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I don’t know what Chick Peas are.

No, I’m serious. If you were to ask me what they were and I was otherwise occupied with something–I’d ask you to a) repeat yourself, b) explain what it was, c) tell you to go and ask my mother.

(and I’m not kidding about option C!) I do remember a distinct conversation in my weekly grocery shopping adventure that went something like this.

Stranger in grocery store: Ohhh, you eat chick peas?
Me: *blank* What? 
Stranger: Chick peas! I’ve always wondered what you do with them. 
Me: Right…*holding can in hand* 
Stranger: So, what do you do with them?
Me: What? 
Stranger: Chick Peas?
Me: I don’t know…I don’t eat them. 
Mom: Yes we do.
Me: We do? 
Mom: Garbanzos. *pokes me* They are lovely in almost anything…

Dried Garbanzos

G is for Garbanzos.

I know what those are. I eat them. I like them. To me, they are Garbanzos and nothing else, I don’t see where on earth the ‘chick pea’ bit came from. I was surprised to learn from a friend that some people consider them to be little potatoes. That was certainly a new twist for me, but anyhow, here’s the explanation.

It’s a pea (like green peas/red lentils and all of that) and it’s got the most curious shape. I am Indian, therefore I curry it. Well, no, not really, I prefer to stir-fry it, I like actual potatoes in my curry. Garbanzos are excellent at taking on the flavor of whatever you season them with and you can take a small bag of the dried ones and soak it for over a day or so and they’ll swell in size to be like the ones you would buy in can.

Garbanzos are kind of like a staple, because stir-frying them or stewing them does make a lovely side dish or complement to a pasta dinner. On occasion I do curry it, but as I am a picky eater (and equally picky about my curries!) I prefer to simply fry them.

Roasted/Dry Fry Garbanzos

Now, besides stir-frying, there’s regular frying, there’s boil and then fry and both are excellent methods. The flash frying (after you’ve soaked them of course!) turns out a crispy, crunchy snack similar to potato chips, just tastier and…rounder. Sprinkle with salt or pepper and you’re good to go, the hardest part is waiting for it to finish frying.

For the boil and fry, you throw them in boiling water to soften them up a bit before you fry them. It cuts down on fry time and if there are smaller children going to be eating it, it makes it easier to chew. Just beware that it makes it quite squishy, so if you aren’t careful in stirring said stir-fry, you have a mash-fry.

Hmmm, now whether that all makes sense or not, I bet you know something about Chi–Garbanzos now. Have you ever tried them? Did you like them? What did you do with them? (btw, you can also grow them in your garden and eat them green or add to fried rice and stuff.)

Thanks for reading! (and whew, I’m almost caught up…just one more letter and I’ll be on track, eh?) ^_^ 

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