Crunchy salty snacks are much loved around the world. I’ve chosen spicy chickpeas as, aside from being very moreish, they’re an interesting example of how a soft, mealy-textured ingredient can be transformed into a hard crunchy nut.
Crunchy Indian Spiced Chickpeas
Makes 2 small bowls
400g tinned chickpeas, drained and rinsed
¼ tsp ground turmeric
¼ tsp chilli powder
¼ tsp ground cumin
¼ tsp ground coriander
¼ tsp amchoor powder, optional
1 tsp fine sea salt, or to taste
1 tbsp cold-pressed sunflower oil
½ tsp lemon juice, or to taste
At least 30 minutes before cooking, rinse, drain and pat dry the chickpeas on paper towels. Spread them out in a single layer on a plate.
Preheat the oven to 180°C fan/200°C/gas mark 6.
Mix together the spices and salt in a small bowl.
Place the chickpeas and oil in a separate bowl and mix well, before adding the spice mixture. Toss until completely coated, then tip onto a non-stick baking sheet. Spread the chickpeas into a single layer and bake for 35 minutes, giving the odd shake to move the chickpeas around. I have quite a hot oven, so I take them out at this stage, but you could turn off the oven and leave the chickpeas in the oven for another 15 minutes. The former yields crunchy chickpeas with a floury centre, the latter are very crunchy chickpeas. In either case, leave the chickpeas in their roasting pan but season with the lemon juice. Leave until cold, then serve as needed.
Extracted from Sight Smell Touch Taste Sound: A new way to cook by Sybil Kapoor, (Pavilion Books, approx €27). Photograph by Keiko Oikawa.