Chana Jor Garam - A Tangy Spicy Oven Roasted Crispy Chickpeas

The summer vacation is over. Finally! 

I had hyperventilated at the start of the break as to how will we survive the super long vacation. But as I was getting the boy ready for his "first day of kindergarten", I knew I wasn't ready. 

All I wanted was one more day of sleeping in; just one more cuddling up and reading a book under the sheets; just another chance of messing up the kitchen together; one more dip at the community pool; one more after dinner ice cream treat and the list goes on. 

The boy was excited to go to the "big school" in a school bus. The entire preschool year I had a tough time dropping him off. He would cling to me and his teacher had to literally peel him off me. It ached my heart a little when he gave me a hurried hug and a careless kiss and marched into the big yellow bus and didn't even look back. I sighed.

On the brighter side, now that the kid is happily back to school, its time for me to clear off that "Drafts" folder and let my posts see the light of the day. So let me re-welcome you to my blog with a nice hot cuppa of fragrant Cardamom tea and a big bowl of Tangy Spicy Crispy Chickpeas, which will leave you begging for more.

Far healthier and equally tasty and addictive as potato chips, these tangy, spicy and crispy concoction is surely going to satisfy your afternoon salt cravings. And its a breeze to make barring the last 5 mins of babysitting you need to do, as that's the difference between the perfect crunchy chickpeas and rock-hard pellets. These crunchy spicy nuggets are so delicious, that you might forget how good they are for you.

When it comes to beans, I like to be old school and re-hydrate my beans overnight and then cook them to perfection in my pressure cooker. But for this specific recipe I find the canned chickpeas works better. The chickpeas are perfectly al dente and they crisp up in just about 30 minutes.

I really crave something spicy, something salty with my afternoon cuppa, especially if its raining and these are perfect for those 4 PM cravings. Pair these them with a chilled beer or that refreshing mojito and you just found the healthiest "happy hour" snack. Combine the crispy chickpeas with air popped pop-corns, some dried cranberries and pistachios (or any nuts of choice) and you have an amazing trail mix ready to satisfy your mid morning hunger pangs. Add them to your favorite salad instead of nuts for that crunch without the fat. This spicy concoction is amazingly versatile.

So what will be your favorite way of enjoying them?

Recipe Snapshot: Chana Jor Garam - A Tangy Spicy Oven Roasted Crispy Chickpeas
Adapted from: Inspired Edibles's Crispy Roasted Chili Lime Chickpeas

Serves: 4 serving

(1 serving = 1/2 cup)

What I used:
White Chickpeas/ Garbanzo Beans/ Kabuli Chana - 2 (15.5 oz) cans, thoroughly washed and drained. 

Lime juice - 2 tbsp (juice of one lime)

Red Chili Powder - 1 teaspoon, heaped
(for a milder version substitute half or entire amount with Paprika)

Roasted Cumin Powder - 2 tsp, heaped
(Dry roast cumin seeds in a flat skillet over low heat till light brown and fragrant. Cool and then grind in a spice grinder)

Olive oil - 2 tbsp

Himalayan Pink Salt (or Sea Salt or Rock Salt) to taste

What I did:
1. Preheat the oven at 400 F and line a cookie sheet with aluminium foil and grease it lightly.

2. In a large bowl, combine the washed and drained chickpeas, red chili powder, roasted cumin powder, salt, lime juice and oil. Give it a good toss, so that all the chickpeas are evenly coated with the spices. Let it stand for at least 30 minutes. This will let the chickpeas absorb the flavors. 

3. Dump the entire mixture onto the cookie sheet and spread it into a even, uncrowded layer.

4. Bake it in the oven 30 minutes, turning and shaking the sheets every 10 minutes to get that even roasting. 

5. Now the most important step: Around the 30 minutes mark, the chickpeas would have changed their texture and become crispy. At least the few of them would have. This stage is the most critical. A little less time in the oven, the chickpeas would still be meaty and chewy (which is delicious too) and a little longer than the required time, the chickpeas would become hard pellets which the squirrels wont even touch! You would want to take out the cookie sheet every 2-3 minutes and check for desired doneness. Keep removing the chickpeas that have become crunchy and put the "still meaty" ones back in the oven. 

6. Let it cool to room temperature before serving.

Diabetic Platter:

Chickpeas are a rich source of fiber, low glycemic carbohydrates, folate and vegetable protein. They also contain good amounts of manganese, phosphorus and iron.  In fact, a half cup serving of cooked chickpeas contains 6.2 grams of fiber, 7 grams of high-quality plant protein and 35% of the RDA for folate - wrapped up in a mere 134 calories.


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