Fried chickpeas are an easy and delicious snack or offering at a party. They’re simply fried for 5 minutes in oil, then generously spiced however you wish. The spices given here are one of the directions I like to take them. But you could also use salt and pepper, lemon zest, garlic salt, and Parmesan cheese. It’s up to your imagination and taste.
It’s important to note that while you can use canned chickpeas for this recipe, I find them to be too mushy, so I highly recommend using dried chickpeas soaked overnight. Frying dried chickpeas that have been soaked results in a cooked pea that is delicately crunchy on the outside and tender inside. Canned chickpeas are already cooked, so you’re effectively cooking them twice, but if you have the hunger and only have canned—feel free to rinse, dry, and fry!
Soak the chickpeas in abundant water, refrigerated, for at least 8 hours or as long as 3 days. Drain them and put them in a bowl lined with paper towels. Dry them as best as you can.
In a large saucepan, bring the oil to 350°F to 375°F/175°C to 190°C over high heat. Make sure the oil doesn’t come up beyond the pot’s halfway point, as the moisture in the chickpeas will turn to vapor and cause the oil to bubble up. Working in batches if necessary, add the chickpeas and fry until they are browned and crunchy, about 5 minutes. They’ll float to the surface of the oil when they’re done. Remove with a slotted spoon or spider to a bowl lined with paper towels.
Sprinkle the chickpeas liberally with salt. Sprinkle with the other spices one at a time, shaking the bowl to distribute the seasoning. Use a little more than you think you need, then taste and adjust. Serve warm.
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