This recipe is my version of “Crispy Spiced Chickpeas” from “The Complete Vegetarian Cookbook” from America’s Test Kitchen. They use vegetable oil in many of their recipes (which is the main complaint I have about the book) so I replace it with the healthy, non-inflammatory oils–coconut oil or olive oil. I rarely fry foods but on occasion when I do, I use coconut oil as it is not damaged by high heat–if you want less of a coconut flavor use a more refined coconut oil. These chickpeas are a great snack food or crouton replacement on a salad. We made a simple, light summer meal last night by serving a large salad with eggplant pate and these chickpeas. They are particularly good warm so enjoy them as you make them!
2 cups cooked, drained chickpeas dried off on paper towels
1/2 cup coconut oil
1 tsp. paprika
1/2 tsp. cumin
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper (optional if you don’t tolerate)
1 tsp. organic sugar
1/2 tsp. sea salt
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
Mix all the ingredients except the chickpeas and coconut oil in a medium-sized glass or metal bowl. Set aside.
Heat coconut oil over medium-high heat in a large skillet (use one that has a lid) until oil is hot but not smoking–drop one chickpea in and if it sizzles the oil is hot enough. As soon as the oil is hot enough add the chickpeas (be sure they are dried off well on paper towels so you don’t get splattering when you add the chickpeas to the hot oil). Keep a lid on the skillet but keep it cracked when you are not stirring . Turn the heat down to medium and give the chickpeas an occasional stir as you fry them until crispy for about 12-15 minutes. All of the oil will be absorbed by the chickpeas as they fry. As soon as they are lightly browned remove them from the heat and spoon them into the bowl containing the spices. Stir well. Taste and add more salt or one of the spices if desired. Best served warm but will keep in refrigerator and can be heated up again in a toaster oven.