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Jan 16, 2011 09:04 AM

Burnt chickpeas

Dang. I just burnt my chickpeas. I'm making tabouleh today, and I like adding chickpeas, but now I've gone and burnt them. (The water boiled down and I was busy doing something else.) Though actually, they're not TOO burnt, and I think they might actually taste nice, like a bit grilled, with dark spots. Does anybody out there ever intentionally burn, or you know, overcook their chickpeas, to give them a grilled taste? Is there a better way to do it than to actually burn them? Like roasting?

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  1. Been there. As long as the burnt flavor is not too pronounced in bitterness, I use them. I've caught them at that point of almost no return more than once, and used them anyway. So it just depends on the degree of burnt flavor for whether they get used or tossed. A slightly burnt flavor translates to a bit of smokiness in whatever you're making.

    I do like to roast them for a crunchy snack. This one's in my snack file and I probably got it from a poster here at Chow, thanks and kudos to whomever posted it. You can't use these for tabouleh, though. The comments are the OP's, and mine are in parenthesis:

    1. Preheat oven at 425F for 15 minutes. (I do 20, that's my oven.)

    2. If using canned chickpea, open the can, drain it in a colander, rinse it with water. Dab the chickpeas with a clean kitchen towel or paper towel. Don’t wipe it dry, a little moisture is recommended so that the seasonings stick to the chickpeas.

    3. Transfer the chickpeas to a large baking sheet and add chili powder (I use ancho or a smoked chli powder I have and granulated garlic.) I did not use salt because I was using canned chickpeas which has salt in it already. I also read in another place that adding salt initially will not quicken the process of roasting because it will release moisture. So add it after roasting or better cook the chickpeas with little salt if you are not using the canned ones.
    (I season them with kosher salt after they're done.)

    4. Leave it in the oven for 35-38 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes. If you want crunchy chickpeas roast it for 38 minutes. My husband likes the crunchy-chewy texture, so 35 minutes was perfect. I took out some after 35 minutes and roasted the balance for another 3-4 minutes. Again keep in mind that oven temperatures vary, so check yours around 35 minutes first and then decide either to roast it further or not.

    5. After 35 or 38 minutes, switch off the oven and leave the baking tray in the oven itself for another 10 minutes.

    6. Roasted chickpeas are ready to be snacked on. It was so crunchy and addictive. We couldn’t stop nibbling on. Anyhow I managed to save some for the next day to see if it remained crunchy even then. I stored them in a closed container and left it on the counter. The crunchy ones were perfect the next day too, but the chewy-crunchy ones were bit difficult to chew.

    2 Replies
    1. re: bushwickgirl

      Thanks for the support AND the recipe, Bushwickgirl! And thanks, too for the tip about salt. Now that you mention it, it makes sense that salt would bring out moisture in a bad way. Makes me rethink how I'll roast potatoes in the future. P.S. for another nice homemade crunchy snack, I like pumpkin and squash seeds.

      1. re: JoyceHanson

        You're welcome.

        I want to mention that chile powder doesn't have to be the only seasoning choice for the roasted chick peas; that can be varied according to whim. Smoky, very zippy, like straight cayenne, a good curry powder, even an exotic mix of sweet and savory, like garam masala or a nice warming sweet chai blend is good. All excellent with pumpkin and squash seeds as well. Cheers!