Israeli Roasted Chickpeas

If you are going to a Super Bowl party, it is always a good idea to bring a snack for the group. Making your own special homemade treat is a nice touch. This year, you may prepare something that I have been buying from the open-air markets in Israel ever since I can remember. Roasted chickpeas are easy to prepare, versatile, and new to the palates of many of my American friends. I always bought them prepared very simply, with a sprinkle of sea salt. Roasted hummus is crunchy, like nuts, and very versatile. It will take on the flavor of any spice mix you like. Here is the basic roasted chickpea recipe, with a few variations using several popular Israeli spice mixtures.

Basic recipe for Israeli Roasted Chickpeas

  •  2 cans chickpeas
  • 3 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • Sea salt to taste
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Drain the chickpeas.
  3. Dry them with a paper towel.
  4. Spread onto a cookie sheet.
  5. Drizzle the olive oil over the chickpeas.
  6. Sprinkle some sea salt.
  7. Roast for 45 minutes.

This is the basic recipe. You may accentuate your roasted chickpeas by adding one tablespoon of  any of the following Israeli spice mixes before placing in the oven .

Zaatar is an ancient Mediterranean spice blend. It is called Ezov (Hyssop) in the Torah, and is mentioned in Babylonian tablets in Akkadian. You may purchase it or mix your own.

Zaatar Spice Blend

  • 1/4 cup sumac
  • 2 tbsp. oregano
  • 2 tbsp. thyme
  • 2 tbsp. marjoram
  • 1 tbsp. toasted sesame seeds
  1. Mix together

Lamb was eaten only on special occasions in antiquity. Chunks of meat were speared on skewers and roasted over an open fire. In the 19th century, a Turkish Efendi had the idea of cooking the meat vertically. This is the shawarma or donner kebab we enjoy today. The traditional spice blend works very well without the meat when combined with hummus and roasted. You may purchase premixed shawarma spices, or blend your own.

Shawarma Spice Blend

  • 1 1/4 tbsp. ground cumin
  • 1 1/4 tbsp. ground coriander
  • 1 1/4 tbsp. ground garlic
  • 3/4 tbsp. ground paprika
  • 1 1/4 tsp. ground turmeric
  • 3/4 tsp. ground cloves
  • 3/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 tsp. ground black pepper
  • 3/4 tsp. ground cayenne pepper
  1. Mix together

In Yemen, spice mixtures are popular additions to two favorite delicacies, soup and coffee. These mixes are called hawaij. The savory one works very well with our delicious snack. You may purchase some savory hawaij spice mix, or make your own.

Hawaij spice blend

  • 3 tbsp. ground coriander
  • 3 tbsp. ground cumin
  • 1 tbsp. ground turmeric
  • 2 tbsp. ground black pepper
  • 1/8 tsp. ground cardamom
  • 1/2 tsp. ground clove
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  1. Mix together


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