|Spiced and roasted chickpeas: curry and cayenne pepper on the left, cumin and pepper on the right.|
I said it before: I try to avoid coming empty-handed when I'm invited over to someone's house for an evening of eating/drinking/playing games/whatever - especially if I don't know them too well. I do it often enough (more often than not) but at least I feel slightly to quite uncomfortable about it.
(My boyfriend can attest to that: 9 out of 10 times when we meet up to go anywhere it goes like this:
Me: Oh gosh. I don't have anything for them.
Him: That's ok.
Me: ...I just didn't have time to bake anything!
Him: Don't worry about it, no one expects you to.
Me: Well, I expect myself to.
So when I was supposed to go to my boyfriend's friend's brother's birthday, I panicked. I had subzero time for baking or anything of that sort. In times like this, I turn to one of my favourite food items: chickpeas.
Admittedly, it may be a bit meagre for a birthday present, but otherwise spiced and roasted chickpeas are the perfect little hostess gift for an informal evening with friends (note: no, I don't bring something with me everytime I go hang out with my friends. I'm talking about bigger things, with more people or more effort. The more hassle for the host, the nicer of you to contribute with more than just a bottle of wine you picked up five minutes ago).
Roasted spicy chickpeas are easy. All you need is a can or two of chickpeas (I recommend not going below 450g), spices (whatever you fancy), oil, an oven, 15 to 60 minutes (depending on which way you do it. My version takes 30-40 minutes in the oven and only like 10 min. max. of prep time. You can easily do it in 5).
|Cooked chickpeas, pre-roasting.|
2. Take a can of pre-cooked chickpeas (I used a 480g can), drain them, wash them, pat them dry-ish.
2. Divide them in half. Add a tablespoon of olive oil to each half plus a seasoning of your choice. I chose cumin, a dash of lemon juice, freshly ground pepper and salt for one half and medium curry, cayenne pepper and salt for the other half. Don't be shy with the spices, I think I used about two to three tea spoons of cumin and still found that I could've used more.
3. Spread the spiced chickpeas on oven racks lined with parchment paper. Make sure they aren't clustering too much.
4. Pop them in the oven for 30 to 40 minutes.
5. Take them out and let them cool.
6. Some will be crispier than others, but personally, I enjoy the mix of consistency.
The idea came from Martha Stewart. She suggests 150°C/300 F for 50 minutes. But at that temperature, I always had to have them in for a bit longer. Try and see which one you prefer. I also just now stumbled across this version, which is much faster, as you toss the chickpeas into boiling oil in the oven at 230°C/450 F for 10-12 minutes. I kinda think that this version screams "accident waiting to happen" all over, but if you're in a hurry (and don't mind drenching your food in oil), give this a try (I will eventually).
The chickpeas taste nicely nutty, some are crisp, some are difficult to describe. I love them and so far, wherever I brought them, they have vanished within minutes. They are highly addictive.
If you make three or four portions with different spices and put them in cute little containers, such as old jam jars, and maybe cover the lid with some pretty fabric leftovers, they make a lovely, low-key yet tasty hostess gift.
|Spiced and roasted chick peas|