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Wednesday, 28 May 2014

When The Munchies Attack

If you are a nut-allergy sufferer, then you will undoubtedly agree that finding a satisfying savoury snack is no easy endeavour and even more so when you are on the move. Coupled with this, the inconvenience (to say the least) of also being a seed-allergy sufferer, basically leaves me clueless as to what to munch on to sate the occasional hunger pang.

Kale chips -- the homemade version -- has been quite verily the pacifier of the munchies at the Lovlie Cocoon for a while now. However, leave them a tad too long in the oven and scorched chips is no pleasant surprise.

While roasted chickpeas would probably be the next runner-up for a nut-free seed-free snack, its cousin -- the brown chickpea -- does not get a fair share of attention in western cuisine nor is it commonly found in local supermarkets. I get mine at the Indian or Asian store.

Toothsomely chewy, while being smaller than regular chickpeas, the texture is not utterly different. Hinted with woodsy notes of a nutty aroma topped by a denser toasted taste, these beans make quite a unique ingredient in many dishes.

Do not be fooled by the short list and simplicity of ingredients, fenugreek, fresh thyme and chilies are the perfect trio to bring out the best splash of flavour in this humble preparation. Infact, spiced brown chickpeas are a much loved street food and snack in Mauritius. Accompany this with a large salad and you could wholeheartedly enjoy a decent complete meal.

Spiced Brown Chickpea Snack

Serves 5 - 6
200g dried brown chickpeas
1/2 teaspoon fenugreek (you may substitute with yellow mustard seeds if you are not allergic)
6 - 7 stems of fresh thyme (pick the leaves)
4 - 5 hot green chilies (you may also use dried red chilies)
1 tablespoon coconut oil (vegetable oil is also good)
Salt to taste

  • Soak the brown chickpeas overnight or for at least 8 hours. Once soaked, drain the water.
  • Place chickpeas in a deep pan, cover with fresh water so that water is just covering the chickpeas.
  • Cover and boil until chickpeas are soft (about 40 minutes). You may need to lift the cover and remove the froth from time to time to avoid overflowing.
  • Add water if it dries out.
  • Once boiled, drain and discard all water and keep chickpeas aside.
  • In a skillet or fry pan, heat 1 tablespoon oil on medium heat.
  • Add fenugreek. Allow to roast for about 30 seconds to release the aroma but do not let it burn.
  • Next add chickpeas, chilies and thyme.
  • Mix well and sauté for 5 - 7 minutes.
  • Add salt to taste. Turn off heat.
  • Serve warm or at room temperature.

By the way, you should check out the Virtual Vegan Linky Potluck!


  1. At first I thought that was a nice big bowl of black beans - but no! These sounds extremely stackable :-)! Thanks so much for sharing at the first weekly Potluck!

  2. Hi
    Recipes look very interesting. Would it be possible to add a print button? It's not practical to drag my computer into the kitchen!
    Thanks Lee
    PS I'm putting anonymous as my profile because I haven't a CLUE what all those other profiles are!

    1. Hi there,
      I am working on this and we should have this functionality fairly soon. Check back soon for updates or you can sign up to my newsletter to get updates when the new site is up.

    2. When there is not a print option I just copy and paste the recipe to Word and print from that.

      Just did with this recipe

  3. I LOVE your blog, I came here to read about the brown chickpeas because I recently decided to try a bag on my browse through a local Indian market. I am so glad I did, they are absolutely awesome tasting, almost "meaty" if I would know! I threw them into the crockpot because I wasn't sure how long I would be around to cook them, and they turned out perfect. I am going to try this recipe for sure, because I get the snack attack at night and this is a great idea! I am getting tired of the fermented salsa/toasted corn tortilla routine I've fallen into lately, this sounds like a wonderful switch! By the way, the liquid the beans were cooked in is full of flavor and nutrients, I'm saving mine as a stock for soup! Thanks for this website, it is just what I was looking for!

    1. Oh what a great idea to use the liquid in soup. I can imagine it will be nice in other sauces too. I'm glad you like these brown chickpeas, they are one of my favourite. I love them in curry too. :)


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