Thursday, July 7, 2011

Spiced roasted chickpeas

When it comes to leaving comments on other people's blogs, I have to admit that I am inconsistent. There are periods when I have more to say than others and after leaving a comment I don't have a hard and fast rule about returning to read follow-up comments. 

The other night when I should have been finalising a post and wasn't totally motivated, I became sidetracked. I recalled a few posts where I had left comments recently and went back to have a further look. When I revisited Johanna's Smoky Lime Chickpeas post, there were several references to a remark I had made about eating the chickpeas on the day they are made as they loose their crunchiness on day 2. Other commenters including Johanna were interested in how I achieved the crunchy chickpea in the first place.

My mind was in a spin! It was well over a year, maybe even two since I had made them and I didn't keep the recipe or take any notes. I had a feeling that the recipe didn't work as stated so a longer cooking time and/or higher oven temperature was required to make these little suckers crunchy. After a bit of googling and comparing a few recipes, a highly rated comment against this recipe caught my eye as it introduced a different technique, dry-roasting.

The comment made perfect sense. Adding a marinade prior to cooking means that the chickpeas soak up this moisture and take even longer to dehydrate and become crunchy. Nonetheless, I did feel a bit skeptical about how well the seasoning would adhere to the chickpeas at the end of the process. I settled upon giving this method a try, however the person that left this comment didn't mention anything about the oven temperature. 

My gut told me to try cooking them at around 200C as I didn't want to risk burning the chickpeas by baking them at a higher temperature. About 35 minutes into the cooking time, I took a peek and removed a couple of chickpeas to sample. They weren't quite crunchy enough by this stage but were getting close.  Five minutes later, I noticed that the larger chickpeas were still a wee bit soft and the smaller ones were nice and crunchy. After a total of 45 minutes cooking time they seemed to be pretty consistent.

All they needed now was a light spray with olive oil and a toss with a spice mix I made up on the fly. Whilst munching away on these tasty snacks, there were still a few chickpeas here and there that didn't quite make the crunchy status they were supposed to but the success rate was probably around 80%. Perhaps another 5 minutes of cooking would have done the trick.

The man and son aren't very enthused about this type of snack which is one of the reasons I made them so long ago and didn't bother again. They are a dangerous thing for me to have around as I could down the whole batch in one sitting. I managed to show some restraint as I wanted to put the day 2 test on trial again. Similar to my first experience, after sealing them up in an airtight container they weren't as crunchy the next day.

I think the cooking time could be shortened by a using higher oven temperature, however I would advise to keep a watchful eye on them to avoid burning.           

Spiced roasted chickpeas

1 x 400g tin chickpeas, rinsed and drained
Olive oil spray
1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon garlic power
1/4 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 200C. Line a roasting tray lined with baking paper, place the chickpeas on top and bake in the oven for at least 45 minutes. While the chickpeas are cooking, mix the spices together in a small bowl. 

Towards the end of the baking time (about 35-40 minutes), take the tray out of the oven and shake the chickpeas around. To check whether the chickpeas are ready, carefully remove a couple of the larger chickpeas, allow them to cool a little then munch into them to test their crunchiness.

Remove the tray from the oven, spray the chickpeas with a little bit of olive oil spray then cover with the spice mixture. Shake the chickpeas around so they are well coated in the spice mixture. Wait for them to cool down and enjoy! 


  1. It's really generous of you to follow up on this after a couple years of not having made them at all! Thank you - I'll bookmark your version and try chickpea snacks again. :-)

  2. wow - thanks! these look great - I have added a link to this post in my smoky chickpeas post partly to alert people but also selfishly to remind myself I must try them - they would be a great social snack

  3. Thanks Cindy, I really enjoyed the challenge of trying to make them work and it came with the bonus of helping out other curious cooks too.

    Thanks Johanna, I had forgotten all about my chickpea venture years ago until I read your post which brought back a few memories. Thanks for the link back too!