I lived in Turkey at one point in my life and the food was wonderful. Really, seriously wonderful, fragrant and flavorful, with smiling faces behind the counter or delivering plates to the table.  I’m a fan of eggplant, and I was a poor college student at the time, so the daily meal that always included some type of eggplant that was provided to me completely FREE of charge by my employer during our TWO (yes, you read that right) hour lunch was always a pleasure.  Cafeteria food is absolutely not the same around the world–in some places it is very tasty and made with great care along with daily eggplant.

Outside of work it was another story.  The choices were eat out, find something that didn’t require much in the way of preparation and required no refrigeration or cook something in the one pan and hot plate we could borrow if the neighbors were home.  I quickly found leblebi–roasted chickpeas that were cheap, tasty and crunchy and available in every corner market.  They were my primary food group when I was not at work, and it was tasty.  Sometimes, I would throw in my second food group, mini Toblerone, for some variety.

One guy I worked with was the great great grandson of a chickpea farmer, his last name translated as “son of a leblebi” or “son of a garbanzo bean” which I found rather charming. He found my dedication to eating garbanzo beans equally charming, after initially finding it quite odd until he learned of our limited ability to cook.

I have pretty much perfected the recipe for home, if you are interested:

I use an electric pressure cooker, but you can used well-rinsed canned garbanzo beans.

Crunchy Garbanzo Beans

Set oven for 250 degrees F.

1 can garbanzo beans

spray oil (Pam, Misto, etc)

salt

pepper

seasonings of your choice

1. Rinse one can (or equivalent amount of freshly prepared beans) and allow to drain until mostly dry.

  1. Place in a bowl, spray with fine mist of oil, toss until lightly coated.
  2. Season with salt, pepper and your herbs and seasonings of choice.  I like a pinch of garlic powder, a teaspoon (or more) of onion powder, sometimes I use Old Bay or dry ranch dressing packets.
  3. Place on a jelly roll pan (cookie sheet with edges) and place in the oven for 15 minutes.  Remove after 15 minutes, shake the beans around, repeat for one hour.
  4. Beans will not be crunchy when done, but will be after reaching room temperature.  If they are not, return to the oven for an additional 15 to 30 minutes watching closely and shaking regularly.

July 7th, 2017 Edit: I just got an air fryer so I may have found a new and better way to make these.