It was never my intention to post this recipe. I was making baked samosas for dinner – so much healthier than the traditional deep-fried ones and just as tasty – and felt that the meal was lacking in protein. I could have substituted some of the potato with mashed chickpeas/lentils, but didn’t want to alter the recipe too much. I’m always disinclined to do that on more ‘particular’ first-time recipes. Additionally, I would run the risk of being berated for ‘lying’ about making samosas for tea as they would no longer be samosas in a certain persons eyes. Feeling particularly lazy (and before you judge, rolling out and filling samosas isn’t exactly a walk in the park) I wanted something that would cook while the samosas were in the oven. Roasted chickpeas? Bingo. I’ve made these spiced chickpeas before, but despite seeing a number of recipes floating around the net, I’ve never tried roasting them. Silly me. I didn’t know what I’d been missing out on. I warn you now, roasted chickpeas are addictive. And very, very moreish. Forget crisps, wedges and pretzels, these are the snack that all the cool kids are eating. High in protein, low in salt and fat. Big on flavour. Talk about taste without waste!
I roasted mine for thirty minutes – the period required by the samosas – and fortunately that was sufficient (too bad if it wasn’t – they were going to be served anyway). The result was an ever so slightly crunchy outer layer, giving way to a creamy, tender centre. Of course I claimed it was intentional, rather than pure luck. If you would like them properly crispy then continue cooking for another ten minutes or so. Be sure to check the pan and give it a shake every few minutes, to prevent burning.
In order to have any chance of crispness you must dry the chickpeas thoroughly, otherwise there’s no point to the roasting at all. . Repeat after me: “I must completely dry the chickpeas”. There, you won’t forget now. Furthermore, by removing all excess moisture, you can use less oil. That sounds contradictory, but bear with me. It’s a well-known fact that oil helps to crisp things up, but if you’re already kick-starting the crisping process, then you’ll need less to achieve the desired effect. Thumbs up to whoever came up with that idea.
You have plenty of freedom flavour wise. I simply raided the spice rack and picked out ones on a whim. The combination was excellent, but I’m confident that many other variations would also work. The recipe below produces a fragrant rather than ‘spicy’ flavour (our household is full of wusses when it comes to spice), so if you want to amp up the heat feel free to let loose with the chilli powder.
While they’ll successfully kick any crisp cravings to the curb, these aren’t just a snack food. I mixed them with diced cucumber, tomato, avocado and fresh coriander leaves to make an ‘Indian-style salsa’. Ok, it wasn’t really a salsa, but it sounded far more appetising than ‘random-salad-bits-from-the-fridge with chickpeas’. Use these tasty morsels to snazz up salads or try adding them to curries or stir-fried veg. If you don’t use them all in the one meal, they can be stored in an airtight container for a few days. However, they will lose their crispness – to remedy this pop them back in a hot oven for five minutes or so.
Whether you’re in need of a post-work out snack or veg-out-in-front-of-the-telly food, these aromatic roasted chickpeas will do the trick.
Aromatic Roasted Chickpeas
Makes about 1 cup.
400g can chickpeas, rinsed, drained and patted completely dry with paper-towel
1 tsp olive oil
¼ tsp salt
¼ tsp ground cumin
¼ tsp ground coriander
¼ tsp ground ginger
¼ tsp paprika
¼ tsp garlic powder
Preheat oven to 200C. Line a baking sheet with greaseproof paper.
Use your hands to toss the chickpeas with the olive oil in a bowl, until completely coated.
Sprinkle over the salt and spices, toss until the spices are evenly distributed.
Scatter in a single layer over the baking sheet.
Bake for 30 – 40 min, tossing every 15 minutes, or until golden brown and crispy.
Leave to cool on baking tray, or eat hot, immediately! Note that they will lose their crispness as they cool, however that doesn’t change the flavour. To crisp them up again later, pop back into a 200C oven for 5 minutes or so.
Source: A Taste Without Waste original.