two. This seems as if it would be perfect. I’m going to make it for them in the next few weeks.

  9. Nice recipe, Kalyn. These days, with my limited time in the kitchen, I reach for canned chickpeas when I need them in a recipe. On seeing your home-cooked chickpeas done in that beautiful pressure cooker though, I’m thinking that I need to put one on my Christmas list. The pressure cooker. 🙂
    I’m sure having fun with this WHB! And I’ve got a post coming that I think you’ll enjoy.

  10. Kalyn, let us share more recipes of legumes. Glad to hear that you bought cute pressure cooker. Very east to cook legumes with it. I hope you’re happy with your new pressure cooker.

  11. Yes, Kalyn, this sald in india it’s called raita. Very healthy and time consuming if u cook in the pressure cooker. This is what I wrote in ‘Tell your Favourite Herbs’. It’s also my favourite dish with mint and cilantro. I am very sure that everyone will love this dish. I also post legumes in my blog. I am going to post legums with herbs for weekend herb blogging.

  12. Looks wonderful Kalyn. Very intersting use of Indian spices.

  13. Fabulous! I just love these kinds of recipe ideas for lunches to take to work – we always have yogurt in the fridge and we always have canned chickpeas in the cupboard

    p.s Happy Anniversary!

  14. I think I can try this. Just need to buy some yogurt and get myself some mustard seeds.

  15. This look so good. I love chickpeas.

  16. Kalyn this sounds wonderful because it combines so many of my favorite flavors!!

  17. This look so delicious-ly fresh!

  18. Oh yum!

    It is coming up to summer here in Australia and this will be perfect for a hot summer night with leftovers for lunch!

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