Spicy Cinnamon Crispy Chickpeas
These Spicy Cinnamon Crispy Chickpeas are one of my favorite snacks because they walk the line between sweet and savory. The cinnamon and cloves trick my brain into thinking they are sweet. But the cayenne and smoked paprika brings me back to savory. They are also a great topping for salads, pasta, or roasted veggies, anything that could use a bit of crunch.
What is a Chickpea?
I first learned about chickpeas through Indian food (Chana Saag for the win!). They are my go to vegetarian protein source. A chickpea, also known as a garbanzo bean or chana, is a type of legume. It’s been around for quite a while, as early as 3500 B.C.E! Chickpeas are used in cuisines all over the world but originated in the Middle East, most likely Turkey. There are two cultivated varieties:
- Desi – They are small, dark in color, and either smooth or wrinkly. Desi are generally consumed dry as a flour (dhal) or in sauces like hummus or in soups because they are slow to cook and can be fibrous.
- Kabuli – Most likely what you have in your pantry, Kabuli are larger in size and lighter in color than Desi. They are less fibrous and faster cooking than Desi. Kabuli are used in salads, vegetable mixes, and in canning. Both the seeds and pods can be consumed fresh.
How to Cook Dry Chickpeas
You can either use canned or dried chickpeas to make this recipe, though I prefer the texture of dried. If you’re like me, and you want to use dry chickpeas too, here are a few steps you’ll need to take.
- Pick through the chickpeas. Occasionally you will find stones mixed in with your bag of chickpeas, so make sure you sort through your bag and pick them out. Once you are done picking through your chickpeas, give them a good rinse.
- Soak the chickpeas.
- Overnight: Take a cup of dry chickpeas and put them in a glass or plastic container with a lid and cover with about 1-2 inches of cold water. Let sit in the refrigerator overnight, up to 24 hours but not much longer because they will start to ferment. Give them a good rinse before going on to step 3.
- Quick Soak: Put a cup of dry chickpeas into a saucepan and cover them with about 2 inches of water. Bring to a boil. Let boil for 2 minutes. Remove from the heat, cover, and let soak for 1 hour.
- Cook on the stove. In a 4 ½ quart sauce pan, fill with 10 cups of cold water and 1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt, 1 bay leaf and the chickpeas. Bring to a boil and reduce the heat to a low simmer. Cook for about 90 minutes or until the chickpeas are soft but not mushy. Spread out onto a single layer to cool and then pat dry. Store in the refrigerator or use immediately.
These chickpeas were originally part of another recipe I was creating: Roasted Squash Salad. Truth be told, I had never had a squash salad. But I like squash, I like vinaigrette. And I like chickpeas, what could go wrong! Everything tasted great on its own but then I put it all together it was not good. The flavors and textures were all wrong together. It is something that you will never see on this blog in its original state. But I did end up with these delicious crispy chickpeas, so win!
Chickpeas: Healthy, (Should be) Paleo, Vegan, Kosher Friendly
These Spicy Cinnamon Crispy Chickpeas are a great snack. They are a perfect potato chip replacement. Or crouton replacement for salads. Each cup of chickpeas are low in calories, high in fiber, and have loads of protein. While these are not technically paleo, they should be based on how long they have been around but that’s a discussion for another blog post.
How to Store Your Spicy Cinnamon Crispy Chickpeas
My favorite way to eat these Spicy Cinnamon Crispy Chickpeas is by the handful. I have found they keep best in an uncovered jar on the counter. So it makes it easy to just walk by and grab a handful when I am feeling peckish. They are also quite filling. All you need is a handful to tide you over until dinner. I’ve had them stay tasty for up to 2 weeks. Though they rarely last that long.
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Spicy Cinnamon Crispy Chickpeas
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
- ⅛ teaspoon ground cloves
- ⅛ teaspoon cayenne
- Pinch of nutmeg
- 2 ½ cups cooked chickpeas
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Preheat the oven to 425° F. In a small bowl, whisk together cinnamon, smoked paprika, cloves, cayenne, and nutmeg. Set aside.
- Place chickpeas on a half-size sheet pan or cookie tray, drizzle with olive oil and salt. Toss to combine making sure all of the chickpeas are coated in the oil. Bake in the oven for 20-22 minutes, they should have a crispy outer shell. Remove from the oven, pour spices over chickpeas and toss to coat. Return pan to oven and continue roasting for another 5-10 minutes or the chickpeas are crispy throughout. Let cool completely on the sheet pan. Store in a jar without a lid. Enjoy!