A Boke of Gode Cookery Presents


PERIOD: England, 14th century | SOURCE: Forme of Cury | CLASS: Authentic

DESCRIPTION: Roasted chickpeas, boiled with garlic and olive oil


73. Chyches. Take chiches and wrye hem in askes al nyght oþer al a day, oþer lay hem in hoot aymers. At morowe waische hem in clene water, and do hem ouere the fire with clene water. Seeþ hem vp and do þerto oyle, garlek hole, safroun, powdour fort and salt; seeþ it and messe it forth.

- Hieatt, Constance B. and Sharon Butler. Curye on Inglish: English Culinary Manuscripts of the Fourteenth-Century (Including the Forme of Cury). London: For the Early English Text Society by the Oxford University Press, 1985.


Take chickpeas and cover them in ashes all night or all day, or lay them in hot embers. At morrow wash them in clean water, and do them over the fire with clean water. Boil them up and add oil, whole garlic, saffron, powder fort and salt; boil it and serve it forth.


  • 3 cups chickpeas, dried or canned
  • the cloves of 2 whole garlic bulbs, peeled but left whole
  • olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp. each pepper & cloves (or season to taste)
  • pinch saffron
  • dash salt
If using canned peas, rinse well and drain; place chickpeas in a single layer on a baking sheet and roast in a 400° F oven for approx. 45 minutes, turning the peas midway through roasting to evenly cook. (Less time may be required when using dried.) Be sure that they are completely cooked through - the texture and aroma will be that of roasted nuts. Remove from oven; place chickpeas in a pot with the garlic cloves; add enough water to come to about 1/4 to 1/2 inch from the top of the peas. Top off with olive oil, adding enough to just cover the peas. Add spices, and bring to a boil; reduce to a simmer, and continue cooking until garlic softens, about 10-15 minutes. Drain well or serve in the broth; serve hot. Serves 6-8.

Chices is related to the modern Italian word for chickpeas, cecci.

Since discovering this recipe, roasted chickpeas have become a favorite of mine; they sort of taste like a cross between corn nuts and roasted soy beans. After the boiling in this recipe, they soften, but still retain that lovely roasted flavor.

Dried chickpeas will turn purple and red after roasting, adding extra color to a broth already golden yellow from the saffron. If saffron is too expensive for your budget, substitute with a few drops of yellow food coloring.

Powdour Fort was a common combination of strong spices, such as black pepper, cloves, cardamom, etc. Cooks should feel free to season as they see fit, making the Chyches highly spiced or slightly mild.

Vegetarians will be pleased to note that this is one of the few completely non-meat dishes that can be found in period cookbooks.

Thanks to L. J. Spencer for information on dried chickpeas.

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Chyches © 2000 James L. Matterer

A Boke of Gode Cookery Recipes

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