The round legumes are tasty, healthy, and enrich a variety of dishes. Cooking chickpeas is also uncomplicated – if you pay attention to the soaking and cooking times.
Cooking with chickpeas? A good idea! Because the healthy legumes have a high protein content, are low-calorie fillers, and provide a lot of fiber, of which we should eat much more. They also contain B vitamins, vitamins A, C, and E, and considerable amounts of iron, but also zinc, and magnesium.
Chickpeas also taste great in many different dishes: from warming vegetable curries to salads and homemade falafel. Best of all, you can get them in dried form or in cans at any time of the year. Ideally, you combine chickpeas in dishes with fresh, seasonal vegetables.
Cooking chickpeas: Here’s how
Chickpeas should never be eaten raw because they contain the toxin phasin, which is only destroyed during cooking. Chickpeas that have already been soaked should therefore be boiled first and then processed further.
Cooking the chickpeas works best in the pressure cooker – like this:
Cover the soaked chickpeas in the pressure cooker with water and bring to the boil.
Then cook the chickpeas in gently simmering water over low heat for about 20 minutes.
You can tell that the chickpeas are done by testing with a knife whether you can easily pierce them. Then place the legumes in a colander and rinse under running water.
Without a pressure cooker, the cooking time is significantly longer – the Federal Center for Nutrition recommends cooking the fruit for 90 to 120 minutes. Various factors influence the cooking time: for example the variety, the freshness of the chickpeas (the fresher, the shorter) or the planned use – if you want to use the legumes for hummus, they have to be cooked longer than for a curry dish in which the peas are used like to be firm to the bite.
Soak chickpeas: at least 12 hours
If you want to cook chickpeas, you shouldn’t do it spontaneously – because not only cooking, but also soaking takes some time – at least twelve hours. The longer you let the chickpeas swell, the more energy-efficient the subsequent preparation will be, because swelling also shortens the cooking time.
If you let the chickpeas soak for about 24 hours, they will be ready in the pressure cooker after about ten minutes.
When soaking the chickpeas, proceed as follows:
Put the chickpeas in a saucepan with twice the amount of water. You may have to add a little more water during the soaking time, as the chickpeas will increase in volume.
Let the chickpeas soak for at least 12 hours. Sort out specimens that float at the top – these will no longer soften. Then throw away the soaking water.
Rinse the chickpeas thoroughly under running water.
Canned chickpeas: When things have to go fast
If you don’t have time to soak the chickpeas beforehand, you can also buy pre-cooked peas in a can or jar. This is undoubtedly more practical, but it also has its disadvantages: Some swear by it that freshly cooked chickpeas are more aromatic – and the canned version is usually more expensive.
Store chickpeas properly
Chickpeas that have been cooked once cannot be preserved for long: Dishes with cooked chickpeas should only be stored in the refrigerator for a day or two – the same applies to leftover canned legumes.
Dried legumes can be kept for months. It is best to store the chickpeas in a cool, dry place – in the original packaging or in an airtight container.