Chickpeas, also known as garbanzo beans, are a favourite among vegans and vegetarians as they are an excellent source of plant-based protein. The best part is that cooking chickpeas from scratch not only saves money but also gives you complete control over their texture and flavour.
There is no doubt about it canned garbanzo beans are just so much more convenient. In a few minutes, you have opened your can, rinsed in your strainer and you are good to go.
However, my personal preference is to always invest the additional time it takes to prepare dried garbanzo beans as they are so much tastier and much more nutritious than anything you can get out of a can. Plus, they are much cheaper therefore much better value.
Firstly, soak your garbanzo beans in cold water ideally overnight or for at least 5 hours. Make sure that you use a large bowl as they will expand considerably.
After they have soaked, drain in a colander and rinse thoroughly under cold running water.
Then place them in a large pan and cover them with plenty of cold water. You will need at least 5 cm (2 inches) on top of your garbanzo beans.
Bring the garbanzo beans to the boil, scoop of any scum that forms. At this point add a little salt, too much salt (or anything acidic such as lemon) beforehand will harden the skin.
Then simmer gently until they are tender, approximately 1 to 1½ hours, adding more water as needed.
While your garbanzo beans are simmering you can add some aromatics such onions, garlic, herbs, or spices to infuse your garbanzo beans with added flavour as they cook.
Chickpea (Garbanzo Beans) Conversions
Below are a few rough guidelines on how to measure and convert your chickpeas…
- A cup of dried garbanzo beans = to a 400 gram ( 14 ounce) can of garbanzo beans
- 450 grams (1 pound) of dried garbanzo beans = Up to 6 cups of cooked garbanzo beans
- 1 cup dried garbanzo beans = 3 cups of cooked garbanzo beans
- ⅓ cup dried garbanzo beans = 1 cup cooked garbanzo beans
- ⅔ cup dried garbanzo beans = 2 cups cooked garbanzo beans
Tips and Questions
What can I do with leftover cooking liquid?
Chickpea cooking liquid, known as aquafaba, can be used as an egg substitute in baking or to create vegan meringues. It's a versatile ingredient with many culinary applications.
Can I cook chickpeas without soaking them?
While it's possible soaking helps reduce cooking time and improves the overall texture of the chickpeas.
Can I use baking soda?
While baking soda can help soften chickpeas, personally I don’t like to use it as it affects the flavour. But’s you can experiment with smaller quantities if you would like to give it a try.