Spicy crisp chickpeas are a delicious snack with hot or cold beverages. Try Amma's original fried version or the baked; both are delicious. For another popular snack called Chana Jor Garam, smash and flatten the cooked chick peas with a heavy flat-bottomed glass or mallet, then bake or fry until crisp. Baked chick pea snacks should be consumed within a day or two as the moisture may not be completely baked out; the fried ones can last for a few days at room temperature if there are any leftovers :D.
For a delicious variation, use Chat Masala or your favorite spices instead of the spices and salt given in the recipe.
Note: I like using Popcorn salt as it is very finely ground and coats and clings to the chana rather than collect uselessly at the bottom of the bowl. It is available in most markets.
1 cup dry chickpeas, soaked
1/4 tsp Popcorn salt
1 pinch Asafoetida
1 stem curry leaves, sliced into chiffonade
1/4 tsp ground red chili (cayenne)
a few turns of freshly ground Black Pepper
Oil for deep frying
1 cup roasted peanuts (optional)
Drain the chickpeas. Cook them in fresh water until tender and drain while still quite warm; make sure they are thoroughly drained and dry.
Heat the oil until very hot but not smoking.
Cook the chickpeas in the hot oil (in batches if necessary to avoid overcrowding) carefully stirring a few times until crisp and golden.
Drain well on paper towels.
Heat 1 tsp oil in a pan and add the asafoetida; stir in the curry leaves and cook until they subside sizzling. Remove from heat and stir in the chili powder (cayenne) and pepper.
While the chickpeas and spices are still hot, mix them together along with the salt. Mix in the peanuts if you are using them.
Serve warm or cool and store at room temperature until ready to serve.
For baked chickpeas, cook the soaked peas until tender; drain thoroughly while still warm.
Stir together 2 Tbsp oil, salt, and the spices in a baking pan.
Bake at 400 F, stirring occasionally until chickpeas are almost crisp. Do not let them brown though - they will become too hard to eat.
Turn off the oven and let the chickpeas cool slowly while still in the oven.
Serve warm or at room temperature. Enjoy!!