Chickpeas are versatile, easy to cook and nutritious. You can buy them tinned or dried depending on which you prefer. How you cook chickpeas depends on whether you buy them tinned or dried. Each method has its advantages and disadvantages.
Once you know the basic methods on how to cook them you will find lots of uses for them. They are perfect for salads, stews, risotto, and stirfries etc.
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How to Cook Dried Chickpeas
Dried chickpeas take a little more time and preparation than tinned. Usually, you need to soak them in water. Ideally, this should be overnight.
So why use them when tinned ones are so easy to use? Dried chickpeas are far more nutritious than tinned ones and usually have fewer chemicals.
Dried also taste better and don’t go all mushy, unlike tinned ones. Tasting Table has done some batch testing with some interesting results.
How to Soak Chickpeas
It is vital to soak your dried chickpeas as this softens them up and makes them ready to cook and reduces the overall cooking time.
- Thoroughly rinse your chickpeas under water to remove any debris.
- Put them in a large container and cover with cold water and leave overnight. Make sure you allow enough water and space for swelling as chickpeas will double in size.
Note: When deciding on how long to soak chickpeas the ideal is overnight. Some people recommend at least 8 hours. There is also a quick soak method for those like me that forget to soak them. Or simply cook them longer (double the time it takes to cook soaked chickpeas).
So what do you do if you forget to soak them overnight?
You still need to allow a lot more time however the Kitchn has a solution for a quick soak method.
How to Cook Chickpeas on the Hob
- When you are ready to cook your chickpeas empty the water and rinse them.
- Put them into a saucepan and add fresh cold water again.
- Bring to the boil.
- Boil for 10 minutes.
- Reduce the heat and simmer until your peas are tender. This should take about 1 1/4 to 1/2 hours approx.
- When they are done drain the water and they are ready to eat.
How to Cook Tinned Chickpeas on the Hob
The advantages of chickpeas that come in tins are they are already soaked and cooked so they are really quick to make as all the hard work has been done for you. There are some that you can microwave as well. Traditionally though tinned chickpeas are cooked on the hob. This is really easy to do.
All you need is a tin of chickpeas, a saucepan, sieve or colander, water and some salt if you use it.
- Remove the chickpeas from the tin.
- Drain and rinse the chickpeas to remove the water. Do not use this water to cook unless the tin instructions say otherwise as it does not taste very nice.
- Put the contents into the saucepan. Cover with water.
- Heat on a gentle heat until your chickpeas are heated thoroughly. About 5 minutes. Make absolutely certain that you don’t boil them though as this ruins their taste. Simply simmer gently.
- Drain the water and eat or leave to cool down for salads.
Note: If you want to make a stew you can simply add the tinned chickpeas to the pot/slow cooker.