The tasty chickpea

Posted in cooking

Over the last short while we’ve been on a bit of a chickpea kick. Not only are they nutritious and versatile, they also have a fun name. Chickpeas, or Chickie Peas as my mom calls them, or GarBANzo beans.

Knowing it is much cheaper to buy beans dried instead of canned, I picked up a 2kg bag of them from Fiesta Farms today. Of course, once I got them home I realized I wasn’t completely sure how to cook them! It turns out it isn’t difficult at all, just a bit time consuming. Here’s how to do it!

Grab a large pot and toss in some dried beans and cold water, at a ratio of 3 cups water for every 1 cup of beans. Remember: bean volume will approximately double after cooking, so if you want about 2 cups of cooked beans, use 1 cup of dried. Heat to a rolling boil, but only boil for 3 minutes. Turn off the heat, cover, and let sit for at least 4 hours. If you’re doing this in the evening and will not cook the beans until the next day, put them into the refrigerator overnight.

When ready to cook, drain and rinse the beans and then put new water into the pot. Make sure there is at least a few inches of water above the beans. Bring to a boil and partly cover, then turn the heat down to a gentle simmer. Let the beans cook that way for 2 hours. If the water level gets too low (ie – the beans are exposed), top it up. Beans are fully cooked when they can easily be mashed with a fork.

Other tips and things to know:

Don’t salt the water for the soaking process. Add salt only once the beans are fully cooked.

It is important to gently simmer the beans while cooking them, so they are less likely to crack/lose their shape.

Store beans in some of their cooking water to prevent them from drying out. Just drain before using.

Why boil them for 3 minutes before the long soak? Those three minutes help break up some of the sugars in the beans, the same sugars that cause bloating and gas. Less gassy beans = win!

Putting a little oil into the cooking water can help keep the pot from boiling over or foaming too much.

Over the next little while I’ll post some tasty chickpea recipes!

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