The first time I made this Fried Okra Salad, my husband thought it was the oddest combination of ingredients…till he tasted it. One bite of the lip smacking delicious salad and he almost usurped the whole salad bowl! The verdict after eating was, ” you are making it again tomorrow” .

Starting from the second half of the year, we have a succession of special occasions one after another, including birthdays, anniversaries and many festivals, that end finally with Valentine’s Day in February. I consciously make an effort to be especially careful during this time about our diet. With all the festive eating happening at almost regular intervals, I need to fill the gaps in between with lots of soups and salads.

I try to create interesting variety with everyday ingredients while staying close to what our taste buds like – spicy, salty, tangy food. We Punjabis are used to eating okra either in onion and tomato masala or crispy fried in a gram flour batter. Crispy fried okra becomes a great finger food/snack. Taking inspiration from that I tried to create a chaat like salad with chickpeas and pomegranate seeds. For those who are not familiar with the word, ‘chaat’ is a popular savoury snack/street food in South Asia, a mixture of fruits, vegetables, crispy fried dough bites and various chutneys.

In my Crispy Fried okra salad I use mint and coriander chutney as a low calorie salad dressing. I’m not very fond of sweet salad dressings, except for in some creamy salads where I mix tahini or yogurt with honey. I think herbs and lemon make the most refreshing dressing for almost all sorts of salads. You can spice it up with green chilli peppers, red chilli flakes, black pepper or even chaat masala (special spice mix for chaat) OR you can keep it mild because it will still have loads of crunch, munch and juice from crispy fried okra, chickpeas and pomegranate.

My husband and I eat it for lunch as main course, but if you are serving it as side, the given quantity is enough for 4-6 people. It’s pretty and yummy enough to adorn a festive table and perfect for taking to potlucks and picnics.

Ingredients:

1+1/2 cup chickpeas, boiled
1 kg okra
1 pomegranate
3/4 cup gram flour
1/2 cup water
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon red chilli powder
1 teaspoon cumin powder
A pinch baking powder
2-3 tablespoons olive oil
A small bunch mint leaves
A small bunch coriander leaves
1 green chilli pepper
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon black pepper

This Is What You Do:

Wash and pat dry okra. Cut off the stems and pointy parts.

Mix gram flour, baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon salt, red chilli powder and cumin powder in a big bowl. Gradually add water to make a pancake like batter.

Add okra to the batter, mix to coat all pieces with the batter.

Heat oil in a large frying pan on medium low heat. Fry okra in batches for a crispier finish till done.

Meanwhile, mix boiled chickpeas and pomegranate seeds/pearls in a serving bowl/dish.

Add coriander leaves, mint leaves, lemon juice, green chilli pepper, black pepper and remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt to the blender. Blend to make quick salad dressing.

Pour over chickpeas and pomegranate seeds, toss to mix. Add fried okra right before serving so that they don’t get soggy.

Check for seasoning and garnish with some more mint leaves. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Serves 4

20 Replies to “Chickpeas and Fried Okra Salad”

  1. I have always had okra in dry sautΓ© or as bhabhi’s but never ever in salad. This combination sounds really interesting and delicious. I love your pics Maria and would love to see more of them.

  2. Oh this is super! You are right about okras usually in a gravy or a dry curry form but never make it to the salad bowls but now, since its authorised and approved by your better half as well, this should definitely make it on top of everyones list. I have combined chickpeas and okra in a gravy but this salad is something I have to try soon. A purchase of Air fryer is planned soon at my end and this recipe will be bookmarked for a low calorie version. Loved it Maria.

  3. When I read the title I have big question in my mind like your husband said this is just an odd combination bhindi with chole in a salad. I’m sure this must be very tasty, healthy and tempting salad. I love chickpeas in salads.

    1. Thank you, Ravi! Okra is my most favourite vegetable, after potatoes 😁 I guess, I keep looking for ways to include it more in the menu without making it boring for my family 😊

    1. Thank you, dear Shubha 😊 Inspired by our regular chaats but turned out be something really yummy and unique 😊
      Glad you enjoyed!

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