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

  • j

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. http://store.cubanfoodguy.com/product...

    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. http://www.centralbean.com/storeandso...

                    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.

                    1. Anyone know why beans would be soaked w/baking soda?

                      7 Replies
                      1. re: nomadchowwoman

                        I've read that it's supposed to prevent gas, however by adding baking soda it destroys all of the vitamins and nutrients in the beans.

                        1. re: krisrishere

                          I wonder why . . . any food scientists out there?

                          I've read/been told so many things about cooking beans--it's perplexing.

                          1. re: krisrishere

                            i doubt baking soda destroys *all* of beans' vitamins and nutrients. i've never seen that. do you have a source for that info, please?

                            1. re: alkapal

                              From my book "Nutrition for Culinary Professionals"

                              "baking soda makes the water alkaline destroying thiamine and Vitamin C"

                              It may not destroy *all* vitamins, but it does destroy a good amount...not to mention the nutrient loss by soaking the beans and not reusing the same liquid AND by heating the cooking liquid.

                              1. re: krisrishere

                                as is mentioned above, some of the chemical compounds that come out in the soaking water actually hinder bioabsorption of the nutrients.

                                i don't use baking soda to soak beans.

                                1. re: krisrishere

                                  I note above that what I have read indicates that soaking first increases nutrient absorbability rather than causing nutrient loss. Also, I have read in at least one source, I believe it's called "Whole Food Facts", that baking soda only causes a loss of B vitamins if it is present in the cooking liquid, not the soaking liquid.

                          2. chic peas? i prefer haute fava

                            1. Soak overnight, adding a pinch of baking soda for about 1 cup dried chick peas.

                              I don't like the pressure cooker for any small lentils or daals, but I love it for chickpeas. It makes them somehow fluffy, just a beautiful texture. So I recommend the pressure cooker. Discard the soaking liquid (I dunno about nutrients, but I thought one disgards the soaking liquid cuz using that liquid ups the flatulence factor in legumes), then water and salt and cook in the pressure cooker for 2 whistles.

                              Otherwise, stove top: soak overnight, same way with the baking soda. Disgard soaking liquid, add water and DO NOT SALT (in stove top lentil cooking supposedly the salt prevents the lentils from softening), then boil, turn down heat to low, cover and simmer for about 40 mins to one hour. Salt at the end of cooking.

                              That's it. So easy.

                              3 Replies
                              1. re: luckyfatima

                                I'm going to try my (non-Indian style) pressure cooker on some chick peas.
                                My search indicates that 'two whistles' is about six minutes after the cooker comes up to full pressure. At that point you remove the heat and wait for about 20 minutes.
                                Does that sound correct?

                                1. re: DiveFan

                                  Hi DiveFan, I have a WMF pressure cooker that is definitely non-Indian style, and I know nothing of whistles. When I cook chickpeas, I soak for 8 - 12 hours, depending on when I can get around to cooking them, and then I drain the soak water, adding new water for the cooking stage. I don't add salt to the beans, and I bring them to full pressure on the stove. Then, I turn the burner to low and watch them closely to ensure they are maintaining full pressure and not becoming over-pressured. I leave them at full pressure for 3 - 4 minutes and then I turn the burner off. It takes about 10 minutes, or so, for the pressure to subside, although every pressure cooker is different, and perhaps size and quantity of food matters, too, though I don't know how much. Let us know how they turn out.

                                  1. re: DiveFan

                                    You know, I am very dependent on whistles. I had a pressure cooker sometime ago that didn't give clear whistles and I kept undercooking or burning things. I was so happy when it finally broke and I went and got a more traditional one. My whistler is Indian, and modern and safely designed. For chick peas, I usually do 2 whistles, then put the flame on very low for a few minutes, turn off the fire, un-latch the lid, and wait for it to fall in. That last point is the only waiting.

                                2. nmadchowwoman,
                                  Would you share your humus recipe? Any hints? Do you peel the beans?


                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: bearzie

                                    The recipe I use (adapted from one attributed to Chef Michael Solomonov) :

                                    1 c. dried chickpeas, soaked overnight in water w/1 T baking soda, then drained & rinsed
                                    8 lg. garlic cloves
                                    2/3 c. fruity olive oil
                                    1/2 tsp. ground cumin
                                    1/2 c. tahini (make sure it is at room temp and well-blended)
                                    1/4 c. plus 2 T lemon juice
                                    Salt to taste
                                    Chopped flat leaf parsley and aleppo pepper, paprika, or crushed red peppers (garnish)
                                    Warm pita bread wedges, for serving

                                    In saucepan, cover chickpeas and garlic w/2 inches of water; bring to boil. Simmer over moderately low heat until chickpeas are tender, about 40 minutes. Drain, reserving about 1 c. of the cooking water and 2 T of the cooked chickpeas.

                                    In food processor, puree chickpeas and 7 cloves of garlic (reserving one for later step) with 1/2 c. reserved cooking water (more if you want a thinner consistency) and 1/3 c. olive oil. Add cumin, 1/4 c. each of tahini and lemon juice (reserving the rest for later); process until creamy. Season w/ salt to taste and transfer to serving dish, scraping well the food processor bowl.

                                    In the food processor, puree remaining garlic clove, olive oil, tahini, lemon juice and about 2 T of reserved cooking water. Make a well in the hummus, and pour the tahini-lemon puree into the well. Sprinkle w/reserved chickpeas, aleppo (or paprika or other peppers), and parsley. Serve w/ pita.

                                    NOTE: No, I didn't peel the beans. Most of the skins did slip off in the cooking, but they pureed right into the hummus.

                                    This amount of olive oil works for me, but play around with it to see what you like; consistency varies, it seems, w/each batch of beans.

                                    You could skip making the second puree, eliminating those reserved ingredients, and simply mix a few T each of lemon juice and olive oil and put that into the well. A nearby restaurant puts a simple blend of lemon juice, olive oil, and chopped hot green peppers into the well of its hummus--and it is very tasty.

                                    I think warming the pita bread (by wrapping it in foil and heating in the oven for a few minutes) makes all the difference.

                                    Also, I've never had a recipe call for baking soda in the bean soaking water before and I'm not sure if it makes a difference, but since the beans cooked so quickly and I liked this hummus so much, I'll use this method again.

                                  2. I soak overnight, and they cook pretty quickly after that (~30 minutes). I discard the soaking water, but I keep the cooking water, as it makes a nice addition to soups and so on.

                                    In general, the advice for cooking beans and legumes is to add salt and acidic ingredients (lemon juice, tomatoes, etc) once they are soft.

                                    I love chick-pea salad - chickpeas, chopped ripe tomato, sliced onion, sliced celery and a handful of fresh mint. Dress with lemon juice, olive oil, a bit of garlic salt and pepper.

                                    Roasted chick peas are really tasty too.

                                    1. http://www.chow.com/stories/11832

                                      This appeared in my side bar on CH under "Nagging Questions." The article confirms that tossing the soaking water and cooking in fresh water is done to prevent flatulence.

                                      1. For an asian-themed breakfast, you will need: half a cup of dried chickpeas; water; baking soda; sesame oil; naan (Indian bread); salt-free butter.
                                        Previous evening: soak the dried chcikpeas in water to cover by an extra inch (overnight). I add a half-teaspoon of baking soda (the yellow box - i find it makes the beans a bit more tender - and easier to cook).
                                        Next morning dump the soaking liquid, rinse chickpeas if you wish, put into a deep pot and cover with fresh water. Bring to a boil. Add a pinch or two or three of salt. Boil until tender and drain. Mash to a paste using as much sesame oil as you wish to incorporate (the more the better - up to a quarter cup. Add more salt to taste.
                                        In the meantime heat the naan in a 350 oven. When almost ready to serve, brush on the butter and toast under the broiler (butter side up) until parts of the top are crisp.
                                        Serve the naan with individual servings of the mashed peas, and use the bread to scoop up the mash. Hot coffee or tea goes extremely well with this Burmese breakfast treat.