The first time I tasted roasted chickpeas was at a friend’s house. She was so excited about them and quite frankly so was I….until I took a bite. The chickpea was all mealy and soft in the center. It was a total let down and I can’t think of any word to describe it except for….bleh.
I tried not to make a face, but when I didn’t eat anymore of them, well I guess that sent its own message. Is that not the worst when someone is really excited about something they made and it’s just bad?
Here’s the thing, with every recipe there’s a trick. When it comes to roasting chickpeas, it’s all about making sure they are hard like a nut before removing them from the oven. Sure a couple of them won’t be perfect but most of them should. This will require turning the pan and/or moving the chickpeas around on the baking sheet. You’ll also want to taste them before you pull them out just to make sure.
The final texture will be crunchy like a peanut. You’ll know when you bite into the right one. And they are such a great alternative for people who have nut allergies.
I love putting these in trail mix for my boys (I have one with a nut allergy) and even serving them at a cocktail party as a little munchie. Everyone loves them.
Crispy Cinnamon-Chili Chickpeas
Recipe Created by Cathy Pollak | Serves: 3 cups
1 cup dried chickpeas
2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
3 Tablespoons sugar, divided
1-1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/8 teaspoon cayenne
Soak dried beans overnight in cold water. After draining them, pat them dry with paper towels.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a large bowl toss beans with oil and 2 Tablespoons of the sugar, mix well. Spread beans out on a large, ungreased rimmed baking sheet. Make sure beans are in a single layer. Roast in the oven for 45 minutes or until crunchy. Make sure to stir them a few times so they cook evenly.
When finished in the oven immediately toss them with remaining 1 Tablespoon sugar, salt, cinnamon, chili and cayenne. Feel free to add or subtract any amounts to fit your taste. Serve once cooled. These will last a week under airtight conditions.