Tuna Salad with Chaat Masala || Mediterranean Tuna Salad with Chaat Masala (Paleo, Whole30, AIP adaptable)

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 Chaat masala? What the heck is that?Don’t worry this is not a complicated curry recipe! Chaat Masala is just a blend of different spices with a prominent tangy taste and a slight touch of heat from black peppers. Trust me when I tell you…It is ‘freaking finger-licking’ good! I think I won’t be wrong if I said ‘Chaat Masala’ to an Indian is what ‘grated parmesan cheese’ is to an Italian -‘Bring it on! And sprinkle it over every dish! ‘ It is very aptly named too since ‘chaat’ means  ‘to lick’ 🙂 And ‘Chaat’ is also a term for an entire category of street foods like pani poori, bhel puri, samosas etc where crispy fried snacks are doused generously with a variety of spicy, sweet and tangy chutneys and yes, of course, finished with a generous sprinkling of chaat masala on top!

What exactly are the different spices in this mix? Actually, I don’t really know – I get my Chaat masala ready-made from the Indian store and have never attempted to make it. It’s honestly so good as it is that I have not yet felt the need to recreate it.  When my husband and I first moved to the US, we knew some other Indian folks who found typical western fare at restaurants to be too bland and therefore would carry a small pack of chaat masala with them at all times. A little sprinkling of this magic mix and everything turned delicious! 🙂 :)Ha ha…So now with this introduction, I think you can appreciate this recipe better !  And also understand why I would feel the need to ‘dress up’ canned tuna!

I have been making this salad so often now – once or twice every week!  This salad kind of evolved over the past year. Since Tuna fish is rich in omega 3 fatty acids which provide excellent anti-inflammatory benefits, I have been trying to eat more of it.  So I started getting canned tuna and tried to make a salad of it.  I also make tuna masala cakes or cutlets which I posted a few weeks back.  As for this salad, I started adding new things to this every time I made it and this recipe is the final one which is simply fabulous!  I call it the ‘Mediterranean salad’ because I add olives and artichokes to it.  Then it has other healthy fats like avocados.  And of course, don’t forget the generous helping of chaat masala on top which just takes this salad ‘over the top’!  If you have never tried tuna before, do try this salad. And if you have never tried chaat masala before, still do try this salad 🙂

You can purchase ‘Chaat masala’ online or you can get it  at any Indian grocers.

Chaat masala has many different spices and so is not AIP.  However the main flavors here are from dry Mango powder called as Amchoor, dry ginger powder and rock salt.  So if you are strict AIP, you can still blend these together  to get an AIP compliant chaat masala. I have mentioned this in my recipe below. What I best like about this salad is how quickly you can put this together! If you try this, do let me know how you like it!

Sharing this recipe at the Paleo AIP Recipe Roundtable this week hosted by Phoenix Helix.

Tuna Salad with Chaat Masala || Mediterranean Tuna Salad with Chaat Masala (Paleo, Whole30)
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 1-2
A scrumptious salad that is a medley of indian and mediterranean flavors! Tuna dressed up in chaat masala and tossed with olives, artichokes and avocados!
  • One 5 oz canned tuna
  • 1 tbsp chaat masala - (For AIP, see note below and AIP Chaat masala ingredients below)
  • 2 celery sticks, chopped
  • ½ cup diced fresh cucumber
  • 4-5 slices of pickled cucumber, chopped up
  • 6-8 pitted green or kalamata olives, chopped or whole
  • 3-4 pieces of artichoke hearts, diced
  • 1 ripe avocado, peeled and sliced
  • 3-4 fresh romaine lettuce leaves, chopped up
  • fresh parsley or cilantro leaves, chopped (optional)
For dressing:
AIP Chaat masala:
  1. In a large salad bowl, add the canned tuna (draining out water or oil from the can). Sprinkle half of the chaat masala on top of the tuna and mix well using a fork.
  2. Next add all the other salad ingredients to the bowl.Sprinkle the rest of the chaat masala on top.
  3. In a small mixing bowl, add all the dressing ingredients and mix using a fork to blend the salt in.
  4. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss to mix well.
For AIP chaat masala:
  1. Add all ingredients listed under AIP Chaat masala to a small bowl and mix well using a fork. Substitute this for 'chaat masala' in the above recipe
To make this recipe AIP compliant, you will need to omit the regular chaat masala and instead make 'AIP Chaat masala' as mentioned in the recipe. You can of course skip the chaat masala altogether and the salad would still taste good except it won't be my chaat salad!

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