Last night I was bouncing around through various social media apps when I saw a post from my friend Danielle that advised, “don’t sleep on air fried chickpeas.” I made a note of it, then went to sleep, which was the exact opposite of what Danielle had instructed me to do.
Don’t worry, though. I made up for it this morning. In fact, tossing a can of garbanzo beans into my air fryer was the very first thing I did upon rising (after brushing my teeth). I then ate them with a crispy fried egg and a few cherry tomatoes, and it was a very good, savoury and filling breakfast.
Like almost anything cooked in the air fryer, air fried chickpeas are not difficult to prepare; the most difficult part is choosing your seasoning. Once that’s sorted, all you have to do is dump a 450 gram can of garbanzo bean in a colander, let them drain for a few minutes, then toss them directly into the basket of your air fryer so they can dry while it preheats to 200 degrees Celsius. Letting the excess liquid evaporate in the hot, swirling heat will make your little chickpeas more receptive to oil, which will make them crispier (and more delicious).
Once your air fryer lets you know it’s preheated, open the drawer or basket or door (depending on your model), and see how the beans are looking. If they look wet, close everything back up for a few minutes and let them cook until they start to look dry or brown slightly. Dump them in a bowl, drizzle a teaspoon of oil on top, and toss with your favourite blend of seasonings to taste. (I used Tony Cahchere’s Cajun seasoning. It was good.)
Return the chickpeas to the air fryer and cook for another 9-12 minutes until they are as crispy as you desire, shaking the basket every three or four minutes. (It turns out chickpeas are fun to shake, so this is no great chore.) Obviously the longer you cook them, the crispier they will be, so give one a taste when you open the drawer to shake to make sure you achieve your desired texture.
Once the chickpeas are cooked to your liking, it is time to eat them. They make a good side, a fun yet filling topping for salads and bowls, and a great snack straight from the air fryer basket, though I do recommend transferring them to a different vessel before consuming — that basket can get quite hot, and I’d hate for you to burn yourself.