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If you know me, you know I love big salads. When we were developing our house Chaat Masala, I knew it was destined for a truly dreamy salad. This salad relies heavy on lots of allium goodness. First, white or yellow onion is fried until golden and crisp. Then, the onion-infused oil is used as a base for a sweet 'n' tangy dressing with tamarind, lime, and jaggery. And lastly, fresh red onion adds sweetness, sharpness, and crunch to the finished dish.
The other star of the dish is the paneer and chickpeas, spiced with chaat masala and Kashmiri Chillies — or Sirārakhong Hāthei Chillies if you're feeling smoky — and roasted until the cheese starts to caramelized around the edges and the chickpeas loose some of their moisture, becoming crisp on the outside and tender on the inside.
If really good heirloom tomatoes aren't in season, I will often reach for cherry tomatoes, which are still halfway decent in the middle of winter. But, this salad is a great canvas for seasonal produce like cucumbers, roasted beets, avocados, and citrus.