Tuesday 23 September 2008

Ramadan Recipe: Channa Chaat

This is very much a traditional Pakistani recipe, one which makes an appearance at parties, on Eid and during Ramadan (especially in my Lahori in-law's house). It also abounds in bazaars and people snack on it as they shop. It's simple and fairly quick and the chickpeas (garbanzo bean or channa in Urdu/Hindi) and potato make it more filling than most salads.

2 cans chickpeas (If you are using the dried chickpeas make sure they are soaked overnight and have gone fairly soft)
1 large onion, quartered and sliced thinly lengthways
3 medium potatoes (baking or white potatoes are usually best for this)
2-3 tomatoes, diced.
1 tablespoon tamaring pulp (if available)
½ teaspoon chaat masala
½ a cucumber, diced
1 or 2 finely chopped green chillies (If you can take them)
1 finely chopped spring onion

Rinse the chickpeas and place in a bowl.
Place the onions in a separate bowl and sprinkle salt over them. Leave to stand for 10-15 minutes (or longer if you are doing other things in the meantime). Then squeeze the onions in your hand, rinse off under the tap. This helps reduce the onion’s pungency and makes it more palatable.
Peel and quarter the potatoes and place in water to boil until firm but cooked through. If the potatoes go too soft they can turn into mash when mixed in the bowl.
Soak the tamarind pulp in a quarter cup of water till soft, then rub the pulp with your fingers until it dissolved. Strain and pour the runny part into the chickpeas, discarding any seeds or lumpy parts left behind.
Place the potatoes, tomatoes and onion in the bowl with the chickpeas, add the chaat masala, mix and serve.
If you are using fresh chickpeas which have been soaked, these will have less salt than the tinned variety, so add a level teaspoon of salt to the mix.


  1. Asalam-wa-lekum,nice recipe a varied one i must say to give a try

  2. i haaaate chick peas! the only time i eat them is in falafel.. then they are soo yummy

  3. Assalam-alaikam Anjum,
    It's very easy, a pro like you would make it great.

    Oh ange,
    how can you be offended by chickpeas? It's not like they're peas - eughh!!

  4. we never made this from our region in India but then our Pakistani neighbour always sent some over on Eids and the like , i like it! May make it today!

  5. AsSalaam Alaykum Umm Salihah,
    All your ramadan favorites look very simple and delicious. thanks for sharing with us.
    Hope you have blessed last few days of Ramadan

  6. Assalam-alaikum, ur eid dishes look so delish exp. the channa chat which is my favorite. it not only tasty but also healthy. here's wishing u & ur fmly a blessed Eid.

  7. how does chik peas taste,is that like rice

  8. how does chik peas taste,is that like rice

  9. Assalam-alaikam Sis Rainbow,
    I am sure you will add your own little twist and make it better.

    Assalam-alaikam Sister Yasmeen and the Sister at sweetbites,
    thank you and ameen. I will be visiting your blogs and picking up some tips insh'Allah.

    Salaams Anony,
    chickpeas are a bit like rice in that they have a slightly bland taste and need something to eb added to them. Maybe kidney beans are a better comparison.

    Assalam-alaikam Sister from Bosnia,
    my pleasure.

  10. Those look delicious and nice,I really like those chick peas,I really love the spice too!