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I always ruin dried chickpeas - any tips?

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By ruin I mean that they never get as soft and tender as canned chickpeas. I bought another bag from arrowhead mills and plan to try again.

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  1. Jackp, who handles the dried chickpeas in our house, says to soak them overnight, no salt in the water, and change the water once before you simmer them for 45 to 60 minutes and they'll be fine.

    1 Reply
    1. re: jillp

      Jackp and I do it the same way. The only modification I would make is that sometimes they do need to be cooked longer than 45-60 minutes. The trick is to test them along the way and let your mouth be the guide to when they're ready. Also, I start them at a boil, and then turn it down to a simmer. But, these are small details.

    2. Canned chickpeas are processed over high heat and under vacuum conditions. You can replicate this in a pressure cooker, or just keep cooking them until they're soft to the point of mushiness.

      1. Jackp is right- soaking any dried beans and chickpeas makes it easier to cook them. Also, make sure you've got plenty of water and you keep them on a steady, but low, simmer. I'm a little scatterbrained when I cook dry chickpeas and beans (some kind of genetic defect, I think- I always, without fail, seem to forget about them), so this way I don't run out of water and end up with dried or burnt chickpeas.

        1. My take on soaking dry beans or peas, is nothing more than playtime, having little cooking effect to the bean itself. Don't get me wrong, it helps wash them, so it isn't a total waste of time.

          Salt and some seasonings will counteract the softening effect, so only fresh water in cooking beans or peas. I season things closer to the last few hours of cooking, right before serving

          Boil or not to boil? Believe it or not, my best results have came from crockpots, on the low setting. It was interesting to find that out in my kitchen when I needed a large batch of beans and my large stock pot was already in use. I had split the beans between 2 crockpots and a small stock pot. I ended up with a 2 hour difference with the boiling stock pot holding up kitchen progress.

          Pressure cooking? Personally I think it is too dangerous for peas or beans at the home setting. It takes too much water and that could result in internal foaming. Foaming leads to air pockets, and air pockets leads to a dry bottom or boil over.

          Cheat and use canned? I have slipped to that direction over the years. My hedge to this lies within getting the right can sizes and at the right price. Fortunately we have decent stores and a wholesale house that I can search for the bargans. Only dislikes I have of canned, is the starched water. I normally rinse the beans before using with the exceptions of some seasoned beans like chili beans. Lets not forget the time and energy saved in using the canned beans.

          (Please note that beans and peas are members of the same food family (legumes) and can be universally mentioned here. Lets not forget the lentils either)

          3 Replies
          1. re: RShea78

            I do not discriminate against those who choose to use canned items, however, I have recently been diagnosed with a problem caused by BPA, which can be found in canned items, as well as other plastic-packaged items.
            So I have done my best to stop using such things, and it's SO hard.
            Thank you for your tips on usind dried chickpeas. When I've used them, I could totally tell the difference between the two, and hopefully these tips will help me in my future endeavors.
            No more crunchy centered chickpeas. :)

            1. re: whiteswife

              We have stopped with the cans completely for BPA reasons as well, with the exception of a few good manufacturers that don't line their cans with the substance. For beans specifically, that would be Eden Organic.

            2. re: RShea78

              Soaking, rinsing, then cooking in new water makes legumes a less, um, windy food... Don't skip this step, if you want to reduce episodes of (as it use to be politely euphemized) 'the vapors,' after consuming them! :-)

              Dried beans are so easy-- I never buy canned, since dry are easy/ cheap/ nonBPA... I soak 'em overnight, rinse, dump them in the crock w/ some new water, and go about my business til they're tender (varies by bean type, but usually coincides nicely with a standard work-day-- 8 hours on low is a good start, then a bit more if you want 'em softer)... The only thing to watch out for is cooking different types of beans together, since (for example) black beans take longer than chickpeas to become tender. Easy, cheap, healthy, & yum!

            3. Rshea is right, but I do soak the beans and then into the crockpot on low overnight and then they are ready the next day around noon. To me its the easiest because if they're on the stove they take more of my time monitoring their progress.

              I don't know if it's my imagination or what, but they always turn out so much better in the crockpot, and there is no chance of scorching the bottom either. I do all beans in the crockpot and they always turn out great. It just takes a little planning is all.

              I'm not a vegetarian and last year I was invited to my vegetarian Indian friends home. Wanting to make an impression and bring something tasty,I made a terrific pureed chickpea soup. I loaded it with lots of garlic and serrano chilies, carrots and celery. When I served it I had cilantro and small dice tomates. Along with homemade baquettes it was a huge hit.

              4 Replies
              1. re: chef chicklet

                Could you elaborate on yor crockpot bean cooking method. I just cooked dried beans for the first time and would like to be able to use the crockpot for this.

                1. re: oaklandfoodie

                  I would also love to hear more about the crockpot bean method. I love the idea that I can make them sodium free (cuz that's my biggest beef with the canned ones). :)

                  Thanks!

                2. re: chef chicklet

                  Crockpots have different personalities. In mine, I have to cook dried legumes on high. On the low setting, the beans stay hard.

                  For canned, A&W are the best. When they go on sale, I stock up.

                  1. re: chef chicklet

                    Absolutely the best way to cook beans is in the crockpot! I do all my beans this way.

                  2. I just had a Progresso canned soup that had chickpeas obviously (insufficiently) cooked from dry.

                    My verdict: if the big boys can't do it, you probably can't either. Use canned.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: wayne keyser

                      I second that. Canned ones are fine. (I haven't seen dried ones in my local store, so the decision is made for me; but when I could get them I made them and wasn't sufficiently impressed to justify not using canned ones.)

                    2. Make sure you're not using old chickpeas, which will always stay hard and grainy. Soak them overnight before cooking. Add a tablespoon or two of baking soda to the soaking water. Cook in fresh water at a low simmer. Salt only toward the end of cooking.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: carswell

                        Agree with carswell that old chickpeas/beans are the most common reason they cook slowly/incompletely/unevenly. Issue is that each bean has three little openings that let water in slowly--it comes in through these rather than through the 'skin.' When the beans get very old these get distorted/fused/etc. so the water doesn't make it in as quickly. In addition to not keeping them around the house for years, it might help to buy them at a place that you know will have decent turnover (e.g., middle eastern market).

                      2. A year or so ago, I converted to the method of cooking dried beans advocated by Russ Parsons, the L. A. Times food writer, in his book *How to Read a French Fry*. It's dead simple, and I've never had a single failure.

                        The basics:

                        --Put beans in a heavy, covered ovenproof pot such as a dutch oven. Most beans do not require soaking, though I find that chick peas cook quicker and more evenly after an overnight soak. Cover the beans about 4 times their depth if not soaked, twice their depth if soaked.

                        --Add salt to the cooking water. It flavors them as they cook. The notion that salt toughens beans is a myth. I often add a few garlic cloves, a pinch of dried thyme, a bay leaf or two, and black pepper or red pepper flakes, too.

                        --Bring the beans to a boil on the stovetop, then cover the pan and continue cooking, covered, in a 350 F oven. Check the beans now and then, add more water if necessary, and taste for doneness. Soft chick peas (presoaked) take about 1.5 hours for me. Your timing my vary. The oven ensures slow, gentle cooking that is essential to properly done beans.

                        Give it a try. It works great.

                        1. This soaking method from Nigella Lawson (who got it from Anna del Conte) works like a miracle for me: Put the dried chickpeas in a bowl, cover with water. In a small bowl or glass, mix one teaspoon of baking soda with a tablespoon of flour and a tablespoon of salt. Add enough water to make a thin paste, add to the beans. Cover and let soak overnight, or up to 24 or even 36 hours in the fridge.

                          When you're ready, drain and rinse the peas. Put them in a pot with water to cover, and bring to a boil. They should be very tender after simmering for about half an hour.

                          5 Replies
                          1. re: Kagey

                            yes, we went through a lot of dried garbanzos in the vegetarian cafe I worked in, and we always kept them soaking in the fridge over night; didn't use the chemistry trick w. the soda,salt, and flour--don't doubt that moderating the ph of the soak might help. The theme of all these tips is patience--long soaking, long slow cooking, slow food. cheers

                            1. re: moto

                              Actually, I'd been using the plain water soak for ages prior to finding out about this method. The point I wanted to make is that it doesn't require long, slow cooking. That soak definitely cuts the cooking time immensely!

                              1. re: Kagey

                                Note that the flour may pose problems for individuals with celiac disease.

                                1. re: Kagey

                                  I tried this yesterday and my chickpeas have a weird bitter taste (from the baking soda I think). How many peas is this supposed to be for? I probably just used about 2 c dried or so. Too high soda:peas ratio?

                                2. last thing i might suggest is to allow your chickpeas to cool in thier own salted water. When i worked in restaurants, I always found the texture element to evolve within the cooldown, not just for chickpeas but other large "soaker" beans.

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: sixelagogo

                                    i also do this with my beans and i find the flavor and texture much improved. i turn off the heat before they are quite done and let them sit, covered, until they get where i like them.

                                  2. Once I have a large amount of dried chickpeas cooked, though, can I store them? I buy canned because it seems like such a pain to cook dried ones in the small amounts we use (it's just my husband and I, and although we do eat chickpeas once a week or so, we don't need loads of them). How long do cookied dried chickpeas last in the fridge? Can I freeze them?

                                    4 Replies
                                    1. re: alicat

                                      I freeze cooked chickpeas and beans without a problem. That way I have them on hand when I want a small amount for a recipe.

                                      1. re: cheryl_h

                                        I freeze them as well. Works out perfectly, and I've got my home-cooked beans readily available in single serving size portions.

                                        1. re: Smokey

                                          Awesome. Thanks so much, cheryl_h and Smokey! Once we move into our new house I'll cook up a bunch and freeze 'em. So much cheaper that way, helps pay the mortgage!

                                          1. re: Smokey

                                            super helpful, thanks. I am cooking up a mess of chickpeas right now, but only to save them for later, so I was hoping to find a way to preserve.

                                      2. Do you have a pressure cooker? We soak ours from morning until supper prep time. Pour off soak water and replace, up to pressure then 9-14 at high pressure and natural pressure release.

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: lgss

                                          My mother in law doesn't soak hers, but this is essentially what she does. The chickpeas are never hard and crunchy.

                                        2. Yes, don't be afraid of the pressure cooker. Pressure cookers come in much safer models nowadays. It will give you a soft velvety texture. Still require an overnight soak, and always add baking soda with chickpeas. I have them very often, both the black and white varieties. If you soak overnight and do stove top, it is much faster than not soaking. But the best texture will be with the pressure cooker. Canned ones pale in comparison to rehydrated homecooked ones.

                                          5 Replies
                                          1. re: luckyfatima

                                            what's the reason for the baking soda in the chick peas please?

                                            1. re: vin8899

                                              According to this, it dissolves proteins and softens fibers. http://www.chemistryquestion.com/Engl...

                                              1. re: GretchenS

                                                great info in this chat. thanks to all contributors, as i have struggled with my first attempts at cooking dry chickpeas.. in fact i am sure i have added significantly to global warming, having boiled dried un-soaked beans for hours...

                                                i will try the baking soda, and soaking over night tips

                                                i have a QUESTION...

                                                what is the reason for the FLOUR as advised by a nigella lawson fan above!

                                                1. re: diarmo

                                                  Okay - I asked the same question. What's with the flour?? I still don't know the reason, and hope someone can provide the answer, but I use Nigella's slurry method to soak all my beans, and it really does work - better than baking soda alone, IMO. They only need to cook for 30-45 minutes, but have a wonderful, creamy but firm texture.

                                                2. re: GretchenS

                                                  I think the flour is to make the small amount of liquid with the baking soda to fully 'hold onto' the chick peas to break down the proteins.

                                            2. Personally, I love the taste of home-cooked chickpeas. Canned are fine, too, but when I make them at home, it's easier to control their texture. They taste slighty firm on the outside, creamy on the inside, and they yield a richer flavor.

                                              The method that works best for me is to place the dried beans in a large bowl and add water to cover, plus 1 tablespoon of table salt. I let them soak for about 6 hours, then drain the beans, put them in a large stockpot, add water to cover, cover the pot, and bring it to a boil. I skim off the foam, lower the heat, and let the beans simmer for 20 to 45 minutes. Your cooking time will vary depending on how old the beans are and much salt you put in the original soak.

                                              Clearly, everyone has different methods for cooking beans: soaking, not soaking, soaking in room-temperature water, soaking in boiling water, salting, not salting, adding baking soda, simmering, etc. I suggest experimenting until you find what works best for you.

                                              1. I don't think you are soaking them long enough. Italians always soak for 24 hours. Change the water mid-way and rinse well before cooking!

                                                1. Yum, I love chickpeas. I make mine in a pressure cooker, no soaking, add salt and oil to water, 25 minutes on high pressure, natural cool down. Works like a charm.

                                                  I do have one problem, however. I usually cook a pound of chickpeas and store them for a few days in fridge, covered with water. The chickpeas tend to darken slightly over time so they don't look as attractive as the canned ones. Doesn't affect taste at all.

                                                  1. The problem I have with dried chickpeas, and no other dried bean/legume, is that I get it perfectly cooked, but when I refrigerate leftovers, whether in a sauce or salad, they get hard. Why does this happen??

                                                    1. There have been a lot of good answers, but I'll tell you my method just because I use it all the time and it works great.

                                                      I basically do a quick soak followed by a long soak. I boil them for 1 minute, turn off the heat, and leave on the stove (lid closed) for one hour. I then rinse and put the beans in fresh water in the crock pot (or in whatever broth/vegs for a complete crock pot dish). I put the crock with chickpeas/water in the fridge overnight, then in the morning I put it in the crockpot and heat on low for however long I work (probably 8am to 6pm). I really like how they turn out this way; no hard centers, but definitely not mushy/slimy like the canned ones. The reason I started doing it this way was because of soups and other complete recipes that I wanted to have ready in the crock to just turn on in the morning, but it worked so well that I do it for all chickpeas now.

                                                      1. I made 5 gallons of hummus when I helped my DS and DDIL's wedding, and learned chickpeas outside in, so to speak.
                                                        --you can soak or not; whatever is handy
                                                        --I don't add salt; where I live, it always keeps any legume from softening sufficiently.
                                                        --low and slow is the way to go.
                                                        --45-60 minutes? Insanity. I've never had them cook in less than 2 hours, and seldom that. And I live at 700 ft. altitude, +/-. Keep cooking them until they're tender.
                                                        --I put nothing in the water besides the chickpeas.
                                                        --my crockpot, I only discovered last year, makes the best ones of all. I use the low setting; this is one of the current generation of slow cookers and low is a lot higher than I expected, but it works fine for the chickies. I usually run it overnight.

                                                        I've never ruined a batch of chickpeas; I've bought them in bulk at a cheapo international grocery mart and I've bought the organic ones; I've bought the name-brands at the supermarket and the house-brands. They all worked fine, and I never thought about all this until I saw this question.

                                                        Just keep cookin' them til they're soft.

                                                        1. Chickpeas are the ONLY dried bean (aside from lentils) that I have always had complete success with, so I'm surprised that you have had trouble. I soak over night, and simmer in fresh water, and they always come out nice and tender, just as tender as canned. I'm guessing that the chickpeas that you are buying are really old and dried out.

                                                          1. Nothing to them!

                                                            Soak dry beans. I know the old wives' tale but they soak up a lot of water and if it's flavorful water they're going to be that much tastier so salt your water if you feel like it and add things like granulated garlic and onion powders too. I also add a bit of ginger and generous amounts of cumin and turmeric.

                                                            After about 4 hours they're not going to be absorbing that much more water so dump your soaking brine and put water in a heavy pot with salt and whatever seasonings you want. Bring this to a boil. Now add your drained beans and turn the heat down to the lowest simmer your cooktop is capable of. Cover your pot but crack the lid just a bit so it won't sputter. Begin checking your beans in an hour. If they aren't as tender as you want them to be let them continue simmering checking on them every 15 minutes or so. Don't worry. It would take hours of going unattended to overcook them if you've got a low simmer going.

                                                            They probably won't be as soft as canned beans but then you probably don't want them *that* soft. They should be creamy with the slightest bit of resist when you bite into them.

                                                            Cooked beans will store in the fridge for about a week. I drain and rinse my cooked beans and store them with just a bit of water that I change every few days.

                                                            1. I think the texture of chickpeas from dried is far superior to the mushy beans from a can (don't get me wrong, I'll use both without worries but I prefer to make my own from dried).
                                                              Simple method -- large pot, beans, lots of water, some salt. Bring to a rolling boil, turn down and simmer 2 hours (or put in oven at 350F for a few hours if you don't want to babysit a stove). Drain, then soak overnight. You may need to cook them in your recipe and they won't turn out as soft as canned.
                                                              They freeze well -- I drain well, put in a plastic bag in one layer and freeze flat. This prevents clumps of chickpeas in a frozen glob.
                                                              Experiment, you don't need a crockpot, just a few hours of time and preparation.
                                                              :)

                                                              1. I have cooked chickpeas 100x or so. They don't cook as easily as other beans. Any bean that has been sitting on the shelf too long will not cook to a soft state. So buy from a place where there is product turnover.

                                                                Anyways... soak for 24 hours then pressure cook in the same water for 30 minutes. Just boiling and simmer is 45-60 minutes. Add salt only at the end then simmer 5 more minutes. This never fails unless the chickpeas are old. I never make humus. I eat them as soup or stew. A little bacon or other pork product helps. So does black pepper even some cayenne or garlic. Bit of tomato sauce and onion works

                                                                1. I see that this is a revived but longish thread. My two cents: if you want very soft chick peas--as for hummus--add a teaspoon of baking soda to the cooking water. That's indicated in one or two responses already, but could get lost in the shuffles of replies with further ideas.

                                                                  Do not use baking soda if you want the beans to remain intact, as for soups. They do need longer cooking time, however, than most beans.

                                                                  1. I was the chickpeas thoroughly, In a large add the chickpeas and 3 times the amount of water. Bring to a boil. Add a pinch of baking powder. Cover and simmer gently for about an hour or so. DO NOT ADD SALT WHILE COOKING. Much better than canned chickpeas. The broth from the cooked chickpeas adds much flavor to any recipe. On occasion, I just add extra virgin olive oil, chopped red onion, salt and black pepper, Hot pepper flakes optional.

                                                                     
                                                                     
                                                                    3 Replies
                                                                    1. re: Casalbordino

                                                                      They can take lots of black pepper. For some fun put in some whole peppercorns at the beginning. I like to drizzle the olive oil into the persons bowl...not cook it into the chickpeas. For further entertainment a few tablespoons of red wine and/or chopped onions in the serving bowl before ladling the chickpeas into it. Chickpeas are the ultimate bean for me

                                                                      "The broth from the cooked chickpeas adds much flavor to any recipe."

                                                                      big yes on that!

                                                                      1. re: zzDan

                                                                        Last night, I made this Greek chickpea recipe (BAKED REVITHIA) that I saw on a PBS cooking show recently:

                                                                        http://thecookingodyssey.com/index.ph...

                                                                        Since I was using dried chickpeas, I followed the recipe exactly and soaked them overnight in water with 1/2 cup of baking soda. The soaked chickpeas were then drained and rinsed and added to the tomato sauce that is part of the recipe. Everything was going fine until 45 minutes later when I pulled the final product out of the oven and found that the tomatoes had turned an unpleasant dark reddish brown color and the chickpeas had also turned a weird dark brown color. The taste of this dish was definitely strange. Almost no tomato taste remained and the chickpeas seemed overly mushy. I was using a stainless steel cooking vessel so it wasn't an aluminum/acid reaction that caused this.

                                                                        I blame the soaking method for ruining this dish. After reading this thread and other posts on the internet, it seems that one half cup of baking soda added to one pound of dried chickpeas is way too much.

                                                                        Anyone have any ideas why this would cause the dish to fail? Seems to me that PBS has a broken recipe on their hands.

                                                                        1. re: ToothTooth

                                                                          I would revise that recipe
                                                                          Soak chickpeas for 24 hours, no baking soda, I have never used it
                                                                          Cook them in their soaking water, I always do but if you want to chuck it and use new water, go ahead
                                                                          Make sure that the water does not evaporate out
                                                                          Simmer one hour
                                                                          Then add the other ingredients
                                                                          Simmer another 30 minutes. Make sure it's not soupy, you want a thick stew

                                                                          No oven necessary

                                                                    2. The solution is to always soak and cook the chickpeas or any other bean-like food in soft water, soft filtered water, spring water, etc. avoid hard water, the calcium hardens the bean

                                                                      1. For what it is worth, I've just concluded some Pressure Cooking Experiments with Chick Peas. Here's what I did and the results:
                                                                        1. I started with dried (standard, light) chick peas, picked and SOAKED in water for 12 hours, then rinsed and refrigerated in fresh water for ~24 hours. Nothing but plain water.
                                                                        2. I made THREE cooking experiments, all using a 4Qt Presto Giggle-Top (from the 70s?) at 15 PSI with the rack. Each experiment used One Cup of soaked peas and one cup of water; all used the quick, cold water release method. All three tests were done with high heat to achieve pressure, reduced to maintain 15 PSI giggle and give the cold water release.
                                                                        A. EIGHT MINUTES at pressure. The peas were still a bit firm, but I'd use this time if adding the cooked peas to a stew that would simmer for a bit longer. A few skins burst, but the peas were mostly intact.
                                                                        B. TEN MINUTES at pressure. I believe that this is ~ ideal. Most peas were intact, a few more with burst skins and ready to use for salads etc. T here was still a very slight 'tooth' to the individual peas, but I like that. There were firm enough to retain their shape when mixed with other hot or cold ingredients and the chick pea's unique flavor was evident.
                                                                        C. TWELVE MINUTES: These peas were thoroughly cooked and nearly all skins were burst, producing peas that retained their shape, but only until stirred. The texture was smooth, yet pleasant and the flavor remained in tact. CAUTION: With the 1 cup of peas and 1 cup of water experiment, the PC nearly boiled dry at the 12 minute mark. In more regular use with larger volumes and far more liquid, this should not b e a problem. Still, please be careful. Boiling a PC dry is not a good thing! With this batch, one could easily make a passable hummus using only a potato masher and a spoon, though a food processor would be better.
                                                                        Now, my own dilemma: I want to add chick peas to several types of meat and vegetable-based stews (beef, lamb, pork), not as a thickener, but for the most part to retain their form flavor and texture. Most of my generic Pressure Cooker stew formulas require about 15 minutes at 15 psi to tenderize the meat and to cook the chunks of root veggies. Short of a better idea, I guess I'll have to cook the non-pea ingredients for 5-6 minutes, make a quick cool, add the soaked chick peas and return to pressure for about 9 minutes. If anyone has a better idea, I'd sure like to hear about it. Thank you.
                                                                        -Yes, I know that this is a rather old original post, but interested folks tend to follow the important ones. I hope...

                                                                        3 Replies
                                                                        1. re: cedarglen

                                                                          cedarglen,

                                                                          I hope you have received some helpful advice. I can only offer encouragement. How has the chickpea cooking gone? I only recently bought my first dried garbonzos (the local name) After reading some other threads I was persuaded to buy "high quality" fresh dried beans online from Gordo Rancho. Probably unnecessary. My intent was to make hummus from them. Coincidentally, I recently uncovered a Presto Wee Cookerie electric 3 qt pressure pan in a box of stuff from my husband's Aunt. It is in great shape, but no instruction book. I am a little afraid of pressure cookers, but want to try it. I contacted Presto and they got right back to me with the message that my pot was old enough that they didn't post the instruction manual on their site but were sending me one. Impressive customer service, huh? Sorry for the length of this post...anyway, I would love to have you share some of your recipes. We love our garbonzos in salads and I throw a handful (canned) into lots of hearty soups. I'd love to star them in some dishes. :-)

                                                                          1. re: ItalianNana

                                                                            @ItalianNana, Thanks for your note! Nice to hear that Presto was so helpful. One should not fear pressure cookers, just follow the directions - and you now have them. I continue using Chick Peas/Garbanzo Beans and compromise on the time at ~12 minutes for the stews that I mentioned earlier. I've just made a pork & chili 'stew' that substitutes them for the usual potato component and I'm pleased with the results. A work-in-progress? Of course, I also use the Garbanzos is salads and other cold dishes, as you do. I've come to prefer the self-cooked beans over the canned as I can control the salt and I find the canned beans a bit over cooked. Your mileage may vary. Enjoy your 'new' pressure cooker! -C.

                                                                            1. re: ItalianNana

                                                                              Addendum: I forgot to mention the recipe that you asked for. The pork and chili stew with Garbanzos is still a work-in-progress and need of a bit more tweaking. When I've taken it as far as I can, I'll send it along. Best wishes, -C.

                                                                          2. I noted earlier that the solution is to always soak and cook the chickpeas in soft water, soft filtered water, spring water, etc. avoid hard water, the calcium hardens the bean. All the recipes suggesting that baking soda , sodium bicarbonate be added are trying to use it to neutralize the calcium in hard water. Google hard water and sodium bicarbonate to see why.

                                                                            Since doing this my chickpeas are always soft and thoroughly cooked. I think the time it takes depends on the pre-soaking and the age of the chickpeas

                                                                            1. Today I paid attention to things. At 1 p.m., I put a pound of la Preferada chickpeas in the slow cooker. i'd rinsed them briefly and added cold water to about an inch below the rim. I'm in St. Louis; this is city water that comes from the Mississippi. Turned it on low and went about my business. At 5 p.m. they were edible but firm. At 6, they were tender, and I turned them off. When they cool, I'm going to try taking all the skins off while I watch junk food tv, or at least for as long as I can stand skinning chickpeas, and see if it makes a smoother hummus...although my recipe from an old hippie-era Cb calls for onion and carrot cooked and added so it's never velvety.

                                                                              1. It is very easy to make it tender. For 1 pound chickpeas use 1 teaspoon baking soda. Soak in water over nite. Then dump the water and add fresh water, again with 1 teaspoon of baking soda and salt (according to your taste). Simmer for about 1 to 1 1/2 hours and you would have great tasting chickpeas :)

                                                                                1. get them in a can.

                                                                                  I too. Lentils I can prepare dried, but all else not.

                                                                                  It might limit you to mostly lentils though, as it does me.

                                                                                  1. Chef Anne Burrell uses a "5 bean test" to determine if a batch of dried beans has been cooked long enough. After 45 minutes, sample 5 chickpeas at random and if they aren't all tender, continue cooking and testing every 15 minutes.