Sindhi Chana Chaat – Chola or Chickpea salad spiced up and healthy

Chickpea salad


A little while ago, when my parents were visiting, I had a get together at my home back in California where I invited a close group of friends. My parents were happy meeting everyone, and as it often happens, they tried to match the couples with each other, figuring out who was whose spouse so that they didn’t make any mistakes – like making Mrs smith the wife of Mr John.

After everyone left, I heard my parents arguing. “No, he was by himself.’ ‘No!” my Mom contended,” I met the wife, she was there.”


Chickpea salad


Finally they turned to me to solve the problem. My dad was confident. ‘The only person who didn’t come with his wife was the tall gentleman with salt and pepper hair, right?”

Confused, I said, ‘No, his wife did come’.

“Then how come I didn’t meet her, it was a small group and I met everyone, including his daughter, the pretty little girl. So how did I miss her?”

Perplexed, I looked at him, ‘but Dad, his daughter didn’t come, he came with his wife…” and then it dawned.

The thing is, my Dad had heard a lot about this couple from us, both doctors. He was looking forward to meet them, so was highly disappointed when he only met the gentleman. And his daughter.

Horrified, I looked at him and said, ‘Dad, that was his wife! And she is ONLY two years younger to him.’

They have a 15-year-old daughter, and both Mom and daughter do look twins. No kidding. And the fact that he has had salt and pepper hair since he was 20 something does not help matters. So my Dad could be forgiven for taking her for the daughter despite chatting with them for a good half an hour.


Sindhi Chola chaat


My friend’s husband, it seems, wasn’t surprised. You see, he knows this, and is quite proud of it. ‘I get best of the both worlds. I have a beautiful trophy wife, you know – that old guy with a young pretty thing on his arm when in reality  she is my partner of the best kind.’ They were medical college sweethearts and have been together for almost 20 years now.

We have been at the receiving end too. Once we went out on a girls night out, and ordered drinks. The waiter appeared and asked for her license. There were six of us, and she was the only one who didn’t drink. Yet she was the one singled out for the ‘honor’. While handing out her license, this petite, exceptionally beautiful lady added for a good measure, ‘Do you know I am oldest in this group?’ The attendant’s eyes widened while he looked sheepishly at us, and proceeded to ask the next one for her ID – who handed it and winked, ‘ you don’t really need to see this for us, right?’ His expressions were priceless, especially as the lady whose ID he now had in hand was at least 5 years younger to our forever 21 friend.


Sindhi chana chaat


She also makes this absolutely mouth-watering chick pea salad or chana chaat. It’s a Sindhi recipe and so delicious and fresh that you could finish a whole bowl by yourself and still yearn for more.The only thing I have added extra are the dried cranberries because I did not have enough pomegranate.


Chola/chana chaat

5.0 from 1 reviews
Chola Chaat - Chickpea salad spiced and healthy
  • Dry chick peas: 2 cups soaked overnight
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp salt and more to sprinkle
  • Cucumber : 1 cup finely diced
  • Red onions: 1 cup finely chopped
  • Tomatoes: ½ cup
  • Fresh pomegranate: ½ cup
  • Dried cranberries: ½ cup
  • Potatoes boiled, peeled and diced ½ cup (optional)
  • chat masala: 2 tbsp
  • garam masala powder : 1 tsp
  • red chili powder: 1 tsp
  • Fresh cumin roasted and ground: 1 tsp
  • Amchur powder : ½ tsp
  • Lemon juice : 2-3 tbsp
  • Tamarina sauce (Maggi tamarind sauce): ¼ cup,
  • Fresh green chilies: 1 tbsp
  • Fresh green coriander leaves chopped fine: ½ cup
  • Sev (bhujiya) or dried potato strings (see note): ¼ cup (optional)
  1. Boil chickpeas in 6 cups of water with 1 tsp salt and turmeric till soft.
  2. Drain and let it cool to room temperature.
  3. Add all the vegetables and fruits and mix well with a fork.
  4. Now add the spices.
Note: add salt and lemon juice according to taste
  1. Pour the Tamarina sauce and toss the chickpeas around well so that all the spices are nicely coated.
  2. Refrigerate for two hours.
  3. Garnish with fresh coriander and 'sev' and serve.
  1. # Aloo bhujiya or 'sev' is fried potato strings that look like little noodle pieces and are a very popular snack in India. This is added for crunch.
  2. # Making your own garam masala adds more punch. Roast 1" cinnamon, 3 green cardamoms, 1 clove, and ¼ tsp peppercorns, cool and grind to a fine powder.
  3. #Tamarina sauce is made of tamarind and is sweet and sour, so gives a tangy sweet and sour taste to the salad. It is easily available in Indian stores.

This is what ‘aloo-bhujiya’  looks like:

Aloo Bhujiya




Chana chaat


8 comments for “Sindhi Chana Chaat – Chola or Chickpea salad spiced up and healthy

  1. January 14, 2014 at 2:26 AM

    I am in awe of those women who have ageless beauty. There are only a few about but they are beautiful and usually in every way, from their mannerisms, their actions, their heart and sophistication oozes from every pore.

    I have been craving chaat for days now, I couldn’t believe it when this arrived in my inbox! Now, I want it even more, looks so good!
    Coffee and Crumpets recently posted..Spinach and Potato Curry | Palak AlooMy Profile

  2. January 14, 2014 at 4:29 AM

    This looks delicious with all the spices and fresh ingredients, I must give it a try. GG

  3. January 14, 2014 at 5:54 AM

    Hehe we were carded when we were in America and my friend told the guy “I love you for asking” 😛

  4. January 14, 2014 at 11:25 AM

    I make it with black chana, minus fruits, pati parmeshwar don’t like fruit in chat. but will make this for can chickpeas for my next party. lovely and healthy idea.
    Linsy Patel recently posted..Motichur Laddos / Sweet Indian BallsMy Profile

  5. January 15, 2014 at 12:48 AM

    I have a dear friend who has aged quite well. Even though she is 61, she could easily pass as her 26 year old daughters older (not much older) sister. I love this salad! Lovely flavors with all of those yummy spices!
    mjskit recently posted..Corn Chowder with Smoked HamMy Profile

  6. January 15, 2014 at 9:43 PM

    Fun story. And terrific looking salad. This looks so flavorful – definitely something I’d like. Thanks.
    John@Kitchen Riffs recently posted..Moroccan Kefta and Tomato TagineMy Profile

  7. January 17, 2014 at 3:35 PM

    What a funny story! I have one to share… I was in delivery room, and my mom and my husband were there. When I was about to deliver my first baby, the nurse mentioned something to my husband, but she thought my husband was my dad!!! My husband and I are the same age. Both my mom and I may look younger but seriously, my husband as my dad? All of us besides the nurse got confused for a second, and laughed. The nurse probably thought poor young lady who has to deliver a baby on my own (no husband?). Anyway… beautiful colorful salad and would love to eat some!
    Nami | Just One Cookbook recently posted..Niratama Donburi ニラ玉丼ぶりMy Profile

  8. January 19, 2014 at 6:57 PM

    Hi Minnie, I love the look of the salad. Anything with chickpeas is an instant win for me and I absolutely adore those fried potato strings. They sell them in bags with peanuts in England and it’s called “Bombay Mix” – used to love that stuff!
    Charles recently posted..Swedish Countryside – My neighbourhoodMy Profile

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