Chickpea and sweet potato salad: a healthy, hearty and affordable lunch for people working in uniform

Uniform Foodies logo

Chef Michael Cains has been working with Uniform Dating to develop an app, Uniform Foodies, full of recipes for people working in uniform. He issued a challenge to food bloggers: create a lunch recipe fit for a uniform that was healthy, hearty and affordable. When asked, the five uniformed groups came up with three favourite dishes: Indian curry, fish and chips and salad. Now, how to take one of those dishes and develop a new recipe?

Potato and chickpea salad ingredients (minus the leaves): healthy, tasty and easy to get hold of.

Potato and chickpea salad ingredients (minus the leaves): healthy, tasty and easy to get hold of.

My take on the challenge is a salad, inspired by my sister in law who is a senior staff nurse. She needs food that’s nutritious and filling, something that will keep her going on long shifts. But nutrition isn’t everything, she also needs something that’s tasty, that gladdens her palate and makes the most of a precious break. This salad fits that brief.

Chickpea and Sweet Potato Salad
Preparation time
Cooking time
Total time
This salad is a take on channa aloo chaat, a potato and chickpea salad that's a popular street food in India. The original is soft, crunchy, hot and sour. My version plays around with the ingredients to make sure that they are all easy to find, and make a balanced salad. This recipe makes enough for two very hearty portions or three with a bit of bread on the side. It stores well, so you can have it a couple of days in a row. If storing, add the dressing when you eat the salad or the leaves might wilt.
Recipe type: Salad
Cuisine: Indian
Serves: 2-3
  • 1 medium red onion
  • 1 sweet potato
  • 500 grams new potatoes
  • 200 grams cherry tomatoes
  • 1 tin chickpeas
  • 1 red chillies (or less, if it's really hot)
  • 1 good handful coriander
  • 80 grams mixed leaves: peashoots, rocket, spinach or whatever is available.
  • Juice of 2 lemons
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • ¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ tsp ground coriander
  • 1 pinch each of ground ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt
  1. Chop the red onion and put in salted hot water while you prepare the potatoes. This takes some of the heat out of the onion and means your mouth won't taste - or smell - or raw onion after lunch.
  2. Cut the potatoes into ½ inch cubes and boil until soft (about 15 minutes).
  3. When soft, drain the potatoes and leave to cool.
  4. Half the cherry tomatoes and put in a bowl.
  5. Add the chickpeas, cooled potatoes and drained onion into the bowl with the tomatoes.
  6. Chop chillis and coriander and add to the potato mix. (Check the heat of the chilli before adding. The dish should be warm, not hot.)
  7. Mix thoroughly.
  8. Make the dressing: squeeze the lemons, add spices and mix.
  9. Now start building the salad: in a bowl, or lunch box, put a layer of mixed leaves.
  10. Put a third to half of the potato mixture on top.
  11. Drizzle with dressing (or serve the dressing separately).

The Uniform Foodies app is available from June 13, 2014. It lets you search for recipes, or upload your own. You’ll find our recipe on there too!

Follow Uniform Foodies on Twitter: @UniformFoodies

Last updated by at .


About Caroline von Schmalensee

Cooking, eating and drinking is fun as well as necessary. I do food for fun and I write for a living. Good food makes the world a more delicious and satisfying place. Good writing, meanwhile, can make the world a less confusing place.

One Comment

  1. It looks really tasty and quite filling too which I like in a main meal salad.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Rate this recipe:  

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.