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Chickpea Salad – Turkish Summery Goodness

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Turkish cuisine has all manner of yummy salad dishes. So this chickpea salad recipe (nohut salatası) is just perfect for us.

What are the best salads out there? Well, silly question, really. There are lots, aren’t there?

A close up cross section of a chickpea salad, taken from above. Cheese, red onion and tomato is also in the salad
we love a chickpea salad in the summer months

And it’s all down to a matter of opinion.

For us, though, the best salads are those that really suit our taste buds.

And, if you know us, you’ll know that’s a salad with an abundance of strong flavours…including chillies, of course.

Recently, we’ve been experimenting a lot with chickpeas. Well, they can taste summery and light – but they’re filling at the same time, too.

Perfect for the hot summer weather and they’re so versatile.

Chickpeas feature in many of the Turkish recipes that we’ve done on the blog, both winter and summer dishes.

And I don’t want to say this chickpea salad is our favourite because we love them all – that’s why we make them.

Oh, but it is soooo lovely as a summer dish.

Chickpea Salad – A Taste Of The East

So, we said we love this chickpea salad because it just abounds with strong flavours – and they’re the strong flavours in Turkish cuisine that we absolutely love.

Simple Chickpea Salad
How colourful does this look, eh?

We’ve got lots of sumac – a zesty, citrus-flavoured spice that goes so beautifully with thinly sliced raw onion.

We’ve got lots of nar ekşisi – a sticky syrup of sour pomegranate molasses that features in so many Turkish salads such as kısır and colourful Gavurdağı salad.

We’ve got chilli flakes – and fresh chillies, too.

We’ve got fresh lemon juice. And then, just for even more summer refreshment, we’ve got finely chopped fresh mint…

Fresh Mint
Fresh mint in Turkey is so pungent and smells lovely as you carry it home from the pazar

Imagine all that and more mixed into your chickpeas!

The flavours in this salad are not dissimilar to those in our green lentil salad recipe, which is also a summer favourite.

No wonder we love this chickpea salad so much!

When we make hummus, that’s more about celebrating the flavour of the chickpea.

But for this salad, the chickpea is more about texture – a host that absorbs all those yummy flavours we just mentioned above.

So, how do we go about making chickpea salad (nohut salatası)? Let’s find out…

Chickpea Salad With Red Onion And Tomato

The main tip for this chickpea salad is to think ahead, if possible.

It tastes even better if you can leave it overnight in the fridge before eating.

Failing that, do what we do and make lot of it a few hours before.

That means you still get strong flavours and you also get even tastier leftovers to enjoy the day after.

How To Make Chickpea Salad
We make our chickpea salad in stages

If you want to, you could put all the ingredients together in one big bowl straight away.

But we like to get a few flavours going together separately, first, as you can see in the photo above.

Spiced chickpeas and tangy onion first. Then we mix the chickpea salad together afterwards.

And that’s how we make our Turkish chickpea salad.

Bursting at the seams with strong, fresh summer flavours.

And you don’t have to leave all that cheese sitting on top of your chickpea salad as in the photo above. No, give it all a good mix up and then tuck in!

A chickpea salad bowl viewed from above. Red onion slices, lumps of white cheese and tomato are in the salad.
Chickpea salad – light and tasty for summer

Now, I was just about to write a sentence about how filling this salad is, meaning you don’t need to eat lots of bread with it.

However, if you’re like us and you find yourself experimenting by adding more nar ekşisi or other juices, once you’ve eaten your chickpea salad, you’re going to be left with a substantial amount of an extremely tasty ‘dressing’ sloshing around in the bottom of your bowl.

A shame to let it go to waste, isn’t it?

Should you happen to have any lovely fresh, crusty bread around.

Well, you know, just saying…

A chickpea salad bowl viewed from above. Red onion slices, lumps of white cheese and tomato are in the salad.
5 from 4 votes

Chickpea Salad – Nohut Salatası

This healthy & simple chickpea salad is refreshing. But, at the same time, filling. It is perfect for hot summer months. Chickpea salad can be eaten alone or as a snack.
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Course Meze
Cuisine Turkish
Prep Time 15 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 256kcal
Author Turkey’s For Life

Ingredients

  • 400 grams chickpeas or 1×800 gram tin, drained
  • 100 grams white cheese optional
  • 10 cherry tomatoes washed & halved
  • 2 medium red onions peeled & very thinly sliced
  • 2 fresh chillies finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh mint chopped
  • 1 tablespoon parsley chopped
  • 1 tablespoon sumac
  • 1 tablespoon chilli flakes
  • 1 tablespoon pomegranate molasses
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 lemons juiced
  • 1 pinch salt

Instructions

  • Sprinkle your chickpeas with the chilli flakes, toss them around and leave to one side for a couple of hours.
  • Sprinkle your red onions with the sumac in another bowl and mix well.
  • Now add your salt, lemon juice, oil and nar ekşisi (pomegranate molasses).
  • Mix well and leave for a couple of hours or so in the fridge.
  • When you are ready to serve, cut your cherry tomatoes into halves or quarters, depending on their size.
  • Chop your parsley and mint.
  • In a large bowl, add all of your ingredients, including the fresh chillies and mix carefully so that you don’t crush the tomatoes.
  • Serve in bowls and crumble white cheese over the top, if you like.

Notes

  • As with all our recipes, the calorie count is meant as a guide and will vary depending on quantities and brands you are using.
  • The calories per serving assume you will be using white cheese to crumble over your chickpea salad.
  • The 800 gram tin of chickpeas will weigh around 400 grams once the brine is drained.
  • Chickpea salad is a great dish on its own but it also makes a good side to grilled meats.
  • All the amounts or the chickpea salad recipe ingredients are meant as a guide. You can make it spicier if you wish you can have more or less of other ingredients.

Nutrition

Serving: 1 | Calories: 256kcal

Afiyet Olsun!

  • Our chickpea salad recipe is in the Meze & Salad section of our blog.
  • To make vegan chickpea salad, skip the cheese. Obviously, whether you have the cheese or not, this salad is suitable or vegetarians. We have lots of other Turkish vegetarian recipes on the blog, too.
  • Vegans and vegetarians – and just about any of us who love chickpeas – might also enjoy our recipe for falafel.
  • And if you want to cook a Turkish feast or friends – meat and fish included – here’s our full collection of Turkish recipes to follow.

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Recipe Rating




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Niki

Thursday 16th of February 2023

Made this as a side for Turkish Stuffed Eggplant as l thought the contrast would be nice. It was outstandingly good. Two of us ate almost the entire quantity and really only stopped eating because we felt we should. I don't particularly like chickpeas (unless they're hummus) but, served like this they were excellent and l'd be happy to eat again (and again). House-mate isn't fond of raw onion but, we've decided that if we put the onions to marinate the day before they'll be "cooked" enough. Substituted coriander for the mint, as that's what we had. Definitely will make again and it was great to finally have a use for the pomegranate molasses l had.

Turkey's For Life

Tuesday 21st of February 2023

Hi Niki, thanks a lot for your lovely comment. We're really pleased you enjoyed the chickpea salad so much. We love it. We love mint and coriander so they go perfectly in the salad, either separately or together. Glad you have a new use for chickpeas and for the pomegranate molasses! :) And thanks a lot for the 5-star review. Much appreciated.

Lynn

Tuesday 19th of June 2018

This looks delicious, you have inspired me yet again! Love your recipes! I have all the ingredients with the expection of pomegranate molasses! what can I use instead?

Turkey's For Life

Sunday 24th of June 2018

Hi Lynn, thanks a lot for your comment, so glad you like our recipes and apologies in the delay in replying. :) Chickpea salad is lovely with some balsamic vinegar if you can't get nar ekşisi. Depends on your tastes. A bit of fresh lemon juice would do the trick, too.

mette

Sunday 11th of September 2016

I love chickpeas, but I've never tried it with sumac or nar ekşisi. Guess I'll have to find a expat Turkish grocer tomorrow.

Turkey's For Life

Sunday 2nd of July 2017

The chickpea salad is great with the sumac and nar ekşisi. Hope you found the grocer. :) Thanks a lot for the rating. :)

BacktoBodrum

Monday 22nd of August 2016

Might just go and make this now and throw in the last bit of coriander I have in the fridge.

Turkey's For Life

Friday 26th of August 2016

Ohhhhh, coriander in a chickpea salad. Now you've just made us jealous, BacktoBodrum. We can rarely get that here in Fethiye. :)

Ozlem's Turkish Table

Monday 22nd of August 2016

Such a delicious looking, easy to make recipe - love the addition of chickpeas, makes a great alternative to beans, elinize saglik - so wholesome and just right for summer!:) Ozlem x

Turkey's For Life

Friday 26th of August 2016

Yeah, chickpea salad is a definite winner for summer, Ozlem, and they are a good alternative to beans or a change. :)

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