{recipe} Spiced Fried Chickpeas with Preserved Lemon

Last year, in London, I ate a fabulous meal of North African tapas at Morito, a sultry wine bar with knee-to-knee barstools. One of the most memorable small plates that night was a simple plate of spiced fried chickpeas with little nuggets of  preserved lemon dotted throughout. Since then I’ve been meaning to try and recreate them in my kitchen, and finally got around to figuring out the perfect recipe. I think they’re great as a bar snack with a pre-dinner cocktail or glass of wine, but you can also serve them as a tapa or a side dish.

I’ve found the secret lies in tossing the chickpeas in chickpea flour before sauteing them, to give them a nice crispy shell and make them easier to eat. Preserved lemons, which you can easily make yourself or buy online, are also essential for giving them that salty, acid tang and elevating them from pretty good to outstanding.

If you don’t have the preserved lemon and/or the mint leaves, they are still pretty tasty – in case you need a last-minute snack idea and don’t happen to have one or both of those on hand. A note: It’s important not to overcrowd the pan, so even though it’s kind of a pain in the butt, do them in batches if you can’t get a single layer.

Recipe: Spiced Fried Chickpeas with Preserved Lemon 
serves 4-6 as a snack


  • 1 Tblsp olive oil
  • about 1/2 cup chickpea flour
  • 2 – 14.5 oz cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 Tblsp curry powder
  • 1 Tblsp finely chopped preserved lemon
  • 1 Tblsp finely chopped mint leaves


  • Heat oil in a large saute pan over high heat.
  • Season the chickpea flour with a couple large pinches of fine salt. Mix the flour and salt together well.
  • Toss the chickpeas in the flour and shake them off. Add chickpeas to hot oil. Sprinkle curry powder over chickpeas and toss to mix.
  • Saute until starting to crisp and brown, tossing or stirring frequently. Add preserved lemon and cook about 1 minute more.
  • Remove from heat and taste. Add more salt if desired. Gently stir mint in and serve immediately.

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6 Responses

  1. Lora says:

    These look amazing!

  2. Rahul says:

    This is awesome. I’m going to try this with some other spices 🙂

  3. Dana says:

    I make roasted chickpeas all the time for snacking on (and sprinkling into salads). Preserved lemon would be so good with them! Such great flavor. I’ll have to try out this fried method!