Alu Kabli – Bengali Potato and Chickpea Salad

Alu Kabli_Bengali Potato and Chickpea SaladAlu Kabli is a street food or snack, usually savored on rainy days. It is a Bengali Potato and Chickpea salad. Not the wimpy dripping with mayonnaise kind, although there is definitely a place for that.

I made this today, to celebrate the snow day, and am entering it in a contest being sponsored by Potatoes USA and Recipe Redux.

Snow brings me memories of the monsoons.  I remember our unbridled joy in playing in the rain, snacking on savory, spicy snacks such as this Alu Kabli.

Alu Kabli was also something that my mother sometimes made for us as a post school snack, combining the nutritionally dense potatoes with protein rich chickpeas. The result is a snack rich in fiber, potassium and energy boosting carbs.

Diced Red Potatoes

I love using thin skinned red potatoes for this spicy and savory snack. You can use any potato of your choice, even a combination of blue or Yukon Gold varieties.

Alu Kabli_ Bengali Chickpea and Potato Salad

As the snow started falling today, I grabbed the bag of potatoes and placed them to boil. As the water began to simmer, I reflected on the carefree days of childhood.  I still love to walk in the rain. Growing up and even today, we love our carbs and we love our spuds. They need to so little to gently bring out comforting soft goodness to our lives.

Alu Kabli

This zesty salad, combines deep tamarind, roasted cumin and cayenne with black salt to create a dressing that is not for the faint of heart. Try it on a cold snowy afternoon or even a hot one when you want a pick me up. A few bites and you will be convinced that all is well with the world. If you are like me you will want a good cup of tea to go with this one. Either way, enjoy your weekend, looks like today is a windy chili one.

Alu Kabli – Bengali Potato and Chickpea Salad

Prep Time: 1 hour, 15 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 35 minutes

Alu Kabli is a classic Bengali style potato and chickpea salad. A nourishing snack, perfect for anytime of the year.


  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoon whole cumin seeds
  • 2 dried red chilies or 3/4 teaspoon red cayenne powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
  • 2 tablespoon tamarind paste or lemon juice
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoon black or pink salt
  • 3/4 pound of red skinned or other potatoes
  • 3/4 cup cooked or canned chickpeas
  • 1 small red onion, finely diced
  • 2 or 3 green chilies, minced
  • 3 tablespoons chopped cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons toasted peanuts (optional)


  1. Roast the whole cumin seeds and the dried red chilies (if using) in a small skillet, for about a minute until fragrant and smoky. If you are using the red cayenne pepper do not add to the skillet, just roast the cumin seeds.
  2. Place the cumin seeds and chilies or cayenne powder and black peppercorns in a spice grinder and grind to a powder.
  3. Place in a small mixing bowl. Ads in the tamarind paste or lemon juice and the salt and mix well and set aside. Add about 2 tablespoons of water if needed.
  4. Boil the potatoes until they are soft. Cool and dice and place in a large mixing bowl.
  5. Add in the chickpeas, onions and the green chilies and mix well.
  6. Toss with the tamarind dressing. Cool thoroughly. It is a good idea to chill this for about an hour.
  7. Toss with the cilantro and peanuts if using.
  8. Serve as a snack with your favorite rejuvenating beverage.


The prep time includes an hour for chilling.



  • Serena

    I can’t wait to try this traditional dish. LOVE all the chilies. Do your kids eat spices like this? I’m curious – as mine like spice, but not sure they are used to this heat. But maybe yours are?!


      Hi Serena,

      My kids are actually very bad about heat. I often make two batches of things like this and tend of leave chilies out for my kids. I do think that chilies are much like salt, it tends to be a very personal taste.

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