Monday, June 30, 2014

Finger-Licking Crispy Chickpeas with Lime and Sumac

I have tried crispy chickpeas before but have yet to find the ultimate version to please the kids and me and my husband. The most recent attempt was crispy chickpeas with honey and cinnamon, which tasted ok but not ideal. Then my husband and I went to West City Kitchen on a date night and tried their crispy chickpeas with sumac and lime. My taste buds went crazy. It was like those lime and chili Tostitos from the 90s but oh so much better. When we went back with the kids a week or so later, the toddler was equally enamored. I just had to find a way to make these at home, though I knew I wouldn't be frying them. I hadn't got around to sourcing sumac when I saw a tower of world spice mixes at Trader Joe's. While I knew I'd want better-quality sumac at some point, I also knew that if I waited to obtain it, the chickpeas of my dreams could be months, rather than hours away, so I bought the TJ sumac. In typical fashion, I decided that the sumac needed to be paired with (any guesses?) smoked paprika. After a few tries at different temps and doing the spices before baking and after, I have hit on a recipe that works for us. These are just the perfect cocktail snack--crunchy, salty, moreish morsels that grade-schooler and toddler also devoured.
I've found it difficult to crisp my chickpeas evenly--some crunch like crackers while others are soft in the middle. The addition of lime juice further compromises crunch. I don't care. I could still eat a can's worth of chickpeas without blinking and the rest of the family seems to agree, this is also why, though they're best on the first day, I'm happy to polish off any leftovers the next day. If your looking for optimal texture on each  and every chickpea, you'll have to do your own testing. Please let me know what you find out!

2 15-ounce cans chickpeas drained, rinsed and well dried
2 TBSP oil of your choice
4 tsp ground sumac
2 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp salt (I use kosher salt)
1/2 tsp sugar
Juice of 1-2 limes, to taste


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a half-sheet pan or baking tray with Silpat or parchment (you could also try an unlined tray)
  2. Spread the rinsed, drained and dried chickpeas evenly on the pan and bake until crunchy, 30-40 minutes (your cooking time may well vary--start checking around 30 minutes)
  3. Turn off oven but leave tray in there
  4. Heat the oil over medium-high in a large skillet
  5. Stir in spices, salt and sugar and cook briefly until fragrant, 1-2 minutes
  6. Add hot chickpeas to pan and coat them with the spice mixture
  7. Dump into a small to medium sized bowl and stir to coat. Add lime juice to taste
  8. Try to prevent yourself from eating the whole batch in one go

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