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9 August 2015

Crunchy Thai Sweet Chili Chickpeas

Crunchy Thai Sweet Chili Chickpeas
I absolutely love crunchy foods, which doesn't help when most crunchy foods happen to be that way from being deep fried - definitely not good for you! My favourite snack is the Thai sweet chili coated peanuts that you buy from supermarkets, they're spicy, sweet, crunchy, delicious and fattening - apart from the protein in the peanuts the snack doesn't really contain much goodness and can add up to 1000 calories a bag, which isn't good for something that you just keep reaching for. I've had baked chickpeas before and love the crunch they have, so I thought, what if i could re-create that Thai sweet chili flavour with baked chickpeas instead of peanuts. Chickpeas - also known as garbanzo beans are extremely nutritious; per cup of cooked beans they contain 15g of protein, 4.7mg of iron and are also high in vitamin B-6 and magnesium, but these are still beans and contain 13g of fibre - so don't eat too many at once!
Crunchy Thai Sweet Chili Chickpeas
After some trial and error I'm really happy with the flavours I've created, the chickpeas are sweet, spicy, salty and have a little hint of smokeyness that brings all the seasonings together to produce a wonderful flavour for this crunchy snack. The good thing about being at home for the summer is that I have someone else to help me eat all the food I've made - in 3 weeks I'll have my new housemates to help me with that challenge! I don't know where the past two months have gone and I can't believe that I'm moving into my uni house so soon, but I am really looking forward to being able to go for a nice long run along the beach!

Make sure to fully dry the chickpeas before baking
The next day the chickpeas may loose their crunch, so place back in a 200°C oven for 10-15 minutes until crunchy again. The spice mix makes around 4-5 tbsp of seasoning, use 1.5 tbsp of seasoning per 1 cup boiled chickpeas. I used chickpeas that I soaked over night, then boiled for 1.5 hours until tender, but you can also used canned chickpeas, just be sure that with both types, you dry the chickpeas thoroughly before baking - any moisture will steam the chickpeas and they might not crisp up as well! At the end of the cooking, to really help the chickpeas get crunchy and allow the flavours to infuse fully, I turned the oven off but left the chickpeas in there to dry out fully for 20-25 minutes - if you remove them before this time they won't be completely crispy and the flavour may just be on the outside of the beans. I used the oil I had left over from a jar of sun dried tomatoes for added flavour but regular cooking oil will be fine, it may sound like a lot of oil but it's about 1 tbsp per cup of chickpeas used and will help the seasoning to stick as well as contributing to the crunchiness.

Crunchy Thai Sweet Chili Chickpeas | Yield: 3 cups | Total Time: 1 hour (Cooking Time: 35 mins, Resting  Time 25 mins)

You'll need:

  • 2-3 Baking trays 
  • Grease-proof paper
  • Measuring spoons
  • Small bowl
  • Medium bowl
  • Clean tea towel/paper towels

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups (~2 cans) cooked chickpeas. 
  • 3 tbsp sun dried tomato oil/cooking oil
  • 1 tbsp chickpea flour
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 1.5 tsp Thai 7 spice
  • 1.5 tsp dried parsley
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 tsp  + a pinch salt
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger
  • pinch turmeric

Method:

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 200°C and line two baking trays with grease-proof paper.
  2. Dry the chickpeas well by rubbing them between a tea towel - don't worry if any of the skins come off, just discard them.
  3. Spread the chickpeas out on the baking trays and bake for 20 minutes (over-crowding the tray will stop them crisping up, so use 2 or 3 as needed). Meanwhile in the small bowl combine all the spices and mix together well. After the 20 mins, transfer the chickpeas to the medium bowl, coat in oil and then mix in the spices, place back on the baking tray for a further 15 minutes. After this, turn the oven off, crack the door open slightly and leave to crisp up for 20-25 minutes, remove and serve up as a delicious and nutritious snack! 
  4. If eating the next day, re-heat in the oven at 200°C for 10-15 minutes until crunchy again.


Cassidy xx

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