Chickpeas are an integral part of Indian, oriental, and Mediterranean cuisine and they have long been one of the most popular culinary delicacies in our region. For example, hummus, an oriental specialty made from pureed chickpeas, is now just as much a part of the range of hearty spreads as cream cheese or meat salad. Falafel, fried patties made from pureed chickpeas, herbs, and spices, are also a popular snack for many.
In the warm kitchen, one appreciates the diverse uses as well as the delicate, nutty, and at the same time buttery taste of chickpeas. For example, you can enjoy vegetables in the form of stews or hearty curries. The legumes, originally from the Near East, are also very popular as an ingredient in various summer and winter salads.
Chickpeas are impressed with their taste and preparation options as well as their ingredients because they contain valuable vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Because of the high protein content, they are also a vegetable protein source and are therefore an important and integral part of vegan or vegetarian nutrition. Chickpeas are either commercially available as roasted snacks or can be found raw and dried on the shelves alongside lentils, rice, and the like. They are also available pre-cooked in jars or cans.
What you should consider when making your choice: Depending on whether you choose dry or canned food, the preparation time and cooking time vary significantly. It is also important to know that chickpeas are not edible raw because they contain the toxin phasing, which only breaks down when cooked. If you want to prepare chickpeas, you have several options. You can find out what they are and where the differences lie here.
Prepare chickpeas: the most important things in brief
If you want to prepare chickpeas, you can use pre-cooked or dried legumes. It’s particularly quick if you take the chickpeas out of the can. You can eat them pure or process them directly into hummus, curry, and co. Dried chickpeas should be soaked in water for at least 12 hours before cooking and then boiled. The legumes cannot be eaten raw due to the toxin phasing. Therefore, chickpea seedlings should not be eaten raw in large quantities.
Prepare chickpeas: 3 different methods
Pre-Cooked Chickpeas: Can You Eat Them Raw?
Canned chickpeas are the quickest and easiest way to prepare. Because the pre-cooked legumes can be eaten straight away or processed into all kinds of dishes. If you want to be quick when preparing chickpeas, it is best to grab those from the jar or can, pour them into a sieve, and rinse them briefly under running water.
Tip: The viscous cooking water in which the preserved delicacies swim is called aquafaba. Like chicken egg whites, it can be whipped up with a whisk or hand mixer, making it a really good vegan alternative to beaten egg whites.
Dried chickpeas: how long to soak and cook them?
Dried chickpeas should be soaked for as long as possible before cooking to shorten the cooking time. This not only saves time but also energy and also protects valuable, heat-sensitive ingredients. It is best to put the legumes in a large pot the day before and cover them with twice the amount of water, which should preferably be lukewarm. When soaking, the spherical grains swell up quite a bit and literally absorb the moisture, so you should add a little more if necessary.
Important: The toxin phasing contained in the legumes dissolves in the soaking water. It is, therefore, best to throw it away and use fresh water for cooking. The cooking time depends on the one hand on the soaking time and on the other hand on further use. If you let chickpeas soak for twelve hours, you have to calculate with around one hour, with 24 hours in the soaking water the cooking time is reduced to 10 to 20 minutes. The preparation in the pressure cooker is particularly quick. Chickpeas are done when you can easily mash them with a fork. If you plan to use them for hummus or puree, they should be buttery soft. As an ingredient in curries or salads, on the other hand, they can still have a little bit after cooking. Tip: The fresher the chickpeas and the shorter the storage time, the shorter the cooking time.
Chickpea sprouts are real energy bombs and also delicious as a crunchy snack or topping for sandwiches, soups, and salads. You can buy special sprout seeds in garden shops and in some health food stores. But the sprout culture also works with inexpensive organic chickpeas. To do this, you first put two to three tablespoons of the grains in water for about twelve hours, pour them into a sieve and rinse them thoroughly. They are then drained and then placed in a shallow dish, a sprouting box, or in a special germination jar in a bright place. You should rinse the sprouts under running water twice a day and after two to four days you can enjoy the sprouts.
Tip: Since chickpea sprouts also contain phasing, they should not be eaten raw in large quantities and can be blanched briefly for better digestibility.