September 28, 2023

Amazing Middle Eastern Balela Salad

Middle Eastern Chickpea Salad (Balela Salad)

Amazing Middle Eastern Balela Salad

This is a dish that I love making. The tastes are just incredible! Now to be honest this is the traditional recipe, but I have a secret that kicks this recipe up to a higher level. I roast the bell peppers, tomatoes, garlic, onions and I add 1 medium eggplant diced into cubes. Add olive oil to ensure the eggplant does not dry out. I roast until the are golden brown. But however you want to try this recipe it is just amazing to eat. You can also serve with warm pita.


  • 1.55 lb cooked chickpeas 4.5 cups
  • 21 oz tomatoes 4 small-medium
  • 14 oz cucumber 4 small; English or Persian work best
  • 2 oz red pepper 2 small long ones
  • 2 lemons zest and juice (1/3 cup)
  • 5 sprigs green onions 1.5 cup chopped
  • 1/3 cup olive oil extra virgin
  • 0.7 oz parsley
  • 0.3 oz mint leaves
  • 0.3 oz garlic 3 cloves
  • 2 teaspoon salt
  • 1.5 teaspoon sumac


This middle eastern chickpea salad requires pre-cooked chickpeas. If you’re using tinned chickpeas, then give them a drain and rinse (you can save the canned liquid to make aquafaba or freeze until later). Otherwise, you’ll first need to soak dried chickpeas overnight and cook them in advance.

Step 1: Chop the ingredients

1. Finely dice the tomatoes (if they’re super juicy, you can remove the seeds, but I usually don’t), red pepper, cucumber, and green onion.

2. Remove the stems from the parsley and mint and optionally finely chop or leave them as whole leaves. The choice is up to you.

3. Mince the garlic and juice the lemon into a small bowl. Add the olive oil and give the simple dressing a whisk to mix.

Step 2: Assemble the balela salad

1. Combine all the chopped ingredients and the chickpeas into a large serving bowl.

2. Then top with the sumac and olive oil dressing and gently toss to combine.

3. You can enjoy the chickpea cucumber salad immediately or leave it to “marinate” for 15-20 minutes with the dressing to allow the flavors to develop.

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