Summer is gone astray here. It rains and rains and rains. There are no chances to enjoy my favourite activities at home, which are two. I have a shared garden that nobody else uses, where we can have barbecues. We had no opportunity for a barbecue since last month. And then, I have a terrace above my head. I rarely go there, surely not in winter when it is covered with snow. But the views are great and it faces west, so sitting there in the evening with one of the excellent German beers and something to nibble on is a great way to unwind after a working day. There are a couple of challenges involved though: making sure the bare wood on the floor is not wet or humid, which requires this rain to stop for at least a couple of days; trying to convince the cats not to jump down from the roof; and managing to climb the very steep ladder down even after a beer. Which makes the snacking part vital. The food must be easy to carry (you need at least one hand to climb up that ladder, so one trip for the beer and one for the snack), it must be tasty, it must be healthy because I can’t keep on putting on weight, and then you have to have some dinner, right?
Well, these roasted chickpeas would have it all, if only it stopped raining. I made it to nibble at a Harry Potter cinema marathon. I don’t know why I went, I honestly don’t: I probably wanted an excuse to make some snacks, since I’ve consistently fallen asleep at each and every Harry Potter movie so far. This snack is hot and salty and will make you lick your fingers like the best snacks should. It will make you thirsty which is great if you are relaxing on a terrace with views on the woods and easy access to beer, not so great if you are stuck in an overcrowded theatre with no air conditioning. It will make you feel full and quite virtuous but satisfied, and may even convince you you don’t need that chocolate ice cream you’ve been craving, after all. Just one warning: the chickpeas just out of the oven were great, crunchy and tasty. I did not have time to let them cool before packing so they steamed in the package and went a little rubbery. Oh well. We ate them the same, but by all means, please plan in advance and let them cool completely before packing.
Roasted chickpeas are something you can buy: I was not aware of it until a few months ago, when I walked into a Turkish shop and bought a bag out of curiosity. My partner already knew them: they are quite popular in the southern part of Italy and it is easy to find them at fairs as a nibble. Indeed, we bought more to snack on when we went in Calabria. The store bought chickpeas are harder than this version and they are not spiced. Here you can control the amount of salt and what spices you want on it, as well as adding all sorts of seeds. I loved the kick from berbere, but any spice combination will work. The recipe requires a hot oven for a considerable amount of time, so maybe it is not the most summery recipe in the world. But with the summer we’re having here, at least this is not an issue at all.
Since this recipe has sat too long on my bookmark list from Maki’s Just hungry website before I went round trying it, I am sharing it with Jaqueline @ Tinned Tomatoes, and her revamp of the event ‘Bookmarked recipes‘, originally created by Ruth @Ruth’s kitchen experiments. And being yet another legume recipe, I am elated to be able to participate to yet another edition of My Legume Love Affair. A long lasting love affair, since with this edition, number 37, the event kicks off its fourth year. Happy birthday MLLA, and to many more to come! And thanks Susan for creating it.
Spicy Roasted chickpeas
(makes a good amount, but they keep well if you let them cool before packing)
200 gr dries chickpeas, soaked overnight and boiled until tender, or use canned
1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
1 teaspoon berbere, or to taste, or just chilli powder
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon brown mustard seeds
1 teaspoon nigella seeds (or black onion seeds)
2 teaspoon olive oil
1/2 tablespoon lemon juice
Preheat the oven to 200 Celsius. Drain well the chickpeas, then toss them with salt, oil, lemon juice, the seeds and spices mixing quickly with your hands until they are all uniformly covered. Spread on a baking tray and bake until slightly browned and crunchy, mixing the chickpeas every ten minutes or so to get even roasting. Depending on your oven, this can take around 30-40 minutes. Let cool completely before storing in a tin box.