Welcome to our comprehensive guide on cooking dried chickpeas! Whether you’re a seasoned chef or a beginner in the kitchen, this article will provide you with all the information you need to prepare, soak, and cook dried chickpeas to perfection. Say goodbye to hard beans and hello to delicious and nutritious meals!
Chickpeas are a versatile ingredient that can replace meat in many recipes, making them perfect for vegan meals. From hearty soups to flavorful taco fillings, chickpeas provide a meaty texture and are packed with protein and fiber.
All About Dried Chickpeas
Chickpeas, also known as garbanzo beans, belong to the legume family. Like lentils, they are rich in protein and fiber, making them a perfect addition to your diet.
While canned chickpeas are convenient for quick recipes, the fresh or dried variety offers a chewier texture and a buttery flavor. In this guide, we’ll focus on the preparation of dried chickpeas for optimal results.
Do you have to soak chickpeas before cooking?
Soaking chickpeas before cooking not only reduces the cooking time but also aids in digestion. There are two methods for soaking chickpeas: overnight soaking and the quick soak method.
How to soak chickpeas overnight:
- Sort the chickpeas, removing any bad ones or debris.
- Place the chickpeas in a bowl or container, covering them completely with cold water. It’s best to let them soak overnight, ensuring you use enough water as the beans will double in size.
Quick soak method:
If you’re short on time, you can opt for the quick soak method:
- Rinse and sort the chickpeas as mentioned above.
- Place the chickpeas in a saucepan and cover them with 2 inches of water.
- Bring the water to a boil and let the chickpeas cook for about 5 minutes. Then remove from heat and cover.
- Let the chickpeas stand for one hour.
Can you over soak beans?
Yes, you can over soak beans, and they may sprout or ferment if left for too long. If you plan to soak them for longer than overnight, it’s best to store them in the refrigerator. Additionally, if the ambient temperature is high, use the refrigerator for all soaking time to prevent any issues.
Can you eat raw chickpeas after soaking?
While some recipes use raw chickpeas after soaking, it’s generally not recommended to eat them raw as they can be difficult to digest. Cooking the recipe as part of the process is the best way to ensure the chickpeas are safe to consume. For example, falafel is made from raw chickpeas, but they are cooked during the frying process.
Cooking Dried Chickpeas
Cooking dried chickpeas is easier than you might think! Here’s a simple stovetop method to cook them to perfection:
- Soak the dried chickpeas using one of the methods mentioned above.
- Once the soaking is done, rinse and drain the chickpeas.
- Place them in a pot on the stove and cover them with water.
- Cook the chickpeas for about 30-60 minutes. You can also add flavorings like bay leaves, garlic, or onions to enhance the taste.
- After cooking, you can also roast the chickpeas in the oven with seasonings for a crispy snack!
How long do chickpeas take to cook?
The cooking time for chickpeas can vary depending on factors such as soaking time, desired texture, and the specific bean variety. Generally, they can be cooked in 30 minutes. However, if you prefer them super soft for dishes like hummus, you may need to cook them longer. For recipes that require further cooking, such as baked tacos, you may want the chickpeas to be slightly al dente.
Why are my chickpeas not softening?
There are a few reasons why your chickpeas may not soften even after extended cooking:
- If you have hard water, it can affect the softening process. Using broth or bottled water instead can help.
- Adding about ¼ teaspoon of baking soda per pound of beans to the soaking water can also aid in softening.
- Including 2-3 tablespoons of salt per pound of beans in the soaking water can help soften them.
- Consider using a pressure cooker, as it can cook beans faster and ensure they reach the desired softness.
How to cook in a pressure cooker
A pressure cooker is a time-saving alternative for cooking chickpeas. Here are two methods you can use:
- Soaking: For every pound of dried chickpeas, use 6 cups of water. Put everything in the pressure cooker, ensuring the valve is set to sealing. Cook on high pressure, using the manual setting, for 12 minutes. Allow the pressure to release naturally for about 10 minutes before moving the valve to venting to fully release the pressure.
- No soaking: Follow the same steps as above, but cook for 50 minutes instead.
How to cook in a slow cooker
If you prefer to use a slow cooker, you can still achieve great results without soaking the chickpeas:
- Place the chickpeas in the slow cooker with water. No soaking is required, but you can still soak them if you have difficulty digesting beans.
- Cook on high for approximately 3-4 hours or on low for 7-8 hours.
How to Store Chickpeas
Once you have cooked or soaked chickpeas, proper storage ensures their freshness and taste. Here are some tips for storing chickpeas:
- Dry chickpeas can be kept in an airtight container at room temperature in your pantry for up to 12 months.
- Soaked chickpeas can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-5 days or in the freezer for up to 6 months.
- Once cooked, chickpeas can be refrigerated for 3-5 days or frozen for up to 6 months. Make sure to drain the cooking liquid before storing them. Vacuum sealing is ideal, but any airtight container will work.
Tips for removing the skin
If you prefer skinless chickpeas, here’s a simple method to remove the skin:
- Place the cooked chickpeas on a kitchen towel.
- Gently rub them back and forth in the towel. The friction will help loosen and remove the skin.
Recipes with Chickpeas
We love using chickpeas in various recipes. Here are some of our most popular ones:
- Secret Ingredient Greek Hummus
- Low-Fat Vegan Taco Meat (Made with Whole Foods)
- Baked Vegan Gluten-Free Falafel
- Vegan Mashed Chickpea Salad Sandwich
- Easy Vegan Chickpea and Spinach Enchiladas
- One Pan Harissa Vegetables, Rice, and Chickpeas
- Buffalo Chickpea Tacos
- BBQ Chickpea Sliders
- Chickpeas in Spicy Smoked Tomato Sauce with Penne
- Mexican Tequila Lime Chickpea Soup
- Chickpea Vegan Sausage Crumbles
- Thai Chickpea and Veggie Pizza
- Buffalo Chickpea Burgers
- Crockpot Korean Quinoa Bowl With Chickpeas, Carrots & Potatoes
- Crispy Chickpeas
- Chickpea Blondies
- Easy Chickpea Burgers
- Chickpea Stew
More Cooking Guides
If you’re interested in learning more cooking techniques, check out our other helpful tutorials:
- How to Meal Prep Vegetables
- How to Cook Quinoa on the Stove
- Roasting Butternut Squash
- How to Organize Your Refrigerator
- How to Store Produce
- How to Cook Lentils
Now that you have all the knowledge you need to cook dried chickpeas, it’s time to get creative in the kitchen! Enjoy experimenting with new recipes and savor the delicious flavors of chickpeas. For more exciting culinary adventures, visit Ekilove.