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caramelised cardamom chickpeas

February 24, 2013

Makes a large bowlful
Prep time: 1 hour

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These are nice.  I’ve been wanting to try baked chickpeas for a while now, since the whole idea of crunchy little nuggets of roasty goodness sounded so appetising.  I was going to do a fairly standard smoky spice blend, the kind of thing I usually chuck on to potato wedges – paprika, cumin, cayenne, garlic – but then I had the urge to make them sweet.  With cardamom and maple syrup – mmm.

I think the method of cooking slower for longer is more foolproof as there seems to be a brief window of readiness during which you have to watch carefully, otherwise your squishy, underdone chickpeas will suddenly turn into black pebbles.

 

Ingredients

Dried chickpeas, 200g, soaked and cooked according to instructions, or 2 x 400g cans
Extra virgin olive oil, 2 tbsp
4 cardamom pods
Maple syrup, 3 tbsp
A good pinch of sea salt

Preheat oven to 190C.  Spread the chickpeas out on a baking tray.  Give them a good rub with a clean tea towel to dry them and to get any loose skins off.  Pick them over carefully to remove any duds and skins.

Roast them for 45 minutes, taking them out every now and again and giving the tray a jiggle.

Bash the cardamom pods in a pestle and mortar and pick out the seeds, discarding the husks.  Pound the seeds to a powder.  In a large bowl mix the oil, syrup, cardamom and salt.

After 45 minutes or so, when the chickpeas are mostly done but still slightly moist in the middle, take them out, pour them into the bowl and mix them with the syrupy dressing.  Spread them back out on the baking tray and roast for a further 15-20 minutes until crunchy right through, checking every five minutes to ensure they don’t overcook.

Taste when they come out and add more syrup, salt or cardamom if you think they need it.  But don’t overdo the cardamom.

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