Mediterranean Chickpea Salad with Jewelled Labneh

Presenting my showstopper of the Eat the Rainbow & Mindful Eating theme, the Mediterranean Chickpea Salad with jewelled Labneh balls! Your lil bowl of sunshine that cheers the eyes, tantalizes your taste buds with its awesome lemony-garlicky-herby zest and most certainly satiates your tummy! Can’t tell you how much we all enjoy eating this fresh, crunchy, hearty & super delicious salad!!

Yes, I do use a lot of chickpeas or Kabuli Chana in my meals because I do believe this versatile legume offers tons of options to your daily food, be it in a curry, add them to your rice or salad or mashed as a filling into your parathas, or simply made into various flavoured hummus. Creamy yet non-dairy, lower fat than other oils, protein-rich, fibre filled & can be flavoured with any herb or spice of your choice! Also, being plant-based protein, they’re great for vegans too.

Salads are my favourite meal-in-a-hurry when I’m rushing with too many things to do in my day, have little time to cook a meal or need to pack a lunch box for yourself or the kids’ early morning. Just soak the chickpeas ahead, boil them & store in the fridge overnight & your battle is half won. Add your favourite veggies & season it just before serving.

Labneh balls are the icing on the cake as far as I’m concerned! Always a fan of hung curd/yoghurt for various preparations, being low fat, I chanced upon the recipe for these pretty little studded beauties beginning of lockdown & decided to try them out on my family. Though apprehensive at first about what they were, they actually enjoyed the visual treat & what’s more, enjoyed the unique flavours too. After all, its totally up to you to garnish them to your taste. I have shown you a few samples of garnish above.

Hope you have enjoyed the rainbow ride so far. Just wanna say a big thank you to all of you for being so warm & supportive with all your comments & likes. Please do keep them coming. It truly makes the ride worthwhile for me!

Recipe for Mediterranean Chickpea Salad with Jewelled Labneh


  • For the Salad
    • 2 cups chickpeas / chhole / kabuli chana, boiled but firm
    • 1 large ripe tomato, deseeded & chopped into cubes
    • 1 medium cucumber, chopped into small cubes
    • 1 red / yellow bell pepper, finely chopped
    • 1 cup green parts of the spring onion, finely chopped
    • ½ cup white portion of the spring onion, finely chopped
    • 3-4 green / black olives, pitted & sliced
    • ¼ cup crumbled feta cheese / cream cheese (optional)
    • ¼ cup pomegranate seeds
    • Salt to taste
    • Freshly ground black pepper
  • For the Dressing
    • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
    • 1 teaspoon finely chopped garlic
    • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
    • 1 teaspoon mustard powder
    • 2 teaspoons honey / sugar
    • 1 tablespoon fresh or dried coriander / parsley / dill / herb of your choice
    • 1/4 teaspoon red chilli flakes (optional)
    • Salt to taste
    • Black pepper powder to taste


  1. In a large bowl, toss together chickpeas, cucumber, bell peppers, tomatoes, spring onions, olives and pomegranate seeds.
  2. Sprinkle fresh feta cheese & season lightly with salt and pepper.
  3. To make the dressing: In a bottle / jar fitted with a lid, combine olive oil, garlic bits, lemon juice, herbs, salt, mustard, honey & chilli flakes.
  4. Close the jar and shake until emulsified.
  5. Dress the salad only just before serving, for it to remain moist & juicy.

Labneh Balls


  • To strain
    • 1 litre whole milk yoghurt
    • ¾ tsp salt
  • To flavour
    • 3-4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
    • Pomegranate seeds
    • Rose petals
    • Crushed nuts (pistachios, walnuts or almonds)
    • Black sesame seeds, lightly roasted
    • White sesame seeds, lightly roasted
  • For the green savoury balls
    • 1 teaspoon dried thyme/dill /oregano/basil or
    • fresh coriander & mint leaves or
    • your favourite ready mix of dried pizza herbs
    • ½ teaspoon pepper powder/ red chilli powder
    • Salt to taste


  1. Pour the yoghurt into a large muslin cloth & stir in the salt.
  2. Pick up the edges of the towel and tie at the top. Hang from a kitchen sink tap to drain for 4-5 hours at least or overnight until the whey has completely drained out from the yoghurt. Detailed video available in my earlier recipe of Creamy Garlic Hung Curd Dip.
  3. Now open the towel, lightly coat your hands with some olive oil. Take a small lemon sized ball of the soft yet firm cream cheese between your palms & roll into a small ball.
  4. Dip /roll each ball in a small bowl or plate containing olive oil so that the herbs can stick easily.
  5. Immediately roll it in a plate containing the garnish of your choice & place in a bowl to serve.
  6. Similarly, make balls out of all the remaining labneh & decorate your bowl using a variety of garnishes.
  7. To serve, spread the labneh ball of your choice onto a piece of bread & enjoy with the Chickpea salad. Or have it just plain.
  8. Labneh balls can stay in the fridge for up to 24 hours easily in an airtight container.

4 thoughts on “Mediterranean Chickpea Salad with Jewelled Labneh

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