Chana Salad

Add a little bit of North Africa and India to your holiday season with this delicious Chana salad. Combining the robust flavours of lamb merguez sausage from North Africa and the warming spices of garam masala, this dish offers a very lean yet high protein boost (perfect for those chilly, winter holiday activities!) Rounding out the flavours of this wonderful creation is an Indian, spiced vinaigrette dressing accompanied by a fresh  dollop of mint and cucumber yoghurt. Topped off with a garnish of toasted pine nuts and beet juice pickled quail eggs—for a splash of vibrant color—this salad can be served on its own, or with other fine fare. Bon appétit! 

Chana salad
Makes four portions


  • 4 pcs. – fresh lamb merguez sausages (grilled)
  • 4 pcs. – quail eggs (hard boiled then pickled in beet juice solution)
  • 40 ml – minted yoghurt (recipe to follow)
  • 200 g – chick peas (cooked)
  • 100 g – edamame beans (cooked and shelled)
  • 1 bunch – watercress (washed and trimmed)
  • 50 g – ripe heirloom tomato (cut into small dice)
  • 50 g – cucumber (cut into small dice)
  • 100 ml – garam masala vinaigrette (recipe to follow)

Method For the minted yoghurt

Finely chop 10 leaves of fresh mint. Add mint to a small bowl and whisk together with 35 ml of plain yoghurt with 5 ml fresh squeezed lime juice.

Method For the vinaigrette

First make the garam masala spice by combining two grams each of :black peppercorns, white peppercorns, cloves, cinnamon stick, black cumin seeds, black and green cardamom pods and toasting these spices lightly in a dry sauté pan.  After a minute or two, once the aromas are released from the spices, remove them from the heat and grind them to a fine powder in a coffee/spice grinder or in a mortar and pestle.  Garam masala powder mix can also be purchased pre-made at an Indian grocery shop, however it is recommended to make your own.

In a medium sized bowl combine 40 ml of fresh squeezed lemon juice, 10g minced shallot and the the 14g of garam masala spice you have made.  Add to this 60 ml of good quality olive oil and whisk to combine well.  Season with salt and pepper and adjust tartness with honey if necessary.

To assemble the salad

To the vinaigrette in the medium bowl; add the chickpeas, edamame beans, watercress and the diced tomatoes and cucumbers, and toss together to combine well.  Season to taste with sea salt and fresh ground black pepper.

Place the salad into four individual serving bowls of your choice and garnish the top of each with slices of the freshly grilled and still warm lamb merguez sausages.

Add a nice dollop of minted yoghurt to each salad and add the final garnish of the beet stained pickled quail egg cut in half

Bon appétit!

By NAC Executive Chef John Morris
Story expanded from Prélude magazine, Holiday: Cusine