This is wonderful salad dish from Christine Manfield's Tasting India cookbook is typical of the region. You can serve it with grilled or barbecued meat.






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I sometimes serve this with roasted chicken that I have rubbed with similar spices to complement the chickpeas. I use dried chickpeas from Indian suppliers; they are smaller and slightly darker than some European varieties.

Chat is an Indian term for appetisers or small morsels eaten as a snack, so it follows that this spice mix is used to flavour fried pastries and various potato dishes, as well as tomato-based preparations. Its raw spiciness and tart flavour mean it is best suited to fruit or vegetables – it works wonders when added to cooked root vegetables, accentuating their rich, earthy flavour.


  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 12 curry leaves
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 onion, finely diced
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tsp minced ginger
  • 2 small green chillies, sliced
  • 2 ripe tomatoes, peeled and diced
  • 100 g thick plain yoghurt
  • 300 g cooked chickpeas, drained
  • 1 tsp chat masala
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 3 tbsp pomegranate seeds
  • 2 tbsp chopped coriander leaves


Chat masala

  • 1 tsp black peppercorns
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • ½ tsp ajwain seeds
  • 3 cubeb peppercorns
  • 1–2 tsp dried pomegranate seeds
  • 3 green cardamom pods, seeds only
  • 1 tsp ground black salt
  • 1 tsp amchur
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • ¼ tsp asafoetida
  • 1 tsp chilli powder

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


  1. To make the chat masala, grind the whole spices to a fine powder, then stir in remaining spices. Store in a sealed jar. Makes 2½ tablespoons. 
  2. To make the Punjabi spiced chickpeas, heat the oil in a heavy-based frying pan and fry the curry leaves and cumin for 30 seconds over a medium heat until fragrant. Add the onion, garlic, ginger and chilli and gently fry until starting to colour. Stir in the tomato and any juice and bring to simmering point. Add the yoghurt and chickpeas and cook for 4−5 minutes until heated through.
  3. Remove from the heat and stir in the chat masala, salt, lemon juice and pomegranate seeds. Taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary. Sprinkle with the fresh coriander to serve.


This recipe is from Tasting India (Simon and Schuster, $49.99) by Christine Manfield (photography by Anson Smart).