Delving into the Archives: toasted chickpeas

go directly to the recipe

summary: going through our photo archives; recipe for toasted chickpeas; reconstituting dried chickpeas vs using canned chickpeas; good uses for za’atar;

I was looking through our photo archives the other day and realized I haven’t raved about the toasted chickpeas we made in early January!

toasted chickpeas

In our Christmas present last December from my sister, there was a jar of her home-made za’atar and a recipe for chickpeas.

Now we’ve had za’atar with flat bread. But it had never occurred to us to add za’atar to chickpeas. (Thinking about it though, whyever not?)

P’s recipe calls for using canned chickpeas. Not that there’s anything wrong with canned chickpeas. We just never have them, unless we go out specifically to buy them. But we do usually have dried chickpeas on hand.

Obviously, we could easily have soaked some chickpeas overnight (with a bit of baking soda, of course) and then followed P’s recipe.

Drain and rinse the chickpeas and put in a saucepan. Add [water and] bring to a boil […], then reduce the heat to low and simmer, covered for about an hour. (If you forgot to add the baking soda to the soaking water, the cooking time will be much longer, 2 hours or more.)
-Anissa Helou, Mediterranean Street Food, Chickpea Soup Lablabi, p.9

But no. That would be too easy. We were doggedly compelled to look on the internet to see what others had done with chickpeas and za’atar. We found Ema (Do What Ema Says) and liked what she said:

Listen. This recipe will start with dried chickpeas and uses the Instant Pot to rehydrate them. At the moment I have the time and the inclination to make this recipe using dried chickpeas and I think it changes the texture to be more crunchy/chewy, which I prefer. That being said it is TOTALLY fine to make this recipe using canned chickpeas. Lots of us don’t have the time right now to invest in chickpeas. Seriously. And also seriously, NO ONE is gonna be made to feel less on my blog for using healthy, time-saving shortcuts. There are days when I use canned chickpeas, too.
-Ema, Do What Ema Says | Za’atar Roasted Chickpeas

Here is what we did to Ema’s recipe to make delicious toasted chickpeas:

Toasted Chickpeas
based on the recipe for Za’atar Roasted Chickpeas on the website, Do What Ema Says

  • dried chickpeas (about 1/3 less in volume than you plan to toast)
  • ⅛ tsp (pinch) baking soda
  • water
  • good shot olive oil
  • sea salt, to taste
  • za’atar, to taste
  1. On the evening before you are going to toast the chickpeas, sort (to remove stones) and wash the chickpeas well. Place them in a bowl large enough for the chickpeas to triple. Add plenty of cold water and a pinch of baking soda – the chickpeas will expand – add a little more water than you think is necessary. Cover the bowl with a plate and leave to soak overnight.
  2. The next morning, remove and discard any chickpeas that are floating. Drain and rinse the remaining chickpeas. Reserve or discard the soaking water (see notes below for what to do with reserved soaking water). Put the drained chickpeas in a big pot and cover with fresh cold water. DO NOT ADD SALT. Bring to a boil. Immediately turn down to a low simmer. Cover, and simmer gently for about 30 minutes or until the chickpeas are tender (If you didn’t add baking soda to the soaking water, it may take at least 4 times as long to cook the beans). The outer husks will still be firm when the insides are soft. They are done when the insides of the chickpes are soft.
  3. Rinse, drain, and pat the chickpeas dry. Place them in a single layer on a rimmed cookie sheet. Drizzle on some olive oil, and sprinkle on a little salt. Make sure that all the chickpeas are well covered with oil.
  4. Bake at relatively high heat (we used our toaster oven) for 20-30 minutes. The chickpeas are done when they are golden and crispy.
  5. Remove the pan from the oven and toss in some za’atar. Put the pan back in the oven for about 5 minutes to set the spice mixture.

Serve immediately as a snack. They also work very well in place of croutons in a salad.


» reconstituting dried pulses: We find that using a large bowl, plenty of water, a tiny bit of baking soda, and planning ahead is easy. But I gather lots of people may be challenged with that. Ema uses her Instant Pot to rehydrate her chickpeas by using the bean setting.

According to Sally and Martin Stone in “The Brilliant Bean“, most dried beans double in volume and weight after being soaked and cooked. Soybeans and chickpeas can triple.

“As a general rule, 1 cup (8oz) of dried beans increases to 2 to 2½ c (1 to 1¼ lb) of cooked beans. One cup of dried beans is usually enough to serve four as a side dish.”

… (1 lb = 453.6 gm)

Canned beans can be used as well. Drain and rinse the beans first. The liquid in canned beans is often a bit stinky, murky, and oversalted.

» chickpea cooking liquid: The cooking liquid from chickpeas can be used to make ersatz meringue. Really!

» spices: As well as za’atar, Ema suggests adding small amounts of powdered cumin and cayenne.


These are really really really good! Addictively good. They’re delicious on their own and they would be fantastic in a salad. They’d also be great as a garnish for hummus.

Toasted Chickpeas

Coincidentally, just after we made the toasted chickpeas, I noticed an LCBO Food and Drink (AUTUMN 2019) recipe for Roasted Cauliflower with Crispy Chickpeas, Spiced Tomato Sauce & Feta that had bookmarked after glancing at when I had picked up the magazine way back in the fall. In fact, I had pretty much forgotten that I had bookmarked it. I looked more closely to see “crispy chickpeas”! (It calls for using canned chickpeas too. Which never ceases to amaze me – dried . )

We were oven-roasting cauliflower with abandon in the early fall (I can’t believe that I didn’t rave about how good it is AND how easy).

Naturally, I haven’t made the LCBO’s oven-roasted cauliflower recipe yet…. Cauliflower is way too expensive right now. :lalala:

I confess that when I finally started typing this, I couldn’t find my sister’s recipe anywhere. (Duh.) Happily, she has a much better filing system and immediately re-sent the recipe she had attached to the za’atar jar.

Here you go. They’re not roasted, but simmered in a far too much oil which makes them delicious. Don’t be alarmed by the amount of oil (or be alarmed but ignore your alarm).

  • One 450 mL (15 oz) can chickpeas—drained, rinsed and patted dry
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp za’atar
  • 1 tsp lemon juice (fresh if possible)
  • ½ tsp salt
  1. Bring chickpeas, garlic, za’atar, and oil to a bare simmer in a small skillet over medium-low heat. Cook, stirring occasionally and reducing heat if needed, 10 minutes. Stir in ½ tsp. kosher salt and remove skillet from heat.
  2. Using a slotted spoon, transfer chickpeas to a bowl, leaving oil behind. Whisk lemon juice into oil; taste dressing and season with more kosher salt and a few grinds of pepper if needed.
  3. Serve over greens with thinly sliced radishes, avocado and a slice of crusty bread.

– from Bon Appetit | Lemony Salmon and Spiced Chickpeas

Love P

We really should make this one too, don’t you think?

Look!! As I was typing this up this report, I came across the following!

[I]f you want to make your own roasted chickpeas, soak some overnight in plenty of cold water with a little bicarbonate of soda. The next day, rinse them well and cook them making sure not to let them go mushy. Between 30 and 45 minutes boiling time should do the trick — by the way, buy really good dried chickpeas; Spanish or Lebanese ones are great. Drain them and gently spread them […]
-Anissa Helou, roasted chickpeas (2dameh)

This entry was posted in food & drink, posts with recipes, side, vegetables, vegetarian on by .

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