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Sep 8, 2009 08:03 AM

What's the best way to cook dry chic peas?

soak them over night and boil them? Do I reuse the soaking water?

Should I use a pressure cooker?

What's the best way for flavor and nutrition?


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  1. i think they get more tender when one soaks them overnight. i discard the water.

    i don't have a pressure cooker, but i know folks love theirs for cooking beans.

    i like making a spanish chick pea soup, and i cheat by using goya's sazón seasoning packet, and some smoked spicy pork sausage (like chorizo or andouille), and diced potatoes.

    i add potatoes to a recipe like this. watch the salt, because these seasoning packs are salty.

    3 Replies
    1. re: alkapal

      Worse than the salt is the MSG which many people are allergic to.

      I soak overnight. Do not use the soaking water. Better to use chicken or veggie broth for your recipe after beans are cooked. Matter of fact you can cook the beans in some stock for added flavor. Happy Cooking!

      1. re: Camerarose

        I believe it is best to cook in unsalted stock/water.

      2. re: alkapal

        This soup sounds amazing. I think I'll make this tonight.

      3. Funny you should ask: I just finished making the most delicious hummus I've ever had--and I thought our middle eastern place down the street made the best (it is good)--starting w/dry chick peas last night.
        I was worried about how long it would take the beans to cook. My recipe instructed me to soak overnight in the fridge 1/2 lb. dried garbanzos, covered by 2 inches of cold water and with 1 T. baking soda stirred in. This morning, I drained and rinsed the beans, put them in a pot, covered again by 2 inches cold water (and since hummus was my goal, I added 6 lg. cloves garlic to the pot), brought everything to a boil and then reduced to a moderately low fire and simmered. The recipe said the beans would be soft in 40 minutes. I was skeptical, but sure enough, they were. At this point I drained them, and they were ready for me to procede w/ my hummus recipe. They would be ready for any number of other recipes at this point.
        You could:
        Make hummus.
        Fry them in olive oil, drain, and sprinkle w/cumin & salt for a tasty snack.
        Make a simple puree of chick pea, olive oil, salt & pepper.
        Make soup.
        Cook w/ sauteed onions and garlic, tomatoes, chard and your favorite spices for a vegetarian stew.
        Make a lamb and chick pea stew.

        1. I actually make a falafel that soaks the beans for 24 hours and requires no pre-cooking. You just grind them up in the food processor, make the falafel and fry them for a couple minutes. I was leary at first, but it really works out beautifully.

          8 Replies
          1. re: krisrishere

            Can you post the full recipe? Also, have you ever baked them?

            1. re: cheesecake17

              Here's my recipe and picture.


              I haven't baked them, but I would definitely make the ground mixture a little more moist. As you'll read in my article, they didn't seem like they would hold together, but once fried they did. To successfully bake them, I think you might have to compensate a little for the texture (read - more moisture) in order for it to stay together and bake fully.

              1. re: krisrishere

                Now I know what I'm going to do with the rest of my dried garbanzos! Thanks.

                1. re: nomadchowwoman

                  No problem! Let me know how they turn out.

            2. re: krisrishere

              I thought this was how everyone made falafel? (Not counting instant falafel mix.)

              1. re: DeppityDawg

                That statement is like assuming that everyone makes Chocolate Chip Cookies the same way. I found very few recipes that required the use of dry, uncooked chickpeas. I think I'd rather have someone attempt to use a can of chickpeas then reach for the dry mix.

                1. re: krisrishere

                  krisrishere, there are certainly lots of recipes that use cooked chickpeas for falafel, but I know a lot of Middle Easterners, and I've never seen one of them use anything but the raw, soaked ones for theirs. Those that start with cooked beans can be delicious bean patties -- but they have a really different texture.

                  I enjoyed your article and recipe very much. Nicely done.

                  1. re: dmd_kc

                    Absolutely. I was speaking of many homecooks that might not necessarily know how wonderful the uncooked chickpeas are in a falafel.

                    Thank you very much for your compliment about my article/recipe. It took a few trial runs to get the flavors the way I remembered them to be, but overall I'm really happy with the recipe.

            3. I don't soak garbanzos or any beans. My tests have showed that beans don't get any more tender any faster than just cooking. Plus you don't wash away a bunch of nutrients. If you do soak, I would use the soak water plus additional water to cook in.

              I don't "trust" a pressure cooker so I just use an adequately large pot. Get 'em simmereing and go do smething else for a couple hours...

              6 Replies
              1. re: KiltedCook

                kilted cook, what evidence is there, please sir, to support your claim that soaking dried beans "washes away" nutrients?

                1. re: alkapal

                  Kilted meant tossing the soak water...that discards nutrients.
                  I soak chickpeas 18-24 hours and cook in same water
                  Add salt only at the end

                  1. re: zzDan

                    i discard soaking water, as i believe there is more benefit than detriment to me and my digestive system.

                    1. re: zzDan

                      I don't discard soak water but I doubt many nutrients are in it. Definitely don't discard cooking water. I soak overnight and pressure-cook in salted water.

                      1. re: Aromatherapy

                        According to what I've read, beans cook faster without salt.


                        Edit: It seems that some sources say the difference is negligible. Having not experimented with this myself, I don't really know...


                  2. re: KiltedCook

                    Actually, it seems widely noted on the Internet, that soaking increases the nutrients' absorbability, and by not soaking, phytates and polyphenols which bind with nutrients making them inabsorbable are not removed.


                  3. We soak ours (from morning until supper prep), replace the water, and cook in our pressure cooker.