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

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.

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  1. Did you leave the skins on the chickpeas?

    5 Replies
      1. re: HillJ

        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

          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

            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

              True, not every cook removes the skins.

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

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

            6 Replies
            1. re: c oliver

              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

                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

                  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

                    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

                      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

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

              2. 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

                  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

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

                    4 Replies
                    1. re: jpr54_1

                      Personally, I keep the skins on

                      1. re: jpr54_1

                        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

                        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

                          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. 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

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

                            1. re: rasputina

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

                            2. re: HillJ

                              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

                                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

                                  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

                                    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

                                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

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

                              3. 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

                                  Whole Foods has at least 6 different beans by Rancho Gordo

                                  1. re: ChefJune

                                    EdenFoods uses BPA free cans. Only beans I buy.

                                  2. 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. 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

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

                                        1. re: c oliver

                                          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

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

                                          1. re: jpr54_1

                                            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. 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

                                            I've never found skins in canned beans.

                                            1. re: rasputina

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

                                              1. re: mcf

                                                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

                                                  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

                                                    Right. It really does run the gamut.

                                              2. re: rasputina

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

                                            2. 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. 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....