Spiced roasted chickpeas

If you looking for a salty snack alternative to potato chips, roast up a can of chickpeas, add spices and a sprinkling of sea salt.

The Garden of Eating
Roasted and spiced chickpeas make for a tasty snack or appetizers.

As much as I enjoy them, I could probably count the number of hors d'oeuvres I've made on one hand. But we were invited to a party featuring finger foods (we've all got toddlers so this was a very practical move, as well as a yummy one) and it seemed like a good time to try making the roasted chickpeas I had been seeing recipes for all year (on The Kitchn, Kalyn's Kitchen, Mark Bittman's blog, and more.)

These are hard to refuse so it pays to make a big batch – one can won't get you very far. I used three cans of organic garbanzo beans (I strongly suggest that you use Eden Organics as they are the only company I know of that does not use the toxic chemical BPA in the linings of their cans.) If you have time to soak and cook dried garbanzo beans, by all means, do it! You can also make more than you need and then freeze the cooked beans so you'll have them ready to go next time you need garbanzos.

I made three different spice mixes: garam masala, curry powder, and ras el hanout, a Moroccan spice blend that typically includes cardamom, cloves, cinnamon, ground chili peppers, coriander, cumin, nutmeg, peppercorns, and turmeric. All three were tasty.

Don't skip the step of drying the beans with a towel – you want to start out with as little extra moisture as possible since you're trying to dry them out.

One of the recipes I read said that it's important to slip off any loose skins. I don't know if it's really true but it's easy enough to do so I did it anyway.

I suspect you'll find that people end up popping these like savory candy and hailing you as a conquering hero.

Spiced Roasted Chickpeas
Makes a medium-sized bowl

3 cans chickpeas (garbanzo beans)
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 to 2 large cloves of garlic, pressed (optional)
1 to 1-1/2 teaspoons ground spice (any of these would be good: garam masala, curry powder, chili powder, ground cumin, ground coriander, smoked paprika)
Sea salt to taste
Lime juice (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Rinse the chickpeas well with cold water, removing any loose skins, and drain in a colander for 5 minutes. Pat them dry with a dish towel.

2. Pour them out onto a thick cookie sheet, toss with the olive oil (and garlic, if you're using that) to coat and then make sure they're in a single layer, you want them all to get equal cooking time/heat. Put them in the oven.

3. Roast, shaking the pan to ensure even cooking, one or two times, for roughly 40 minutes (they may need a little more or less time – just check!), until they begin to look lightly browned and split apart.

4. Remove from the oven and toss the hot beans with the spice mix and salt. Taste them and see if you want to adjust the seasonings at all. Serve warm or cold. You can try squirting a little lime juice on them before serving if that goes well with your spice mix.

Related post on The Garden of Eating: Moroccan Chickpea Spread With Blood Orange, Chipotle & Honey

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