Càlia e Simenza
Càlia e Simenza

Càlia e Simenza – Chickpea & Pumpkin Seed Snack


October 15, 2015

I am currently reading a book called 'The Shape of the Water' by Andrea Camilleri and, at one point, the main character Montalbano describes enjoying a street snack called "càlia e simenza, a mixture of roasted chickpeas and salted pumpkin seeds" which he ate out of a paper cone as he strolled along.

As it's coming up to Halloween, I knew we would have a plentiful supply of pumpkin seeds and as a Mum, I'm always on the hunt for new snacks ideas for the kids.

We first had to check out how to pronounce the dish (using Google Translate) and then set about trying to recreate the dish.

The snack was an instant hit with the kids who now want to take them regularly to school. As for Mum and Dad, we loved them too as they're a healthy alternative to crisps and when enjoyed with a glass of Peroni, you really do feel like you're in Sicilly.

  • Prep: 10 mins
  • Cook: 15 mins
  • 10 mins

    15 mins

    25 mins

  • Yields: Snacks for 5


1x400g tin chickpeas (drained and rinsed)

150g pumpkin seeds

Olive oil

Salt and Pepper

Smoked paprika


Drain and rinse a tin of chickpeas and spread on some kitchen roll to dry out (takes about ten minutes).

Place chickpeas on a baking tray lined with baking parchment paper.

Drizzle over a good glug of olive oil, salt, pepper and a good few pinches of smoked paprika. Rub in with your hands to make sure that all chickpeas are coated.

Place in preheated oven (180 degrees celsius) for 25 minutes.

Place pumpkin seeds on a separate lined baking tray.

Add pumpkin seeds to oven and roast for 10 minutes.

Remove from oven. Mix both seeds in a bowl and serve warm.

They were so delicious and really easy for the kids to put together themselves. Younger children will need help getting the trays in and out of the oven.

If you are using shop bought toasted pumpkin seeds then skip step 5 and 6 and add them straight into a bowl with the chickpeas when they come out of the oven.

I've added this onto my bucket list to taste Càlia e Simenza out of a paper cone as I stroll through the streets of Sicily just like Montalbano. Saluti.



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