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What went wrong with my chick peas? Yuck.

  • m

I make home made hummus all the time. So this morning I dumped a bag of (cheap) dried chickpeas into some water (after rinsing), added some baking soda, and simmered them for about three or four hours, as usual.

I let them rest in the pot for about an hour and then decided to begin making the hummus. Got out the other ingredients- lemon, roasted garlic, tahini, etc.- but when I lifted the off the cover of the pot, I saw that the water was totally black, almost like coffee. (Yes, I had used chick peas, not black beans.) The beans looked funny. They had taken on a darker sheen. I drained them and as I did, I found that they really smelled. I then decided to taste a tiny bit, as it seemed impossible to have chickpeas go bad. They tasted absolutely awful, and my kitchen was starting to really stink.

I dumped everything out and ran the garbage bag down to the trash as the small was so bad. I did check the date on the bag, which indicated the beans had not expired. The pot was clean....Nothing unusual that I can recall.

This is a first. Any ideas? Just a bad bunch of beans? Is this normal? Should I spring for pricier chickpeas? These were just the ones you find at your local Shaws.

Kind of bummed as this was for a party. But yuck.

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  1. how much baking soda did you use? it has to be used with a very light hand in this kind of thing.

    5 Replies
    1. re: Karl S

      I used about a tablespoon. Too much? About three or four cups of water with the whole bag of chickpeas.

      1. re: mvi

        way too much. I just use a pinch, and then I just use it for the first boil, let it sit a bit, then drain, rinse, and start again. What type of pan? Aluminum, perhaps?

        1. re: wyogal

          Interesting. Maybe that is it. Thanks!

          1. re: mvi

            Oh, baking soda should never be used in an aluminum pan. And a tablespoon is a lot.

            1. re: mvi

              Jackpot. That's it. Way too much

      2. Did you pick out any debris beforehand? Stones can dissolve into the water.

        4 Replies
        1. re: lowereastrittenhouse

          You know, I rinsed, but maybe I was not thorough enough in looking through them for stones. Are the stones clay based and thus able to dissolve and corrupt the water, turning it black? This seems like the most likely scenario.

          I have to say, the whole thing really stank. I had to rush the whole mess out out to the trash pronto. Sprayed lots of sweet smelling home made room freshener around, but it still kind of smells.

          Seems so odd, as I have been making hummus for years and this was a first.

          I know this is kind of a bizarre question and I do appreciate your opinions. I'd rather not have this happen again!

          1. re: lowereastrittenhouse

            On a similar note, maybe there was a metal object—one of a different type than the pot.

            1. re: Das Ubergeek

              Another good idea. This is great detective work and I really appreciate this. Maybe some small metal piece was there and I missed it during the rinse. Stranger things have happened. I have found assorted little plastic bits and bugs in food before.

            2. re: lowereastrittenhouse

              stones won't dissolve…dirt clots will.

            3. well I'm really curious to follow this thread as the same thing happened to me and lentils the other day...

              3 Replies
              1. re: cactusette

                Then I am not alone! I Googled it and found nothing. It really was odd. My suspicion now rests on the stones if they are more like clay than hard rocks. I must have missed one. But other theories are more than welcome as I really do not want to deal with this again. Kitchen still stinks.

                1. re: mvi

                  To get rid of the stink, pour white vinegar in a small container (a baby food jar or similar size), and leave it out overnight. The smell will be gone by tomorrow morning. I learned that trick here and it works amazingly well.

                  1. re: Isolda

                    And then make a pot of freshly ground coffee to cover the vinegar stink.

              2. My guess would be that the chick peas were stored near/exposed to something toxic at some point.

                I had a really nasty experience with some black beans that tasted like air freshener after cooking. The problem didn't show up during soaking and rinsing.

                1 Reply
                1. re: bbq babe

                  Really strange....I think I am not going to go for that brand again and spring for a nicer quality.

                2. You all are the best! Thanks so much. White vinegar on the way.