This Fried Chickpeas or Ceci Frito, is a classic Italian fried chickpea appetizer. I have to say, these are seriously good munchies, very addictive – especially when they are served crisp warm from the skillet. Fried they are, but not deep fried. They are actually sauteed in oil/Olive oil at high heat. Ceci Frito is a close relative to the Indian Sundals (Sundals are beans or lentils stir fried quickly with spices – mostly in the southern parts of India) – the process of cooking being the same but done with different flavors.
Recently we had friends over to our place for dinner. These Fried Chickpeas were what I served for appetizers with drinks. They loved it. There were some left overs, & with little warming up in the skillet they tasted good too! Here they are – some for you too. Adapt it to your liking with your choice of spices & fresh herbs.
Fried Chickpeas or Ceci Frito
- 2 Cups cooked chickpeas/garbanzos, drained and rinsed
- 1 Tbsp. olive oil
- 2 Cloves Garlic, Minced
- 1 Tablespoon finely chopped Parsley or any other fresh herb
- 2 Teaspoon Crushed Red Pepper
- 1 Teaspoon Paprika or Red Chilli Powder if you want if spicy
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Fresh Lemon Juice
If you are not using canned chickpeas, soak the dry peas overnight & then cook till soft. I use a pressure cooker to boil them; ..probably the easiest & quickest way to cook them.
Drain, rinse, and then dry chickpeas in a towel.
Heat the olive oil & garlic in a large bottomed skillet (make sure to choose a pan where the chickpeas fit in a single layer) over medium high heat. When the oil is heated & begins to shimmer, add the crushed pepper & the the chickpeas, paprika/chilli powder and salt & pepper. Increase the heat and cook, shaking the pan & tossing the chickpeas occasionally, until the chickpeas have brown spots & crispy on the outside; some of them will start to pop.
Toss the parsley; Squeeze lemon juice & quickly toss & serve right away!
This is a great cocktail snack, a protein packed eat without guilt.
Note: Another way to make the chickpeas crispy is to add a couple of spoons of cornstarch or dry chickpea flour (besan) to the chickpeas; toss them together to coat before adding them to the pan to fry.