Chickpeas are a versatile ingredient that can be used in a variety of dishes, from hummus and falafel to salads and soups. If you’ve always relied on canned chickpeas, it’s time to learn how to cook dried chickpeas from scratch. Not only will you save money, but you’ll also enjoy the creamy texture and nutty flavor that fresh chickpeas provide. In this guide, we’ll walk you through everything you need to know about cooking chickpeas, from soaking to seasoning, and share a few delicious recipes to get you started!
Chickpeas: A Mediterranean Staple
Chickpeas, also known as garbanzo beans, are a staple in Mediterranean cuisine. They are not only packed with protein but also have a mild, nutty flavor that adds depth to any dish. Whether you’re making hummus, falafel, or a simple salad, chickpeas can be the star ingredient or a healthy protein addition. And let’s not forget how they can be turned into a satisfying meal by mashing them up with garlic, lemon juice, and extra virgin olive oil. The possibilities are endless!
Canned chickpeas may be convenient, but cooking dried chickpeas is a game-changer. Not only are they more economical, but they also allow you to control the sodium content and experiment with different flavors. Plus, the texture and taste of freshly cooked chickpeas simply cannot be beaten.
So, let’s dive into the process of cooking chickpeas and explore some exciting recipes along the way!
Measurements: From Dried to Cooked Chickpeas
If you’re new to cooking with dried chickpeas, you might be wondering how much you’ll need for your recipes. As a general rule, 1 cup of dried chickpeas will yield approximately 3 cups of cooked chickpeas. For this guide, we’ll be using 1 pound of dried chickpeas (equivalent to about 2 cups), which will give you almost 6 cups of cooked chickpeas. Here’s a handy conversion table to keep in mind:
- 1 pound of dried chickpeas = About 2 cups dried chickpeas
- 1 pound of dried chickpeas = About 6 cups cooked chickpeas
- 1 part dried chickpeas = 3 parts cooked chickpeas
- 1 cup dried chickpeas = 3 cups cooked chickpeas
- ⅓ cup dried chickpeas = 1 cup cooked chickpeas
Soaking Chickpeas: To Soak or Not to Soak?
The first step in cooking dried chickpeas is soaking them in water. Soaking not only softens the chickpeas but also makes them more digestible. However, the need for soaking depends on your preferred cooking method.
If you’re planning to cook chickpeas on the stovetop, soaking is recommended. You have two options for soaking:
Long soaking method: Place the dried chickpeas in a large bowl and cover them with water, leaving a few inches of water on top. Let them soak overnight for 8 to 24 hours.
Quick soaking method: In a large pot, put the chickpeas and cover them with plenty of water. Bring the water to a boil and cook the chickpeas for 2 minutes. Turn off the heat, cover the pot, and let the chickpeas soak for 1 hour or until they have softened.
Cooking Chickpeas: The Time and Method
The cooking time for dried chickpeas can vary depending on their size, freshness, and the cooking method you choose. Here’s a breakdown of cooking times for different methods:
Stovetop: Boiling chickpeas on the stovetop can take anywhere from 30 minutes to 2 hours. The exact time will depend on the chickpeas’ tenderness to the bite.
Slow Cooker: If you’re using a slow cooker, cooking chickpeas on high heat will take around 4 hours, while cooking them on low heat will require 6 to 8 hours.
Pressure Cooker or Instant Pot: Using a pressure cooker or Instant Pot will expedite the cooking process. It usually takes about 1 hour to cook dried chickpeas using high pressure.
How to Cook Dried Chickpeas
Now that you’re familiar with the soaking and cooking times, let’s dive into the methods for cooking dried chickpeas:
- Stovetop Method: This is the preferred method for many. After soaking and draining the chickpeas, cook them over medium-high heat with a bit of baking soda, stirring for 3 minutes. This softens the chickpeas and helps them shed their skin easily. Add 7 cups of water and your preferred seasoning. Boil briefly, then reduce the heat and simmer until the chickpeas are tender.
- Slow Cooker Method: If you’re using a slow cooker, you can skip the soaking step. Simply combine the chickpeas, 7 cups of water, and your desired seasoning in a 2 ½-quart slow cooker. Cover and cook on high for 4 hours or on low for 6 to 8 hours until the chickpeas are tender.
- Instant Pot Method: The Instant Pot offers a faster cooking time without the need for soaking (although you can if you prefer). Place the chickpeas, 6 cups of water, and seasoning in the Instant Pot. Close the lid tightly and cook on high pressure for about 50 minutes. Allow the steam to release naturally for 10 minutes before venting the remaining pressure.
Can You Freeze Cooked Chickpeas?
Absolutely! If you have leftover cooked chickpeas, you can store them in the refrigerator without extra liquid for up to 3 to 4 days. For long-term storage, freeze them in freezer-safe bags after drying them thoroughly. They will keep well in the freezer for several months, ready to be used whenever you need them.
Chickpea Recipes to Try!
Now that you’re equipped with the knowledge of cooking chickpeas, it’s time to put them to good use in some delicious recipes. Here are a few ideas to get you started:
- Mediterranean Chickpea Salad
- Roasted Garlic Hummus
- Spicy Chickpea Stew
- Chickpea Curry
Feel free to experiment and get creative with chickpeas. They are incredibly versatile and can take your dishes to new heights!
More from the Mediterranean Pantry
If you’re interested in exploring more Mediterranean essentials, don’t forget to browse the Ekilove shop for quality products that will elevate your cooking. Visit Ekilove today to discover the best of the Mediterranean!
Remember, cooking chickpeas from scratch not only saves you money but also allows you to enjoy their wonderful flavors and textures. Soak, cook, and savor the deliciousness of homemade chickpeas in your favorite dishes. Happy cooking!