Hot off the Tava

Tava is  a wrought iron pan that is perfect for toasting, roasting and seasoning anything.  I got myself one of these when I went to India this summer. It is more versatile than any frying pan I’ve ever used. Although it’s a bit heavy on maintenance (got to oil it to keep it from rusting), it’s a keeper. One of things about vacationing in a hot, humid place like India is that while you are sweating away all your nutrients from the minute you emerge from your air-conditioned bedroom, it forces you to find inventive ways to put all the lost goodness back in you. You’ve got to push a lot of protein and carbs and stay hydrated or you will find yourself semi-comatose with an IV stuck in your forearm. As much as I was anticipating the exotic cuisine long before I even left America, I found that my appetite skamdaddled within hours of landing on Indian soil. The  only thing I craved was Nimbuz (fresh lime drink with sugar and a touch of salt; an inexpensive, and tasty alternative to Gatorade) and coconut water. So, jet lagged and damp and soggy with sweat, I dragged myself to the nearest store and found instead a street vendor whipping up some fried chickpeas. It looked yummy, but the idea of stuffing my face with fried food did not appeal. The idea for a baked version of the same planted itself inside my slowly numbing brain. Here, you try it and see if it works for you.

Crispy, Savory Chick Peas

2 cans chick peas  drained (or soak the
equivalent of 2 cups and steam them until cooked)
1 cup grated parmesan cheese optional
1 tbsp olive oil
½ tsp minced garlic
½ tsp salt
1/4 tsp  garam masala
1 tsp chili powder
Pinch ground cumin


Heat oven to 400 degrees. Whisk ingredients.
Toss to coat. Roast about 50 minutes until crisp. Shake tray a couple of times
while baking.  Cool. Enjoy.

If you don’t have an oven. Use a fry pan or tava and cook the chick peas on very low heat until crispy.




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