Saturday, August 27, 2011

Roasted Chickpeas

This week has been crazy. First of all, the first day of school was Monday and I officially started teaching. I survived and I even had fun with the students. It made me realize why I wanted to be a teacher in the first place. Of course, the days after that made me question my sanity and why I wanted to be a teacher. But it's only the first week and I realize that it's going to take a while for me to get the students into a routine and to build relationships with them and to get classroom management skills. It's overwhelming at times, but the other teachers have been super helpful. It also helps that in the room right next to me is another first-year teacher so we vent our frustrations to each other.

To add to the already crazy first week of school, on Wednesday, there was an earthquake. It was very minor. Thankfully, nobody was hurt and there were no damages to the area. It was also strange to think that I felt the same earthquake that my mom felt up in New Jersey. Then, on Thursday, the school had no water. We realized this after everybody had already gotten there, students and faculty. So about an hour into the first period, we were dismissed because the water line wasn't expected to be repaired until later that day. I got home in time for lunch and even had time to set up the Internet! Yes, I finally have legitimate Internet at my apartment. Took long enough, but I actually didn't mind it. Mostly because I was at least able to check my e-mail at school, but also because it felt nice to be off the Internet and out of the cyber world that sucks me in so easily.

Of course, I really didn't like not being able to update this blog, but here I am with a new entry. I love chickpeas in many forms: raw in salads, mashed in falafels, pureed in dips. But I've never had them roasted. I tried out two different recipes. Each different in their own ways, but both addicting! The first one I tried is the Garam Masala Roasted Chickpeas. Garam Masala is a spice that I don't use as often as I'd like, so I knew I wanted to give this a try. I'm glad I did because it's actually really delicious. There's a sweet but spicy flavor added to the chickpeas. They didn't end up as crunchy as I had expected, but the skins on the chickpeas toughened up and gave in with a pop when I bit into them. The inside was soft, which I ended up liking the more I ate these. I think this would be a great addition to salads instead of just plain chickpeas.

Garam Masala Roasted Chickpeas

With the second recipe, I just roasted chickpeas plain. No salt, no oil, no spices. Strangely, I preferred this recipe. It's the perfect crunchiness for me. Equally addicting. I'll definitely be eating more of this! A great, easy way to get more protein and fiber into your diet. Try both of these recipes. You won't be disappointed with either.

Oven Roasted Chickpeas

Garam Masala Roasted Chickpeas
From Bitchin Camero

2 15oz cans chickpeas
1 tbsp olive oil
2 tsp Garam Masala (Feel free to use any spice you like, or a blend of spices.)
1 tsp fine-grain sea salt

Preheat the oven to 375F. Drain the chickpeas in a colander and rinse very well. Let them dry for 5 minutes or so, then place them in a big bowl. Add the olive oil, Garam Masala and sea salt. Using your hands or a spoon, toss until the chickpeas are evenly coated.

Spread them out on a rimmed cookie sheet so that they’re not overlapping, then bake for 40 to 45 minutes, tossing the pan occasionally. They’re done when they’re crisp and crunchy.

Let them cool completely, then store in an airtight container for up to a week.

Oven Roasted Chickpeas
From Eggless Cooking

3 1/2 cups cooked chickpeas
Red chili powder (to taste, optional)
2 tsp garlic powder (optional)
Salt (to taste)

Preheat oven at 425F for 15 minutes. If using canned chickpeas, open the can, drain it in a colander, rinse it with water. Dab the chickpeas with a clean kitchen towel or paper towel. Don’t wipe it dry, little moisture is recommended so that the seasonings stick to the chickpeas.

Transfer the chickpeas to a large baking sheet and add the chili powder and garlic powder. I did not use salt because I was using canned chickpeas which has salt in it already. I also read in another place that adding salt initially will not quicken the process of roasting because it will release moisture. So add it after roasting or better cook the chickpeas with little salt if you are not using the canned ones.

Leave it in the oven for 35 to 38 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes. If you want crunchy chickpeas roast it for 38 minutes. For a crunchy-chewy texture, roast for 35 minutes. Switch off the oven and leave the baking tray in the oven itself for another 10 minutes.

Store in airtight container. Note: while the crunchy ones were perfect the next day, the crunchy-chewy ones were difficult to chew.

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