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First time using dried garbanzos/chickpeas. I'm not impressed.

c oliver Feb 28, 2013 05:22 PM

I love chickpeas but have only used canned ones. I've made a stew with Kabocha squash, red lentils and chickpeas. And other things. It's done and there's something I don't like about the texture of the beans. They're done but just have a rough/grainy/something-ness to them. Do you think they're old? I got them in bulk from our local co-op. Any ideas? I may make this again but will go back to the canned beans. TIA.

  1. m
    madmaya Mar 1, 2013 09:50 PM

    As HillJ says there are different chickpeas. Kabuli is the large white regular garbanzo while the small reddish-black ones are the ones used more in south India I think. Far as I know, skins are never removed other than those that float off by themselves. Wash, pick out any bad ones or float them off n soak in slightly warm water. I cook them with a little turmeric and chilli powder for about 40 mins or pressure cooker for 15 to 20 mins. For a Channa curry, softer, for a snack tossed with popped mustard seeds, chopped green chillies and shredded raw coconut, firmer. Salt always after cooked. The canned ones taste icky and over mushy to me....

    1. d
      dkenworthy Mar 1, 2013 01:28 PM

      I also love garbanzos, but I strongly prefer home-cooked to canned. I have never had any luck with cooking them in a slow cooker.

      The best method for us is to soak them (4 to 8 hours) and cook them in a pressure cooker (about 17 minutes), letting them release naturally. Intact, not grainy, no exploded beans, no need to peel because the peel is tender.

      They freeze really well (drained) and are great to have on hand to make a quick batch of hummus or throw into a soup or salad.

      1. mcf Mar 1, 2013 01:17 PM

        I'll take the heat; I always like canned garbanzos better than dried. And I make very velvety dishes with them without removing the skins, which I love.

        7 Replies
        1. re: mcf
          rasputina Mar 1, 2013 01:56 PM

          I've never found skins in canned beans.

          1. re: rasputina
            mcf Mar 1, 2013 02:26 PM

            I have, lots of them. But they're very soft.

            1. re: mcf
              HillJ Mar 1, 2013 02:30 PM

              Soft but annoying and what I'm blaming for the grit in hummus with skins left in. Just a preference. I accept that.

              1. re: HillJ
                mcf Mar 1, 2013 02:32 PM

                All I can say is, my Lebanese friend taught me to make the most velvety hummus and it's with canned chick peas, hull and all. No tahini in his case, but LOTS of olive oil, lemon juice and raw garlic. Sometimes a little liquid from the can. I don't like fresh ones because of the grittiness, that's too often the result, IME. Never has happened to me with canned.

                Go figure, right?

                1. re: mcf
                  HillJ Mar 1, 2013 02:33 PM

                  Right. It really does run the gamut.

            2. re: rasputina
              HillJ Mar 1, 2013 02:30 PM

              Isn't interesting that we run into such different experiences.

              1. re: HillJ
                mcf Mar 1, 2013 03:02 PM

                Very! :-)

          2. HillJ Mar 1, 2013 12:20 PM

            There are two types of c-peas, Kabuli and the Desi. One with a thick coat and one with a thin. Desi is darker in color and has the thicker coat. Desi is also richer in fiber

            The various differences in our chickpea experiences may very well be the different c-peas we are using. Including hulled and unhulled.

            4 Replies
            1. re: HillJ
              c oliver Mar 1, 2013 12:29 PM

              That's a really good point, HJ. Worth looking into. Thanks for the research.

              1. re: c oliver
                HillJ Mar 1, 2013 12:35 PM

                Yeah, had a light bulb moment there while reminded during the risotto dish of the month thread where some of us used semi pearled, pearled and whole farro with varying cooking results.

              2. re: HillJ
                jpr54_1 Mar 1, 2013 01:17 PM

                I didn't realize this.
                How r they labeled to tell them apart.

                1. re: jpr54_1
                  HillJ Mar 1, 2013 01:22 PM

                  desi is various shades but darker in color than kabuli. kabuli is tan. there are more than a dozen types of chickpeas around the world. but desi and kabuli are the easiest to find in American markets.

              3. l
                limoen Mar 1, 2013 12:13 PM

                I have used tinned chickpeas only once and didn't like them - just goes to show it's what you're used to. Removing the skins is a new one for me (well, I have heard that people do it - I just never have bothered)! If the texture seems too grainy for you, cook them longer, or add some baking soda to the soaking and cooking liquid, which will break them down faster. You will have to be cautious as they may become mush much more easily. I only remove those skins that have come off by themselves.

                1. ChefJune Mar 1, 2013 12:08 PM

                  I dislike all canned beans because of 1) the chemicals in the cans that get into the beans, and 2) aesthetically, I can't stand the gel goop that's always in the bottom. I think I can taste the can no matter how long I wash the beans.

                  I also have never skinned garbanzo beans after cooking. I soak at least 24 hours, and cook for a minimum of 45 minutes. I don't use a slow cooker, and I taste to see iif/when the beans are done. I also don't salt until they're softened. (I know, that's supposed to be an "Old Wives Tale," but it works for me.)

                  It seems unlikely that beans bought at a coop would be old, but you never know. It all depends u pon where the coop gets them from. I generally buy garbanzos from the bulk bin at Whole Foods. For most other beans I buy from Rancho Gordo by mail order.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: ChefJune
                    jpr54_1 Mar 1, 2013 01:15 PM

                    Whole Foods has at least 6 different beans by Rancho Gordo

                    1. re: ChefJune
                      mcf Mar 1, 2013 01:18 PM

                      EdenFoods uses BPA free cans. Only beans I buy.

                    2. HillJ Mar 1, 2013 10:02 AM

                      Speaking of chickpeas, this week I caught two cooking programs demonstrating chickpea fritters and fries. The fritter uses a chickpea mash and the fries chickpea flour. Has anyone tried preparing either dish?

                      9 Replies
                      1. re: HillJ
                        rasputina Mar 1, 2013 12:36 PM

                        Did the fritter use cooked chickpeas or was it like falafel which uses soaked chickpeas that are ground?

                        1. re: rasputina
                          HillJ Mar 1, 2013 01:06 PM

                          cooked but I have also read recipes for chickpea fritters that call for chickpea flour. Still reading up...

                          1. re: HillJ
                            HillJ Mar 1, 2013 01:12 PM


                            I thought this looked interesting for an appetizer.

                        2. re: HillJ
                          roxlet Mar 1, 2013 01:36 PM

                          The fries are probably the same as the fried chickpea flour "polenta" that you use when making pane panelle, a Sicilian specialty made with fried chickpea flour pieces served on a bun. So delicious.

                          1. re: roxlet
                            HillJ Mar 1, 2013 01:42 PM

                            I believe so. Some of the fritter recipes are also called panelle, roxlet. From what I'm reading and comparing a chickpea fry is batter that is poured into a cake sheet pan, firms up like polenta and then is fried in oil. While a chickpea fritter is a thick batter that is dropped into hot oil to create free form pieces of fried chickpea (flavored in many recipes with red pepper dice and/or grated zucchini added in the batter).

                            1. re: HillJ
                              roxlet Mar 1, 2013 01:44 PM

                              That's odd since I've only known panelle to be made with chickpea flour and set up like polenta before being cut into pieces and fried, but there are likely variations all over the place.

                              1. re: roxlet
                                HillJ Mar 1, 2013 02:29 PM

                                True, the # of riffs on one recipe really run the gamut. I like the idea of the fritter over the fry but I'm sure I'll have the occasion to give both a try....chickpea and chickpea flour I use a variety of ways myself.

                          2. re: HillJ
                            ChiliDude Mar 1, 2013 02:02 PM

                            I have not tried either of the recipes, but I make hummus with canned chickpeas. I doubt that the canned chickpeas are peeled. I have used chickpea flour (besan) as an ingredients in bread dough.

                            1. re: ChiliDude
                              HillJ Mar 1, 2013 02:29 PM

                              I've not found canned chickpeas to be hulled at all either. I use besan to make Indian sweets (ladoo).

                          3. jpr54_1 Mar 1, 2013 07:32 AM

                            I add a little baking soda to the water for soaking.
                            It helps with not getting gas-

                            4 Replies
                            1. re: jpr54_1
                              jpr54_1 Mar 1, 2013 07:51 AM

                              Personally, I keep the skins on

                              1. re: jpr54_1
                                HillJ Mar 1, 2013 08:56 AM

                                The skin texture doesn't bother you? For the longest time I didn't put two and two together that the skin was why I didn't like chickpeas. Without the skin I enjoy them a great deal. Especially roasted with Indian spices.

                              2. re: jpr54_1
                                ChiliDude Mar 1, 2013 01:58 PM

                                Eating beans often also acclimatizes the digestive system not to produce gas. I know from personal experience this true. I prepare a big batch of spicy, dense minestrone in a 8-quart stock pot the ingredients of which includes beans, lentils, split peas and cabbage. I eat a bowlful of the 'arrabbiata minestrone denso' every morning for breakfast to aid in the control of my high cholesterol. This craziness has been going on for more than 5 years.

                                Baking soda is not a factor in the process. Beans are cooked in plain water, and the resulting cooking liquid is reserved to be used in the minestrone.

                                My cardiologist has been reducing the dosage of my medication due to the effect of the minestrone. Before minestrone my total cholesterol was just above 250. After the minestrone regimen my total cholesterol is at about 131. AND NOW THERE IS NO FLATULENCE PRODUCED DUE TO THE BEANS.

                                1. re: jpr54_1
                                  chefj Mar 1, 2013 02:26 PM

                                  It does not do much to change the sugars that are in the bean that create the gas problem.
                                  It does help to break down/soften the skin though, much like lime slacking corn for tortillas.

                                2. t
                                  tastesgoodwhatisit Feb 28, 2013 07:15 PM

                                  It is possible for chickpeas to be stale, in which case they don't get nice and soft.

                                  Dried chickpeas also take a long time to cook. I've been experimenting with a newly acquired slow cooker, and I found that the stew I tried (9 hours on low) with soaked chickpeas produced a cooked but fairly firm texture. The stew had tomatoes in it, though, and acid ingredients added before the beans are cooked tend to toughen beans.

                                  The second try was just cooking them outright, for a salad, and that was soaked chickpeas, on low, for 9 hours, and that produced wonderfully tender chickpeas with a texture nicer than that of canned ones. I used half, threw the rest in the freezer for later, and used the broth as the base of a soup.

                                  In neither case did I remove the skins. In general, I don't remove them unless I'm making hummus, where it affects the texture.

                                  1. c
                                    ChiliDude Feb 28, 2013 06:07 PM

                                    OK, give them another try. Use them to make a version of 'pasta e fagioli' (pasta fazool to those who speak dialect). Instead of kidney type beans, use the garbanzos that you've soaked overnight, and cooked. This dish is called 'pasta e ceci.' Cece is what the Italians in Italy call chickpeas (garbanzo beans).

                                    My late mother-in-law used ditalini (little fingers?) as the pasta. The immigrant Italians survived eating this stuff because the combination of legume and grain was complete protein.

                                    Maybe your taste buds and mouth feel will jump for joy if some tomato product along with onions and garlic are also ingredients when you make 'pasta e ceci.'

                                    In bocca al lupo e buon appetito!

                                    ChiliDude, IBM (Italian By Marriage) sono italiano per matrimonio

                                    BTW, my wife of 53 years is not an Italian-American, she's an American of Italian heritage. I make that distinction.

                                    2 Replies
                                    1. re: ChiliDude
                                      mbfant Feb 28, 2013 10:43 PM

                                      Ditalini are "little thimbles." And pasta e ceci is wonderful, and of course there are as many recipes as there are cooks. Some years ago I asked a traditional Roman restaurant for their recipe, and learned they add baking soda to the soaking water. The only time I didn't add baking soda, I got the same result as the OP. It wasn't a skin problem, it was a texture problem, which I have also had with dried beans. Next time I cook dried beans or ceci, I will use the pressure cooker, which seems to be favored by experienced bean/ceci cooks in my circle. But I will probably also skin the ceci.

                                      1. re: mbfant
                                        ChiliDude Mar 1, 2013 01:45 PM

                                        Thanks for the correction of the translation of ditalini. I should have looked the word up in one of my Italian dictionaries. Since 'dito' is finger and masculine in the singular, and 'dita' is the plural and feminine (what craziness like a few other Italian words), I thought that ditalini was the diminutive. Ditalini is indeed the plural form and translated as 'thimbles.'

                                        For some reason I've never had the problem with dried garbanzo beans cited by c oliver. In my 53 years of marriage to my wife who is of Italian heritage, my pasta ceci tastes just fine. Maybe my non-Italian palate is not sensitive enough to sense that condition.

                                    2. c oliver Feb 28, 2013 05:46 PM

                                      Followup question. Do I remove the skins by just rubbing them between my hands?

                                      6 Replies
                                      1. re: c oliver
                                        HillJ Feb 28, 2013 05:48 PM

                                        Once the chickpeas are cooked & cooled I just apply a bit of pressure and the skins slip right off. A batch is gonna take you 10 mins more of your time but it's so worth it.

                                        Towel in dry sink. Bowl on towel. Drained, ready peas. Slip & slide.

                                        1. re: HillJ
                                          c oliver Feb 28, 2013 05:52 PM

                                          This is a slow cooker recipe which has me put everything in at once. But it's just one more step to cook them separately, 'skin 'em' and add at the end. Thanks, HillJ.

                                          1. re: c oliver
                                            HillJ Mar 1, 2013 04:09 AM

                                            Could you just soak the peas, skin them and then add them to the slow cooker at that point. Even soaking will give the c.peas a head start.

                                            1. re: HillJ
                                              c oliver Mar 1, 2013 07:47 AM

                                              So you think the skins will come off after JUST soaking? I soaked them overnight, drained an added to the SC. BTW, I was major not impressed with this dish but our vegan friends seemed to like it.

                                              1. re: c oliver
                                                HillJ Mar 1, 2013 08:54 AM

                                                c, you're going to have to touch each pea and slide the skin off but the overnight soaking should be enough to loosen the skin from the pea. if not, use canned. separate the canning liquid from the pea and slip the skins off into a bowl. I have not found rubbing the peas in a towel effective because the towel bruises the pea.

                                                1. re: c oliver
                                                  pikawicca Mar 1, 2013 12:45 PM

                                                  Skinning chickpeas is a PITA, and I only do it when making hummus. (Soak overnight, cook until tender, drain, and peel immediately.)

                                        2. chefj Feb 28, 2013 05:29 PM

                                          They really take a long time to cook. Especially if they are not soaked or Old.
                                          I find the flavor much better than Canned and the interior to be very creamy.

                                          1. r
                                            rasputina Feb 28, 2013 05:29 PM

                                            Either you didn't skin them, or they aren't cooked enough.

                                            1. HillJ Feb 28, 2013 05:24 PM

                                              Did you leave the skins on the chickpeas?

                                              5 Replies
                                              1. re: HillJ
                                                HillJ Feb 28, 2013 05:31 PM

                                                Did you soak them overnight?

                                                1. re: HillJ
                                                  c oliver Feb 28, 2013 05:41 PM

                                                  Oh crap! I didn't know I was supposed to remove the skins and the recipe didn't specify. I did soak overnight. I'm sure that's the problem. I'm getting skin in my mouth. Why don't all recipe writers understand that there are old, stupid people reading?!? :)

                                                  Thanks, kids. Mystery solved.

                                                  1. re: c oliver
                                                    HillJ Feb 28, 2013 05:46 PM

                                                    You have a brilliant point about recipes mentioning the skins tho. Sans skins makes a big texture difference. Trust me, I learned that same way-spitting out the skins!

                                                    1. re: HillJ
                                                      BeefeaterRocks Mar 1, 2013 10:21 AM

                                                      I used Alton Brown's slow cooker recipe to make hummus. He didn't say anything about removing the skins. I thought the hummus was very good. I did cut one open to make sure it was cooked all the way through.

                                                      1. re: BeefeaterRocks
                                                        HillJ Mar 1, 2013 10:26 AM

                                                        True, not every cook removes the skins.

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