Chickpeas or garbanzo beans are a versatile ingredient every chef should be comfortable cooking. We aren’t talking about the canned stuff; we are diving into the dried today. Yes, there is a bit more work in dealing with dried chickpeas but trust me it’s worth it.
Over the years I’ve tried a lot of different soaking methods when it comes to dried legumes. My favorite is a long soak. Rinse the chickpeas in cold water. I usually do two rinses just to make sure they are free of any impurities. Then I place them into a container that has enough room. I do a 3 to 1 ratio of water to chickpea. The chickpeas need to rehydrate so make sure you have a big enough container and lots of water. The chickpeas will at least double in size and absorb most of the water. Store in the refrigerator for 24 hours. When you’re ready to use drain all the water off and let dry.
There are a lot of different applications for chickpeas. The most common is probably spreads like hummus. Chickpeas become very creamy when added to a food processor with another liquid. So you’ll see chickpea purees a lot too. Another fun technique you don’t see as often is crisping them. It’s a great way to add texture to dishes. Whether it be a salad or a nice snack for the road with the right recipe chickpeas can pack a punch.
Cooking in a Dutch oven is another one of my favorites. You can build a base of flavors on the stove and then finish them in the oven. When you have heat coming from 360 degrees a bit more flavor can be infused into whatever you’re cooking. A bit of garlic, shallot, and spices will flavor your chickpeas and get them ready for whatever you want to add them to.
Here are two recipes for chickpeas: crispy chickpeas and hummus.
2 cups chickpeas, presoaked
1 ½ tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon garam masala
1 teaspoon cumin
½ teaspoon coriander
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
Preheat oven to 375°F. Dry the chickpeas as much as possible. In a bowl, mix the chickpeas, oil, and spices. Pour the chickpeas out onto a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake for about 50 minutes. Make sure to open the oven and give the sheet pan a shake every 15-20 minutes so they are uniformly crispy. The chickpeas will firm up a bit more once they are cooled so don’t over crisp them.
Prep time: 5 minutes
3 garlic cloves
2 cups soaked chickpeas, drained
1/4 cup tahini (sesame paste)
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon liquid from the chickpeas (if needed)
1 tablespoon hot sauce (your fav)
Salt and pepper to taste
In a food processor add all the ingredients and puree until desired consistency. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
–Chef Evan Francois
While his passion still remains in French cuisine, Chef Evan Francois loves cooking all types of cuisine — from the spice of India to the tang of the Greek seaside.