[Smashy the Hammer] [An Aspiring Luddite]
I carry no phone
An aspiring Luddite
In a wired world.
[Jeff Berry]
Jeff Berry is an early adopter of the Internet and the Web, a late adopter of Twitter, and declines to adopt Facebook. With the death of Google+, he's experimenting with federated platforms. He admins a medievalist Mastodon instance, and can found on the PlusPora diaspora pod. He hates cell-phones.

Some Things Do With Chickpeas
10 October 2013

I like chickpeas; it's really just that simple. So when I saw them in the store, next to the beans I was actually looking for, I went ahead and tossed them in the basket, certain that I would find something to do with them. And - lo! - it came to pass.

I knew I wanted crunchy somethings, but I also had been having a craving for something more salady. The former I had not done much before, and for the latter I had in mind a variation on an old Roman recipe that I've made a few times in the past. So that was two. Then I finally had a chance to visit the local Asian supermarket, where I picked up a few more things, and since I still had chickpeas left over, went for yet another variation. Then there were three.

The first step in any of these is getting your chickpeas ready. If you are using canned chickpeas, then just drain them and you're ready to go. If you are using dried chickpeas, then soak them overnight, drain them, cover them in water and simmer for half-an-hour to an hour, depending on how soft you like them, then drain them and let the cool. Thus armed, you may proceed.

[Lots of pictures]

Chickpeas After Apicius

The original, from Apicius, a cookbook which is usually dated to the 4th century AD. It reads:

Faseoli virides et cicer ex sale, cumino, oleo et mero modico inferuntur.
Or, 'Green beans and chickpeas are served with salt, cumin, oil and a little wine.'

What exactly is meant by green beans, by the way, is a bit up in the air. Grocock & Grainger, in the edition above, translate the 'green' as 'fresh,' which seems reasonable, and apply it both to the chickpeas and to the faseoli, which they translate as 'black-eyed peas.' However, we are interested in the chickpeas.

You can certainly make up a little dressing with wine, cumin, salt and oil, and I have done so in the past, but this time I didn't. Instead, I simply sprinkled some salt and cumin on the chickpeas in a bowl, added a splash of malt vinegar, and gave it a quick stir. That worked just fine, thank you very much. Oh, and I added a bit of parsley. Mint would probably be good, too.

Fried Chickpea Snacks

Mix up a spice mix, according to your preference. I used roughly equal parts of salt, cumin and paprika. (I find cumin goes very well with chickpeas, in general.) Set it aside.

Put a bit of oil in a pan and get it medium hot. Add your chickpeas and cook them until they get some color on them and have the degree of crunch that you like. This may take quite a while, depending on how well drained and dried they are. Fortunately, while I like a bit of crunch, I don't require it, so I could simply cook them until I got bored, and then consider them done.

Transfer to a bowl, taking as little oil with you as possible. Sprinkle with your spice mix, toss to coat and then either let them sit or just devour them. I usually make them up as needed and then devour them.

Baked Chickpea Snacks

Heat your oven to pretty hot, something in a 390F/200C is about right. Put your chickpeas in an roasting dish of some kind. Splash on some soy sauce and give it a good stir to coat. Stick it in the oven for about half-an-hour. Pull it out, give it another good stir, then stick it back in for another half-an-hour. Pull it out. At this point the soy sauce should be pretty well evaporated, so scoop or scrape out the chickpeas and put them in bowl. If you'd like, dust them with some additional seasoning - I used some of the salt, paprika and cumin mix - and toss or stir to coat.


© 2013 Jeff Berry
The Aspiring Luddite