What if I told you about a kids snack that was highly nutritious and tasty? It is crunchy, can be carried around easily, and does not go bad. It requires no preparation and is quite cheap. It will also not hurt your kid’s teeth (no cavities!). It’s also gluten-free and great for kids with nut allergies.
Sounds crazy, doesn’t it? You would probably think it was something that no kid would touch.
Well, I am pleased to introduce you to roasted kala chana, or roasted black chickpeas. They were a staple of my childhood growing up in India. Now let me explain a bit. The chickpea is also called “garbanzo beans”, but there are TWO kinds of chickpeas. There are the white ones which are also called garbanzo beans. These guys are huge. We are not interested in this variety for now. There is another variety which is called ‘dark chickpea’. This dark chickpea is smaller, more nutritious and easier to eat at a snack. This is what the roasted kale chana snack is based on.
Roasted kale chana is available at most Indian grocery stores. These roasted chickpeas are difficult to make at home, by that I mean you don’t get the same taste and texture. Traditionally these store bought roasted chana or chickpeas are roasted in a special stove called bhattis. Once they are roasted, they are then skinned and split, then packed and sold. While you can roast chickpeas at home in an oven, those chickpeas are not as crunchy as these and will not last more than 2-3 days.
A one pound bag in Indian Grocery stores is around $2.50, and believe me, it will take a lot of time for your kids to munch through this bag. You can season it with a little salt and lime to make it more fun to it, or you can spice it up with chili for the adults, or just pop them in plain. It makes an awesome little snack. Now you know what my kids (yes both my 18 month old and 4 year old love it) keep munching and crunching at home.