Smoky Fried Chickpeas

By • October 2, 2009 49 Comments

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Author Notes: I was making a sort of Spanish/Moroccan Moorish sort of dinner for friends one night, and was looking for something small and spicy and crunchy to serve with drinks I thought I had almonds, but had run out but I did have a can of chickpeas..and inspiration struck.Aliwaks

Food52 Review: If you were to put out a bowl of these crunchy, smoky, spicy little nuggets at a cocktail party, it's likely they'd be gone in under five minutes. Aliwaks has taken an already brilliant idea (fried chickpeas with smoked paprika) and run with it. You also fry strips of lemon zest, fresh thyme leaves and later thinly sliced garlic to mix with the chickpeas, paprika and salt. This leads to an array of crispy little bursts of flavor, each more fragrant than the last. Do be careful while frying (use a splatter screen if you have one), and make sure the chickpeas are as dry as you can get them. It's worth a little experimenting to find a brand of chickpeas that spit less while frying but still stay tender in the middle. - A&MThe Editors

Serves enough for 4

  • 2 large cans chickpeas
  • 1 cup Olive Oil
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest, strips
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 1 sprig fresh thyme
  • 1 coarse salt to taste
  • 4 pieces garlic, sliced
  1. Drain Chickpeas and set on paper towels over a colander to dry throughly (can be done 1 day in advance).
  2. Heat oil in large pan (preferably cast iron) to 355 or until oil makes bubbles around 1 chickpea.
  3. add lemon zest, thyme sprig, chickpeas in batches so pan doesn't crowd fry about 5 minutes until crunchy color & changes.
  4. remove from oil, drain well over colander/sieve, add garlic, fry till golden.
  5. Toss with smoked paprika & salt, add more if necessary..serve warm.

More Great Recipes: Beans & Legumes|Appetizers|Hors d'oeuvres|Snacks|Olive Oil

Topics: Hanukkah

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Comments (49) Questions (7)


8 months ago Darcie Sosa

I've made this recipe and made baked chickpeas. I actually find that the baked chickpeas crisp better and they're not oily. I'm going to stick with backing them.


11 months ago Melissa

We do a similar thing with chicpeas, but we don't fry in oil. Instead, we leave a little of the juices on the chickpeas, toss them in cumin, rice flour or corn starch, and saute in an iron skillet in a thin sheet of oil with some salt. Finishing with smoked paprika, sometimes adding fenugreek and hing at the beginning. Slightly less unhealthy than the fried version, and amazingly delicious. MH at Teal Farm Vermont.


3 months ago Deejay Jones

Oh my! Do you have a proper recipe for this? It sounds amazing!


over 1 year ago Fiona Dunnett

When you say 'large can' what size do you mean? 14oz or larger? Just so I get the ratio of spices right :)


over 1 year ago frog

Please edit the recipe--it is confusing as written. The photo does not show the thyme sprig; is it discarded? I think thyme stripped from the stem would be a nice addition.


over 1 year ago Aliwaks

Frog.. what part is confusing? I'd be happy to clarify. If you wish to strip the thyme then you you can see in the thread below everyone has a interpretation.


over 1 year ago frog

add lemon zest, thyme sprig, chickpeas in batches so pan doesn't crowd fry about 5 minutes until crunchy color & changes.
remove from oil, drain well over colander/sieve, add garlic, fry till golden.
Toss with smoked paprika & salt, add more if necessary..serve warm.

By pieces of garlic, do you mean cloves? If there is but 1 sprig of thyme, how do you add it in batches? Toss garlic with smoked paprika & salt?


over 1 year ago Aliwaks

The Thyme flavors the olive oil so It doesn't need to be in every batch & it all goes in teh same bowl anyway and mixes together IF you have a huge frying pan you maybe able to fit it all in one.

As it says in the ingredient list the garlic is sliced

Toss everything, chickpeas, garlic, thyme, lemon zest with paprika & salt.


over 1 year ago Jeanette Lee Scott

So by 4 pieces of garlic you mean 4 slices???


over 1 year ago jayt

shelf life?


over 1 year ago Manhattan Tart

Made these using the spices called for but omitted the garlic cloves & used garlic powder so I could bake them (400 degrees for 30-40 min) instead of frying them. They came out great; nice & smoky. Next time, I'll dice up a bit of Spanish chorizo and toss that in while baking.


over 1 year ago Aliwaks

The chorizo sounds awesome!


over 1 year ago Rickey Smith

Yes it does, I have to try this.


almost 2 years ago Kathryn Morrissey

I am a bit obsessed with chickpeas at the moment and would never have thought to roast them. Brilliant idea for coming up to Christmas!


almost 2 years ago Karen Gordon

If you're roasting in the oven, try adding whole garlic cloves or shallots. You will be so delighted with the end result.


about 2 years ago kristen thuruthy

I want to try this recipe, but it recipe is a bit unclear. I presume you add the fired garlic to the drained chick peas with the paprika, but the recipe never gives the clear instruction..comments?


about 2 years ago Aliwaks

Kristen... you fry the chickpeas in batches..with the lemon zest & thyme... then after they are all done you fry the garlic - it burns easily so safer to fry on it's own.. then toss everything in the smoked paprika/salt mixture


about 2 years ago MrsK

This sounds wonderful! I wonder what can be served with this as the main dish...


almost 3 years ago mensaque

Loved it!Found the fotos very helpfull,cause the writen recipe is a bit hard to follow.


over 3 years ago VeraLove

I'm wondering...I love anything fried, but hate the mess. Does anyone know if it'll work if I toss them olive oil, lemon zest, thyme... and roast in the oven on a high temperature until crispy?? Do you think they will crisp up?? I guess there's only one way to find out...


over 3 years ago Jocelynl

I do these in the oven all the time and it works perfectly!


almost 3 years ago 102bleu

do you just coat them in oil? and what temp do you use?
thanks, 102bleu


over 3 years ago Lauren Bayles

This sounds amazing. Wondering same as some others: Remove chickpeas from pan and drain. Add garlic to pan and fry till golden. Should the chickpeas be added back to pan after garlic?


over 3 years ago Iris9

Superb recipe — I particularly love the harmonious vibe of the garlic with the chickpea. I'm going to add more garlic slices next time. I also added a spritz of lemon at the end, which brightened the flavours. Oh, and I didn't use smoked paprika, but mine did come directly from Budapest, so it made up for it. Mmm......

PS: Make sure to be VERY careful when frying


over 3 years ago Sena

These were delicious! I made them as part of my first attempt at cooking a vegan meal...for company...for Christmas. They were very easy to make. I cooked a bag of dry garbanzo beans the day before and then set them on a towel to dry overnight before frying them. Perfect! Thank you for posting this recipe!


over 3 years ago micook

Ok, in my continuing quest to figure out far in advance I can make just about anything, I made these Tuesday night for friends. Fried them -- it took me a bit to figure out that longer is better; you want them to look golden brown -- and held them in a warm oven for maybe half an hour. They were good. But they got better. Wednesday night, I heated some of the leftovers in the toaster over til they were hot -- yum. And the last batch Thursday night made us wish I had made more. (I had cooked a bag I found in the pantry.) So for those considering entertaining for a crowd, I'd say make them when you have time and recrisp them in the oven right before the party. Also, I added a little hot smoked paprika to the plain smoked paprika and next time would probably add more of the smoked. Delicious and totally addictive!


over 3 years ago Lauren Bayles

Enjoyed your comment/alterations. Can't wait to try. Question: You said you "cooked a bag ... found in the pantry." Were you referring to a bag of dry chickpeas or did I misunderstand?


about 4 years ago Brsboarder

How long will they last before they start to get soggy?


about 4 years ago Brsboarder

How would I make these from dried chickpeas? Soak overnight and then directly fry, or overnight, then 1 hour cook and then fry?

I would appreciate any help


about 4 years ago Aliwaks

Definitely cook them, make sure they are cool and dry. I think they will be outstanding with properly cooked chickpeas, bravo for not taking shortcuts.


over 4 years ago magdance

Delicious! I made them with chick peas cooked from scratch and had no trouble with getting them dry. Just spread on a towel after cooking and leave for an hour or two. I gave them the quick soak (bring to boil and let sit for an hour) and then cooked until soft but not falling apart, about 40 minutes. Also it's fine if you keep the cooked chick peas in the fridge for a few days or a week before drying and frying. Yes, I've eaten a lot of these yummy little guys all by myself while trying this out.


over 4 years ago jnewberry

1 coarse salt? Is that 1 tablespoon?


almost 4 years ago BocaCindi

It's coarse salt to taste. I found it on another site. It was bugging me too. A Tablespoon sounded like too much. I will be making these very soon.