Cooking Dried Chickpeas & the Resulting Chickpea Stock


Cooking Dried Chickpeas & the Resulting Chickpea Stock

November 20, 2017
Cooking Dried Chickpeas (also know as Garbanzo beans) in a large stock pot.

More than any other bean, cooking dried chickpeas at home, taste so much better than canned or jarred and about at one quarter the price. One pound of dried chickpeas cooks up to 6–7 cups, the equivalent of 4-5 cans. Cooked from dried, chickpeas have a nutty taste with a slight sweetness.

Soaking Dried Chickpeas

Over the years of cooking dried chickpeas and experimenting with soaking methods, I have found the “overnight” soaking method to give the best result in the final cooked chickpeas. Overnight translates into a minimum of 8 hours, but 16 hours seems to be the charm.

Before soaking the chickpeas they need to be sorted and picked over for any foreign particles, then rinsed well and drained. Usually I use the same pot to soak the chickpeas as I will for the cooking. Add the chickpeas to the pot and 3 times the amount of filtered water and place a lid on the pot to avoid dust and particles falling in the pot. After 8 hours drain the water and add fresh filtered water. Leave to soak for another 8 hours before cooking. Then drain that water and add fresh filtered or boiled water to start the cooking. (See the instructions below). Overnight soaking makes the chickpeas cook more evenly and have a creamier texture. The “quick soak” method of bringing the chickpeas to a boil for a couple minutes, then turning off the heat and leave to rest for 1–2 hours doesn’t give quite as good of results. The chickpeas take longer to cook and sometimes are somewhat tough or gritty even when fully cooked.

Cooking Dried Chickpeas to the Right Doneness for Your Dishes

Cooking from dried also has the advantage of cooking to the desired texture. For a softer bean, simmer longer checking about every 10 minutes until done to the tenderness you like. The firmer bean is good for chickpea dishes where the beans stay whole, while the softer version is perfect for when you will be blending the beans, like in hummus. You can do both in one batch. Cook to the firmness you like for your dish and pull the amount needed out with a strainer. Leave the amount you want softer in the cooking water and continue simmering until the beans reach the softness for hummus or other blended bean dishes and condiments. 

The Resulting Chickpea Stock

One of the perks of cooking dried chickpeas from scratch, besides the wonderful taste and cooking versatility, is the chickpea stock, “aquafaba,” that comes from cooking the chickpeas. Unlike vegetable stocks, chickpea stock develops a gelatin-like viscosity, and when reduced gets even thicker. This is perfect for sauces that you want to reduce or thicken. Chickpea stock is great for nut-based cream sauces too. It whips up to a thick foamy consistency much like egg whites and it turns white in color. 

I often add a spice bag with the spices typically used in the chickpea dishes I make during the cooking to give a fuller flavor, but a spice bag is not necessary to achieve a good stock. The chickpea stock that results from the cooking water is really good in pilafs, soups, sauces and of course bean dishes. The spice combination used in this recipe is ideal for the Moroccan Inspired Warm-spiced Chickpeas.

But, if you don’t know what you will use the chickpea stock for, leave out the spice bag so you can use for any dish. Chickpea stock can be stored in the refrigerator for up to five days in the refrigerator and in the freezer for about three months. The cooked chickpeas can be refrigerated for up to four days.

Finding Good Chickpeas

It is important to get the freshest dried chickpeas available. Chickpeas that are old don’t cook up as well, sometimes have a gritty, chalky texture even when completely cooked through, and take much longer. The fresher the chickpeas are, the faster and more evenly they cook. Mediterranean and middle-eastern markets are really good sources, since chickpeas are a staple in that part of the world. Health food stores, local coop stores and grocery stores with a high turnover on bulk goods are also good sources.


Cooking Dried Chickpeas and the Resulting Chickpea Stock

Cooking Dried Chickpeas and the Resulting Chickpea Stock
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  • 1 lb dried chickpeas also called garbanzo beans
  • 8 cups or so of filtered water for soaking
  • 10–12 cups or so of filtered water for cooking
    Spice Bag: (optional)
  • 1 Tbls whole cumin seeds
  • 1 Tbls whole coriander seeds
  • 15 black peppercorns
  • 2 bay leaves

    Tools I Use: large prep bowl or pot; colander; large stock pot or Dutch oven; spice bag or tea ball; strainer or large slotted serving spoon; containers to store the stock
  1. Check for non-bean particles like small pebbles that sometimes get in along with the beans. Pour the chickpeas in a large bowl or pot that you will use to cook them in.
  2. Fill the bowl or pot with tap water and rinse the beans and drain the water, repeat 2–3 times,
  3. Add filtered water and the drained chickpeas in the large prep bowl or pot, cover and let soak for 8–16 hours, changing the water after 8 hours. A little foam may rise to the top.
  4. Drain the beans in the colander and rinse.
  5. Heat a large stock pot or Dutch oven and add the beans in the pot plus the 10–12 cups or so of filtered water. The water to chickpea ratio should look about 3:1. Bring to a boil.
  6. Meanwhile, fill the spice bag with the spices if using and set aside.
  7. As the water starts to boil, foam is released from the chickpeas. Skim off any foam that rises to the top and discard. Let boil again and keep skimming until no foam is left, 2 to 3 times.
  8. Once the water is clear of foam and boiling, add the spice bag if using.
  9. Cover the pot with the lid, but not all the way. If completely covered it will boil over and the liquid will spill all over the stove top. I use a clothes pin on the side of the pot to keep the lid slightly off the pot. Clothes pins have a groove that the lid can rest on so the lid stays in place (see the photo above).
  10. Let the chickpeas simmer at a rolling boil until done. Check at least 3 beans as they can vary in doneness. Chickpeas can cook to the right tenderness in as little as 20 minutes and up to 90 minutes after water has come to a boil. Check at 20 minutes just in case. The average time is 40 minutes for the chickpeas I purchase regularly.
  11. Once the chickpeas are the tenderness you like, drain them and they are ready for use in your dish or dishes. The chickpeas will stay good to use in the refrigerator for up 4 days.
  12. Let the remaining chickpea stock cool before storing in the refrigerator or freezer. Date your storing containers and store and/or use in your dish. Tip: if using a felt pen or sharpie to date the outside of the jar, write the date on the jar before adding the stock so the jar is dry.

Prep Time: 5 minutes - Cook Time: 40 minutes Yield: 8-10
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Chickpea dishes to try: 

 

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