Oh hello, let me introduce you to my new favourite snack: Leblebi Inspired Savoury Roasted Chickpeas.
I’ve been on a bit of a chickpea kick lately, if you hadn’t noticed already. It only made sense that I roast some up for a grazing snack to have on hand. Lately, I haven’t been consuming my daily quota of potato chips, instead I have been eating these roasted chickpeas by the fistful. They have a popcorn-esque snackiness. I can munch on them with abandon since they have benefit of being low in saturated fat and being a healthy source of iron and folate.
The flavour of chickpeas is kind of like a blank canvas for seasoning, perfect for when they are roasted. They’re a little nutty, but they’ll take on savoury flavours exceptionally well. For this recipe. I was inspired by Leblebi, a snack made from roasted chickpeas, common and popular in Algeria, Iran and Turkey. Leblebi are seasoned with salt, hot spices, ground cloves, and sometimes even candy coated. My version of Leblebi has a seasoning mix that includes, black pepper, cumin, paprika, chili, chaat masala, and soy sauce.
I like my roasted chickpeas to be extra crispy on the outside, so I like to use a generous amount of olive oil to coat them and I cook them for a few extra minutes. Really I love the ones that are slightly charred. It gives them more of a crunch, but they remain creamy on the inside.
When making hummus and other chickpea dishes, I usually use dry chickpeas that I have soaked and cooked myself, but for this snack I use canned chickpeas. Since I make these roasted chickpeas often (sometimes everyday), I like the ability to whip out a can of chickpeas from the pantry and get roasting. Plus the canned variety are sturdy enough to withstand additional cooking without falling apart. Even after a 30-minute roast in extreme heat, they stay intact.
These Leblebi Inspired Savoury Roasted Chickpeas are a great snack to make ahead of time and keep on hand for a few days’ worth of snacking. This doesn’t happen when I am around, I tend to eat them until they disappear –and then want more. I suppose if you were super ambitious, you could pre-portion the roasted chickpeas into little baggies or containers. I always forget this step because I am just so focused on eating them. Yes, I love them that much.
There are chickpea enthusiasts who are adamant that the ‘skins’ from the chickpeas be removed. It’s a wasted effort in my opinion. I will quickly pick out the ones that are visible, but removing every single skin takes quite a while to do. I can’t be bothered. Plus, I’ve never found this “step” to make much of a difference.
What I find extremely important is after draining the canned chickpeas, they need to be placed on a paper towel to really dry them off. I usually place a paper towel on top of the chickpeas as well, a quasi-blanket of sort, and then roll the chickpeas around to get them super dry. The more water that there is left on them, the less crisp they will be in the end. And I like my roasted chickpeas to be crispy crunchy.
If you have read previous posts, you will notice I am not scared of a hot oven. So this recipe and the extreme heat of 425 degrees is no big deal. Don’t be scared. Preheat and get it hot hot hot.
After the whole drying process, I put the chickpeas in a large mixing bowl, add a few glugs of olive oil and the spices. Then, I spread them on a baking sheet that is usually lined with parchment paper because it makes my life easier.
Then I bake them for 15 minutes, remove the baking sheet from oven and toss the chickpeas with spatula, maybe even change the position of the tray and bake for about 15 minutes more. Then it’s all about eating them. A snap to prepare, each chickpea absorbs the flavours of the spices and soy sauce during roasting, making them nibble worthy.
Leblebi Inspired Savoury Roasted Chickpeas
2 cans or 3 cups chickpeas (rinsed well, pat dry with paper towel)
2 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon Himalayan salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon chaat masala
1 teaspoon ground cumin
Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Rinse chickpeas well and blot dry. In a large mixing bowl toss remaining ingredients with chickpeas. Arrange chickpeas in a single layer on parchment paper lined baking sheet. Bake 15 minutes, stirring a few times. Stir, Bake for another 15 minutes or until chickpeas are dark brown and crisp on the outside. Allow chickpeas to cool. Store in airtight container.