Although I think its overall floor area is not too bad, our current kitchen is seriously under-cupboarded. As a result, most of our ‘dry’ food is kept in one cupboard which enjoys occasional periods of order but most often fits the nickname ‘the jungle’ that I’ve given it. The other day, as I was looking through the jungle for something, I came across a packet of dried chickpeas – I knew they were in there but being faced with them made me decide that it probably really was time to cook them and make a little more space in the jungle for food that we use more often, like rice and pasta (I’m not even sure why I bought dried chickpeas in the first place…). Disorganisation (sadly it is not limited to my kitchen cupboards but pervades many areas of my life) meant that the chickpeas ended up being soaked for two days, instead of overnight, but that gave me time to decide what to do with them. Initially I planned to just use them in a casserole, but, when faced with 500 grams of dried chickpeas which were rapidly expanding (that is what happens when you soak them for two days!) I decided to get a bit more inventive and take inspiration from the dried chickpea snack that provided great sustenance for me one year while doing fieldwork on Crete. And so these roasted chickpeas came to be. We’ve had a bowl of these on the kitchen counter for a few days, which provided J and I with many quick snack handfuls over the weekend. However, you could also serve them as snacks alongside drinks or as a pre-dinner course for guests. I’d encourage you to mix up the spices/seasonings as your imagination leads. I’ve also enjoyed these mixed in equal parts by volume with raisins. The cup measurements below are based on a 250 ml mug as being equal to 1 cup – however, this is very approximate.
What you’ll need:
4 cups cooked chickpeas
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Generous dash salt
Other spices as you feel inspired – I used a Sainsburys garlic, pepper and chilli seasoning mix for one batch which turned out well
What to do:
1. Pre-heat the oven to 140°C.
2. Put the chickpeas in a roasting tray. Drizzle the oil over the chickpeas and then sprinkle the salt and any other spices (if using) over them as well before mixing everything together thoroughly.
3. Once everything has been mixed together thoroughly, spread the chickpeas evenly across the pan – ideally in a single layer.
4. To roast the chickpeas, put the pan in the middle of the pre-heated oven for two to three hours, stirring a couple of times during this time. The chickpeas will be done when they have turned a deep golden brown colour and are crunchy on the outside and still a bit soft in the middle – thy harden a bit as they cool so don’t need to be cooked until crunchy all the way through.
5. Once the chickpeas have cooked, remove the roasting tray from the oven, taste-test a couple of chickpeas and mix in more salt and seasoning if necessary, and then leave the roasting tray on a cooling rack until the chickpeas are cool. Serve once cool and enjoy!