A flavor-packed vegetarian salad with bright, fresh flavors, and a sweet-tangy dressing.Indian-spiced chickpea and peanut salad. Lots of flavor here. Click through for recipe!

Are you familiar with the Vacation Food Phenomenon? It’s a term I just made up to describe this curiosity: Any food eaten on vacation tastes better than the same or equivalent food eaten┬áback home.

Am I right?!

Back in September, I visited Vancouver and had the most amazing salad, courtesy of Vij’s Railway Express food truck. It was delicious – and I can only partially attribute that to the Vacation Food Phenomenon. The locals seemed equally smitten with this Indian food truck’s offerings.

Pan-fried chickpeas and peanuts, to make a spicy Indian salad. Click through for instructions.

Like any good food blogger, I had to recreate this inspiring salad when I got back home.

About The Recipe

This vegetarian bean and peanut-based salad is full of flavor. Fresh ingredients are added (red bell pepper, green onions and fresh lime juice) and the dish is brought together by a tangy, bright dressing.

I stuck to ingredients that I already had on hand to save on cost, and ended up with a salad that tasted quite a bit like the original that I tried in Vancouver.

Indian-spiced chickpea and peanut salad. Repin to save!

This was the original salad (below). For authenticity, feel free to add some sliced red onion, fresh peas, and puffed rice. I left those ingredients out so I could use what I already had on hand in the kitchen (and to save some money, of course!)

A photo posted by Haley (@cheaprecipeblog) on

More Indian-Inspired Recipes

Like foods flavored with Indian spices? Me too! Check out these simple and budget-friendly recipes:

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Indian-spiced chickpea and peanut salad. Repin to save!

Indian-Spiced Chickpea and Peanut Salad

Yield: 4 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes

For a main course-worthy salad, add some grilled chicken and naan bread on the side.


For salad:

  • Coconut oil, for frying
  • 1 15-ounce can chickpeas, drained
  • 1/2 cup unsalted peanuts
  • 2 teaspoons curry powder
  • 1 red pepper, chopped
  • 4 scallions, chopped

For dressing:

  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 teaspoons garam masala (or other Indian spice mix)


  1. Heat a tablespoon of coconut oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add chickpeas and cook for 5 minutes, stirring often, until chickpeas turn golden brown. Remove from heat and set aside. Wipe out skillet.
  2. Heat another tablespoon of coconut oil in skillet over medium-high heat. Add peanuts and stir-fry for a couple of minutes, until peanuts are lightly browned. Remove from heat and set aside.
  3. Place chickpeas and peanuts in a bowl and toss with curry powder. Place on a serving platter. Top with red pepper and scallions.
  4. Place all dressing ingredients in a jar and shake vigorously, until well combined. Pour dressing over salad. Serve with lime wedges on the side.

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