By the time you read this I will be somewhere in the air on my way home to Kansas. I’ve written in the past about my carefully packed snacks for flying. This time around my airplane snack bag includes crispy chickpeas….
I’d read a number of blog posts by professional bloggers that made a case for peeling chickpeas. I was sold on the benefits, but still I wrote peeling chickpeas off as an activity reserved for people for whom blogging is a full-time job.
But then my friend Katie, who juggles grad school and work, wrote about what she calls game-changing hummus. The secret to super creamy hummus, as you may already know, is peeled chickpeas. I decided right then and there that if Katie can find time to peel chickpeas, I can too.
You probably won’t be surprised to hear me now proclaim my love for peeled chickpeas, just like Katie and all those other bloggers before me. They’re absolutely right – peeling chickpeas is worth the trouble. If you can carve out 10 or 15 minutes to do it, peeled chickpeas make extra creamy hummus, and in the case of this recipe, extra crispy pan-fried chickpeas.
I’ve now been a chickpea-peeling convert for some time, and this technique seems to make quick work of it.
1) Spread the chickpeas out on half a dish towel. Fold the remaining half of the dish towel over the top of the chickpeas and gently rub the dish towel over the surface of the chickpeas. I do this for about a minute and it loosens the peels.
2) Pluck the chickpeas off the towel one-by-one, tossing the peel aside as you go.
3) Transfer the peeled chickpeas to a bowl.
Once they are peeled, when the chickpeas meet hot oil in a pan, the outsides turn deep golden brown and so crisp that they are one of my favorite crunchy snacks.
I tossed my chickpeas in a spice mixture that is sweet, salty, and a bit smoky – it’s similar to the spice mixture I use when I roast chickpeas, but I took a great cue from Bon Appétit and finished them with fresh lime. We always end up eating these straight from the bowl – it’s hard to resist them for much longer.
However, if you can save some, I have a really delicious way to use them that will have to wait until I’m back on solid ground.
- 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
- 2 teaspoons chili powder
- ½ teaspoon granulated sugar
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon fresh-cracked black pepper
- vegetable oil
- 2 cups chickpeas (from a can or dried chickpeas that have been cooked and cooled) *see note
- zest and juice from ½ lime
- In a medium mixing bowl, combine the paprika, chili powder, sugar, salt, and pepper.
- Pour enough vegetable oil into a medium saute pan to coat the bottom. Heat over medium-high heat until the oil begins to shimmer. Carefully add the chickpeas to the oil and sauté until golden brown, about 5 minutes. Remove chickpeas from the oil with a slotted and transfer to a plate covered with a paper towel. Allow to cool for a minute and, while still hot, transfer the chickpeas to the bowl with the spice mixture. Toss to coat. Squeeze lime juice and zest over the chickpeas and serve immediately.