Friday, March 4, 2011

How to cook chickpeas

I finally got around to trying the Nourishing Traditions method for preparing chickpeas last week. Usually I just buy canned chickpeas, but I thought it would save me money and be healthier if I cooked my own from dry.

Following the example set out in Nourishing Traditions, I first soaked the chickpeas for 24 hours in warm water mixed with an acid medium (I used whey). Nourishing Traditions explains that this soaking period neautralises phytic acid and enzyme inhibitors in the bean. The result is a much more easily digestible chickpea. (I've talked a little bit about the problem with phytic acid at the end of this post.)

  • 1c dried chickpeas
  • warm filtered water
  • 2T whey or lemon juice
  • 1t sea salt

1. Cover chickpeas with warm water. Stir in whey or lemon juice and leave in a warm spot for 24 hours.

2. Drain, rinse and pick off skins.

3. Transfer to a pot, add salt and water to cover and bring to a boil.

4. Skim foam off top.

5. Cover and simmer for about 6 hours, or until chickpeas are very tender.

5. Drain and use in salads, stews, curries or hamburger patties.

I doubled the recipe so I could use one cup of cooked chickpeas for dinner that night, and bag up the rest to freeze for later meals.


  1. Nice one Emma. I cook chickpeas for Liam. He loves them. Great little snack for them to feed themselves. Jodie.

  2. 6 hour simmer?! Yikes. I'd love to cut down on the cost of organic canned chick peas, but that's a long cook time. =(

  3. Have you tried cooking them in a slow cooker rather than simmering for that long? Just wondered might not work, but might be worth it

    1. You know, a lot of people swear by the slow cooker for beans etc, but for me I don't like the end result as much as stove cooked legumes. It's probably a lot less economical to do it on the stove top, but I like the results better.

    2. So cooking chickpeas is what I do constantly. Soaking is key with an acid like lemon or ACV, but 45 min cooking time is all you need. Longer soak, less cook. It's that simple. 6 hours?

    3. 45 min simmer post soak is the max, that's it.


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