Chickpeas, also known as garbanzo beans, are practically a staple ingredient in Middle Eastern cooking. They are the basis for foods like hummus, and falafel and, while it is quick and easy to use canned chickpeas, I like to use dried chickpeas when I have the time. It is much more economical, and extra beans can be frozen to be used at a later time. As much hummus and falafel as we eat at my house, I need to make sure I always have chickpeas on hand.
Not to mention all the random chickpea snacking that goes on around here.
Just as with any other dry bean, the first thing you will have to do before cooking dried chickpeas is to soak them. Sort through the beans to make sure there are no stones. Then place the chickpeas in a large bowl and cover completely with cold water. Allow to soak overnight, or about 12 hours. A teaspoon of baking soda can be added to help aid with the soaking process, but I find soaking in plain water for 12 hours works fine.
Once the chickpeas have soaked, drain them in a large colander and transfer them to a large cooking pot. Cover with water twice the amount of the chickpeas and bring to a boil. Cover, lower the heat and allow to simmer for approximately one hour. Do a taste test at this point to make sure they are tender enough for your liking. Drain and allow to cool for 15 minutes.
Once the chickpeas are cooled they are ready to be used.
Cooked chickpeas can be kept covered in the refrigerator for up to three days. They can also be frozen in an airtight container for about a month.
Really want to use dry beans but don't have the patience to wait the 12 hours for them to soak? Yeah, that happens in my house sometimes. Um...most times?
Well, you're in luck because you can also do a rapid, quick soak.
Sort through the beans to make sure there are no stones or other debris. Then place in a colander and rinse under cool running water before draining. Transfer the beans to a saucepan and cover with 2 inches of water. Bring to a boil, cook for 1 minute, cover and remove from the heat. Leave the beans to soak for 1 hour, then rinse and cook as you would if you had soaked overnight.