Crispy fried chickpeas, where have you been all my life? Toss through herbs or spices and simply eat as a snack, add to a salad, or sprinkle over soup instead of croutons. These are delicious and, who would have thought it, healthy too!
One of my favourite things to do in a foreign country is to eat. No surprises there. More specifically though I love to see what’s popular. What do people eat in cafes and restaurants as an everyday kind of thing?
I also love to wander wide-eyed around local supermarkets, but that’s another story… [weird!]
On a recent warm and sunny so-called winter’s day in Perth Australia, I took little Benjamin for a walk in his stroller [translation – killed some time until he fell asleep].
Once the little monkey had dropped off, I dove into a restaurant and ordered a salad for lunch.
I ordered a simple but tasty sounding salad, and when it arrived I found myself enthusiastically picking out one particular component – some crispy fried chickpeas!
Have you ever tried fried chickpeas? I hadn’t before this occasion, but let me tell you – they are absolutely delicious and you’ve just got to try them if you haven’t already!
I’m a big fan of crispy foods, but I must say I felt very smug to be eating something that tastes so delicious but also happens to be good for you. And I don’t worry about the oil they’re fried in – I only use a few tablespoons!
I can think of several ways to serve these. As well as adding them to the top of a salad at the last minute (so they stay nice and crispy!) you could hand them around at a party, sprinkle them on top of a soup or casserole instead of croutons, or even add them to a cooked pizza.
You can leave them plain or sprinkle over some salt, pepper or other flavourings like paprika, chili, garlic or herbs.
These fried chickpeas have got a bit of spunk, too. They don’t just sizzle nicely in the pan as they cook, they pop viciously like popcorn. So if you don’t want oil and chickpeas splattered all over your kitchen, pop a lid or splatter cover over the top of your frying pan as they cook. The voice of experience speaks.
And if you’re too chicken to even try this, go ahead and bake the chickpeas instead. Just toss in a bowl with a tablespoon or two of oil, spread them over a baking tray in a single layer and bake for 45 minutes.
Crispy fried chickpeas
- 3 tablespoons oil (canola or olive oil work well)
- 14 ounces chickpeas (cooked) drained out of a can and dried well on kitchen paper
- flavourings of choice e.g ½ teaspoon of salt, pepper, paprika, herbs, garlic or onion powder (optional)
Heat the oil in a frying pan or similar until a chickpea dropped into it starts to sizzle.
Add the chickpeas to the pan, preferably in one layer, and mostly cover them with a lid or other pan cover.
Let cook until golden and crispy, shaking the pan every now and again (about 15 minutes).
Drain briefly on kitchen paper, then scatter over the flavourings (if using).
Serve immediately on a salad, in a soup, on a pizza, or simply in a bowl for people to snack on.
You can bake the chickpeas if you prefer. Simply dry the chickpeas, coat them in a tablespoon or two of oil in a bowl, then spread them out on a baking tray in a single layer. Bake at 355F / 180C for about 45 minutes or until golden and crispy, shaking the tray a couple of times during baking. Toss the chickpeas in any flavourings you'd like to use as soon as they come out of the oven.