A few years ago (three, to be exact), my friends surprised me with the most beautiful birthday dinner complete with fairy lights, a soundtrack evocative of Gilmore Girls (one of my all-time favourite TV shows) and of course a fully vegan home cooked spread complete with a decadent mocha-frosted chocolate cake, caramelised bananas and vegan ice cream. Needless to say, it was pretty much the perfect evening and has since gone down as one of my favourite birthday celebrations to date.
When it came time to unwrap my present, a noticeably larger than average square shaped box, I was beyond excited. Imagine my surprise when I peeled back the wrapping paper to reveal…an air-fryer.
I believe my internal dialogue and train of thought that followed went a little something like this:
- Oh wow, an air fryer!
- Did I ever even mention wanting one of these?
- I really hope this wasn’t too expensive.
- What an earth am I going to do with this?
- Mama’s going to kill me for taking up more space in the kitchen.
- Oh God everyone’s staring at me. SMILE AND PRETEND YOU LOVE IT!
But truth be told – I didn’t love it. At least, not at first. I remember taking it home, pulling it out of the box and wondering what use I could possibly find for this bulky contraption beyond the occasional batch of “healthier” fries. The little booklet that it came with hardly inspired any confidence either, given that it contained about 7 different recipes for chicken tenders.
I’ve since learned, however, that an air-fryer and an oversized denim skirt gifted to you by an unassuming relative have one thing in common – you grow into them.
After leaving it untouched in its packaging for a few months, I broke it out one afternoon, started to experiment, and the rest as they say is history. It’s now become a staple kitchen appliance, used to make anything from sweet potato fries, to air-fried tofu, gluten-free samosas, kale chips and now my latest obsession – these crispy and delicious air-fried roasted chickpeas.
- 2 cans of chickpeas
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp nutritional yeast
- 2 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tbsp mixed herbs (rosemary, thyme, and oregano work well)
- Sea salt and black pepper to taste
- Drain and rinse the chickpeas, then add to a medium-sized mixing bowl and add in the olive oil and seasonings. Stir well to combine using a spatula, ensuring all chickpeas are well coated.
- Divide and cook in two batches in the air-fryer at 200°C for 15-20 minutes, stirring once at the 10-minute mark.
- You may hear some popping while they're cooking which is totally normal. They're done once they're golden brown and crispy al the way through.
- Serve while warm and store in an air-tight jar once cooled to preserve crispiness.
- Pre-heat your oven to 200°C.
- Drain and rinse chickpeas, then pat dry using a clean dish towel.
- Add chickpeas to a medium-sized mixing bowl along with the olive oil and seasonings. Stir well to combine using a spatula, ensuring all chickpeas are well coated.
- Transfer to a baking tray and bake for 25-30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes or so to avoid burning.
To tell you these chickpeas are addictive would be a massive understatement.
Case in point – I had to make them on three separate occasions to get the photos for this recipe because I kept eating them all before I could shoot them. I swear to you I am helpless in front of a bowl of these.
They are incredibly moreish, savoury and perfectly crisp through and through, thanks of course, to the marvelous invention we call the air fryer.
So guys, if you’re reading this, allow me to sincerely thank you this time, for gifting me such a wonderful present. It is undoubtedly the best thing I never knew my kitchen needed.
Some recipe notes, as always:
- The oven method is admittedly slightly more tedious and time-consuming, but it still delivers pretty good results. The only difference I’ve noticed is that oven-baked chickpeas tend to get a little chewy once cool, while the air-fried morsels are pretty good at staying crisp.
- Adding an additional tbsp of oil to the chickpeas helps them crisp up faster, if using the oven method.
- Depending on the size of your air-fryer basket, you may be able to make this recipe in one go, but I prefer to err on the side of caution and give the chickpeas enough breathing room by cooking in batches.
- As always, feel free to get creative with the flavour combinations – my other favourites besides garlic and herb are turmeric curry, maple chili and of course za’atar spiced.
And finally, a cautionary note: make these at your own risk. I cannot be held responsible for any resulting chickpea addictions.
Until next time, dear readers.