Taste Scene

Michael Devlin

The future of snacking

These salty and sweet roasted chickpeas taste great.

These salty and sweet roasted chickpeas taste great.

A friend at work put me onto these last week and they sounded so genial, I couldn’t resist making them myself. Roasted chickpeas are ostensibly a good-for-you snack, or at least that’s how the thinking goes and I can personally affirm, the taste isn’t compromised by their inherent goodness.

Spicy, crunchy and salty – they’re everything you could want in an handful of snack.

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They also go down a bomb with super-cold IPA, which in my world means a great deal.

The internet abounds with recipes for these little protein bombs (they are also regarded as a nutrient-rich food – iron, phosphorus, magnesium, vitamin B… the list goes on), so the decadence of ghee or sugar or salt is counterbalanced from the get-go. It’s a win/win: They’re tasty and nearly healthy, well, healthier than crisps.

Basically, if you’re partial to a few salted peanuts on a Saturday night, you should love these.
After all, the whole appeal with this kind of snacking is the moreish tang.

Depending too on the combination of spices used, these won’t be a million miles away from the commoner Bombay mix. It depends on what flavours you like, but at the same time, it’s kinda fun to play around with different mixes.

In the ingredient list you’ll notice I’ve included ghee and olive oil. If you have ghee or can be bothered to make clarified butter (which ghee is, essentially), it’ll add a lot of taste. Olive oil is a decent plan B. I’ve also listed the ingredients for two types of baked chickpeas: That’s just the kinda guy I am.

OPTION1: Spicy smoky baked chickpeas
2 tsp or ghee/olive oil
400g of chickpeas
grinding of black pepper
nearly a tsp of salt
1 tsp of smoked paprika
pinch of cayenne pepper or chilli flakes

THE PLAN
Pre-heat the oven to 210ºC.
As that’s happening, drain and rinse the chickpeas and dump out onto some kitchen roll and pat dry. If any skins come lose, discard.
Add the melted ghee or olive oil to a bowl with the seasoning and spices and mix well. Dump in the dry chickpeas and toss well to coat.
Spread these in a single layer over a parchment-lined baking tray and retire to the oven for 15 minutes.
After that time, remove and toss with a spatula or whatever and then give them at least another 15 minutes until they’re crispy and delightful.

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OPTION 2: Sweet and salty baked chickpeas
2 tbsp of olive oil
400g of chickpeas
heaped tbsp of brown sugar
1 tsp of chilli powder
half tsp of ground cumin
half tsp of salt
grinding of black pepper
Pre-heat the oven to 210ºC.
Rinse and pat dry your chickpeas and then toss in one tablespoon of the oil.
Spread onto the baking try (lined with parchment again) and bake for 15 minutes.
After this time, remove and toss around.

Give them another 10 minutes in the oven and remove again. Drizzle with the remaining tablespoon of oil and then dump into another bowl, where you have cunningly mixed the sugar, chilli powder, cumin, pepper and salt.

Toss through the mixture and then return the chickpeas to the baking tray and give them another 6/7 minutes in the oven.

Tah-dah! The future of snacking.

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