My favourite legume chickpea, garbanzo


Non-soaked chickpeas

One of my favourite legumes is definitely chickpea, or garbanzo, or pois chiche, or kikherne. It is one of the oldest cultivated food plants, remains dating 7500 years have been found at least in the Middle East. They are staple food in the Mediterranean region, Indian subcontinent and western Asia, Americas, Australia and Africa. I eat them cold and hot, in salads, in hummus, in stews, soups, fried and curries.

The little grain is a source of protein and dietary fibre, and vitamins such as B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B9, B12, C, K, and E. In addition these grains are rich in calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, sodium and zinc.

You can buy chickpeas ready cooked, or cook them yourself. The previous is good for fast food, but the latter is more economic. I keep home both cooked chickpeas (bio-organic and in glass jars for just in case I run out of home-cooked ones), and dried chickpeas for cooking. I cook a large amount, and then freeze them in portions.

The cooking of the chickpeas is an art as such. There are a couple of things to remember if you want to have your chickpeas soft and tasty.

First, use bio-organic grains for the quality of nutrients, and to reduce the amount of toxins. Secondly, rinse them well and thirdly, soak them in clean water minimum 8 hours (or over-night). Soaking helps to release the nutrients  and reduces the toxicity that causes the gaz while eaten.

Cooking of pre-soaked chickpeas takes about 2 hours in an ordinary pot, and 20-25 minutes in pressure pot.

Adding water: in case your cooking runs out of water, you should add only boiling hot water. Otherwise, if adding cold water, the cooking interrupts, and the chickpeas may turn permanently rough.

Adding the salt: add the salt for cooked chickpeas, i.e when they are tender and you shut down the cooking, add the salt to the water, stir and let cool down. Adding the salt to boiling process might turn the chickpeas permanently rough, same as with the cold water.

How do I cook’em? I use pressure pot, as I have one. You can use the same instructions to normal pot, but add the time up to 2-2,5 hrs. When using normal pot, it is more convenient to check the tenderness of the peas.

Here is what I need:

– Half a kilo of dried chickpeas
– 3-4 bay leafs
– (oregano)
– 10-15 grains of black pepper
– good water to cover the peas + 2cm
– 1-2 tsp marine salt or himalayan salt


Chickpeas soaked for over-night

Rinse the chickpeas and let them soak min. 8 hours, or overnight in good water.

Pour the peas to pressure pot and cover with water, 2-2,5 cm over the peas. Start the boiling, without the lid. When the boiling starts, foam starts to appear and you want to get the foam off.

De-foaming of the chickpeas

De-foaming of the chickpeas


When de-foaming has been concluded, add the bay leaves, black peppers and optional oregano, shut the lid and allow the pressure cooking to start. After 20-25 minutes of cooking, shut the energy off and allow to cool down to the temperature to open the lid again. Be careful here, so allow time. Add the salt, close the lid again, and allow to cool down properly.

The ready-cooked chickpeas can be eaten the way you want, or stored in freezer for 2-3 months.


This entry was posted in Cooking, Food, Legumes, Nutrition, Vegetarian and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to My favourite legume chickpea, garbanzo

  1. Pingback: Vegan recipe: beet & humus spread | Ambika Yoga

  2. What an interesting read! Thank you for such a great post dedicated to the wonder of chickpeas! If you have a minute, I’d love your thoughts on my chickpea dish 🙂

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