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Tips and Tricks for Cooking Chickpeas

Nadia Galinova
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Nadia Galinova
Tips and Tricks for Cooking Chickpeas

Chickpeas are an extremely tasty legume that contain a lot of vegetable proteins, vitamins, minerals and dietary fiber. Cooking chickpeas is very easy, whether steamed or in water. In this article you will find easy ideas, tips and tricks on how to cook chickpeas easier.

But before we cook them, we have to pick them first.

Choice of chickpeas

Chickpeas are of Mediterranean origin and their popularity is increasing significantly due to dishes such as falafel, hummus and chickpea salad. Very often, chickpeas are used as a substitute for animal proteins when it comes to vegetarian or classic vegan cuisine. There are many types of chickpeas, but only two types are used in the world:

Kabuli - the grains of this type of chickpea are large, smooth and beige in color. This variety is grown and used mainly in Europe because it thrives in the temperate Mediterranean climate;

Desi - the grains of this variety are small and wrinkled, the colors of which can be green or black. This variety is grown in places where the climate is semi-arid such as Africa, Asia, India.

The kabuli variety, which are large and smooth, should be preferred by you for cooking. This is because chickpeas that are darker in color or too wrinkled require more time to cook and will also remain tough and not as tasty.

Soaking chickpeas

Chickpeas

Just like beans and kidney beans, chickpeas need to be soaked before cooking. In this way, the thin layer that is on the surface of the grain will fall off more easily. Also, when soaked, the chickpeas break down the complex carbohydrates, which will subsequently make the chickpeas easier to digest. Before soaking the chickpeas, you should rinse them with clean, cool water. You can then choose between one of the three soaking methods described below:

1. Long soaking method (recommended)- Here it is important to know that you should soak the chickpeas for a day before cooking them. To soak the chickpeas, you will need a large bowl or pot /there should be enough room for them to swell/. Put 500 g of chickpeas in the bowl or pot and cover them with 1.5 l of water. Cover them with a towel and leave them to soak for 24 hours at room temperature;

2. Short soaking method - 500 g of chickpeas and 1.5 l of water are put in a pot and left to boil for 5 minutes. Then they are removed from the heat and the chickpeas are left to cool in the water where they were boiled for 1 hour;

3. Microwave - again 500 g of chickpeas and 1.5 l of water are placed in a suitable microwave container and cooked for 15 minutes at maximum power / minimum 900 watts/. Then they are covered and left to stand in the water for 1 hour. After soaking, you will see the thin layer on the grains peel off on its own. The chickpeas are rinsed well, and the water in which they were soaked is thrown away.

There are several ways to cook chickpeas:

Tips and Tricks for Cooking Chickpeas

1. Cooking with water - after the chickpeas are rinsed and strained, put them in a pot, add clean, cold water, which should be at least 3 times the volume of the chickpeas, and do not add salt. If you add salt now, the chickpeas will not cook properly. Then let them boil. When they boil, reduce and let them simmer on low heat for 1 hour and 30 minutes. Stir from time to time and skim the foam that comes out. After they are cooked, rinse them with cold water, then strain them in a colander and leave them to cool. Here are two tricks that may come in handy:

- You can divide the cooking time into two parts by adding 1 tbsp. baking soda in the chickpea cooking water. You can also cook chickpeas in a pressure cooker. For this purpose, you need to put water that is 4 times the volume of chickpeas, unsalted. Once the pot lid is locked, heat over very high heat until the pot starts to sizzle. Then reduce the heat and cook for 45 minutes.

- The other trick is that you can add a piece of kombu seaweed or savory herb to the chickpea cooking water. Both help the chickpeas to retain their firm and pleasant texture and help the chickpeas to be digested better. You can make aquafaba from the water in which you boiled the chickpeas. This replaces the egg whites / 3 tbsp. chickpea juice replace 1 egg;

2. Steam cooking - steam cooking, regardless of what product, preserves all the flavors and useful substances in it. The same goes for chickpeas. Chickpeas are placed in a steamer basket and a little water is poured into a pressure cooker or special steamer. Close the pot or vessel, wait for it to heat up on high heat, then reduce the heat and cook for 1 hour on low heat. Once done, the chickpeas are rinsed with cold water to stop the cooking process. They are strained and allowed to cool.

To be completely convinced that your chickpeas are well cooked, you need a fork and if it goes through the chickpeas without much pressure, then the chickpeas are ready. It's a good idea a few minutes before you stop cooking the chickpeas to check them.

Tips and Tricks for Cooking Chickpeas

This legume is tasty and healthy. Therefore, do not miss out on making:

- chickpea salad;

- chickpea stew;

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