Sweet Potato & Black Chickpea Salad

Recipe 15 min Preparation Time 15 minCooking Time

Sweet Potato & Black Chickpea Salad

15 min Preparation Time 15 min Cooking Time

About this Recipe

Eating seasonal is a great way to celebrate change. Come winter, my garden yields lots of sweet potatoes, which are roasted and spiced to make a popular snack in India’s colder months. This hearty salad is a meal in itself, with fiber-rich sweet potato and kala chana (black chickpeas) for a protein punch. The dressing is a tangy, spicy peanut, garlic, and tamarind chutney from Karnataka in South India.

The Benefits

Black chickpeas are fiber-rich and a great source of protein, B vitamins, manganese, and phosphorus, which help support the immune system. Antioxidant-rich sweet potatoes are high in soluble fiber, which is important for the growth of good gut bacteria and a healthy metabolism. And according to Ayurveda, peanut oil can aid digestion.


4 Servings

For the Salad

  • ½ cup (100 g) dried kala chana (black chickpeas), soaked overnight
  • 2 cups of water
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 2 medium (250 g) sweet potatoes
  • 2 tsp cold-pressed peanut oil
  • Salt
  • 2 (200 g) cucumbers
  • 1 medium (300 g) red bell pepper

For the Dressing

  • 3 Tbsp (45 ml) cold-pressed peanut oil
  • 1½ (15 g) Tbsp powdered jaggery or coconut sugar
  • 1½ tsp red chile powder
  • 3 tsp tamarind paste
  • 6 garlic cloves
  • 1 tsp rock salt

For the Garnish

  • 1 tsp toasted white sesame seeds


  1. Step 1
    Cook the black chickpeas: Soak the dry chickpeas for 8 hours or overnight. Drain the soaked black chickpeas and add them to the pressure cooker. Pour in 2 cups of water, just enough to cover the chickpeas, add ½ tsp salt, and seal the lid. Cook on high heat for about 5 minutes or until the first whistle, then turn the heat to low and continue to cook for 15 minutes. Turn off the heat and wait for 5 minutes for the pressure to subside. Using a spoon or a kitchen towel, lift the whistle to release any remaining pressure. Open the pressure cooker, drain the chickpeas, and set aside to cool.
  2. Step 2
    Roast the sweet potatoes: Heat the oven to 375°F (190°C). Wash and thoroughly scrub the sweet potatoes, pat dry, and cut into thick, 6-inch-long batons. Spread the sweet potato sticks on a baking tray, brush with the peanut oil, season with salt, and bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until they can be cut into with a fork. Bring the tray out and allow to cool.
  3. Step 3
    Cut the cucumbers and bell peppers into a large dice.
  4. Step 4
    To make the dressing: In a blender, add the peanut oil, powdered jaggery, red chile powder, tamarind paste, garlic cloves, and rock salt. Blend until thick and creamy.
  5. Step 5
    In a large bowl, arrange the black chickpeas, roasted sweet potato, cucumber, and bell pepper. Pour the dressing over the salad, garnish with sesame seeds, and serve.

Substitutions: You can swap peanut oil with extra virgin olive oil. Feel free to use any colorful pepper, yellow, red, or green.

Level Up: Add cooked millet or brown rice to the salad for a meal that will keep you going all day.

About the author

Nandita Iyer

Nandita Iyer

Nandita Iyer brings together her degrees in medicine and nutrition with her love of cooking to enable people to pursue healthier lifestyles through her bestselling vegetarian cookbooks and blog. Sattva, her newsletter on simple and mindful living, reaches thousands of engaged readers every fortnight.
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