Spiced crunchy chickpeas

This is a seriously great snack and is particularly ideal to eat on its own, with drinks or to add to salads in place of croutons. These chickpeas are ridiculously moreish: I can eat a whole batch of these quite happily!

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Flavour all the way!

Crunchy chickpeas are certainly nothing new, and recipes abound online. However, this is my take, using a combination of spices I love, to give chickpeas with a bit of a kick.

The salt is essential but you can, however, use whatever spices and herbs you like or have to hand.

Other favourite combinations of mine include:

  • finely chopped rosemary with grated lemon zest
  • crushed fennel seeds with smoked paprika
  • curry powder, lime zest and coconut (ideally powdered coconut, but otherwise finely grated or desiccated works well)

As a general guide, go for about 2-3 teaspoons of spices/chopped herbs for a standard 400g tin of chickpeas.

Tinned chickpeas: a storecupboard staple

For me, a tin chickpeas is one of my storecupboard staples: perfect for a near-instant hummus or cooked slowly with tomatoes and herbs as a great vegetable dish in its own right.

Not to mention the use of the chickpea water, or aquafaba, as a substitute for egg whites in macarons and meringues: simply type aquafaba into Google to see how popular this ingredient is.

For this recipe you simple use a tin of chickpeas that has been drained and dried as much as possible. I find it easier emptying the chickpeas onto a clean tea towel and lightly rubbing. This also removes the skins, too, which you can either discard or keep in this recipe.

Using spiced crunchy chickpeas in bakes

These chickpeas are also excellent used in the filling for a vegetarian alternative to sausage rolls or as a simple savoury pie filling:

Simply coarsely crush the baked chickpeas and mix with goats’ cheese and caramelised onions (or chutney): 3-4 tablespoons of chickpeas and 1 tablespoon of caramelised onions per 100g goats’ cheese as a guide. The chickpeas will soften in the filling but the flavour they give is outstanding.

You then wrap the filling in pastry as for sausage rolls or pasties: the links at the bottom of the page show to shape and bake sausage rolls and pasties.

Recipe: spiced crunchy chickpeas – makes about 240g

  • 400g tin of chickpeas, drained and dried as much as possible (see Tinned chickpeas:  a storecupboard stapleabove)
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon smoked garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon mustard powder
  • generous pinch of chipotle chilli flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil

You will need a shallow baking tray/dish, with a sheet of foil or greaseproof paper on the base

(1) Pre-heat the oven to 150C (fan).

(2) Mix all ingredients together in a small bowl, getting the chickpeas well coated.

(3) Tip the chickpeas onto the baking tray into a flat layer, scraping out all of the spices that might have clung to the bowl.

(4) Bake for an hour and a quarter, giving the tray a gently shake after about half an hour. Leave them to cool on the tray and eat within a week – they are best stored in an airtight container to keep them crisp.

Related links:

Author: Philip

Finalist on Britain’s Best Home Cook (BBC Television 2018). Published recipe writer with a love of growing fruit & veg, cooking, teaching and eating good food.

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