How to Cook and Soak Dried Chickpeas

how to cook dried chickpeas
Photo: CC0 Public Domain / Pixabay - Engin Akyurt

Chickpeas are delicious, healthy, and add variety to your diet —but before you cook them, you must soak them first. We’ll show you how to cook and soak dried chickpeas, so you can easily prepare them yourself at home.

Cooking with Chickpeas: Canned or Dried

Want to know how to cook dried chickpeas? Look to other cultures for inspiration. Chickpeas play an important role in Asian, Middle Eastern and African cuisines. Whether in curries, salads, soups, falafel, or hummus — the buttery and nutty-tasting legume gives many dishes an extra boost of vitamins, minerals, and protein.

Organic chickpeas are available for purchase in two forms:

  • Dried, raw chickpeas, usually packaged in bags or the bulk section.
  • Pre-cooked and preserved in water, typically sold in a can.

If you need to cook something quickly, pre-cooked chickpeas are perfect — simply drain and enjoy. Dried chickpeas, on the other hand, must be soaked before you can cook them. Here’s how and how long to soak chickpeas.

Soaking Chickpeas: Time Consuming but Worthwhile

how to soak chickpeas
Why soak chickpeas? It makes them easier to digest and shortens cooking time. (Photo: CC0 Public Domain / Pixabay - Ajale )

Soaking chickpeas may seem tedious, but it’s time well spent, and it doesn’t require much active preparation. Once you have soaked the legumes, they are much easier to digest. It also significantly shortens the cooking time of, which is good for the environment and your energy bill. But how long should you soak chickpeas? For best results when cooking dried chickpeas, allow them to soak overnight.

Here’s how to soak chickpeas :

  • Cover the dried chickpeas in a bowl with twice the amount of water. You can decide how long to soak chickpeas depending on how soft you want them to be, but you should let them soak for at least twelve hours.
  • While they soak, the chickpeas will absorb water. After about six hours, check to make sure the chickpeas are still covered. If not, add more water.
  • After soaking, pour the water away and rinse the chickpeas thoroughly with fresh water

How to Cook Dried Chickpeas

After soaking, you can boil the chickpeas in water using either a pressure cooker, Instant Pot (available on Amazon**), or a regular pot. Here’s how to do it:

  • Put the chickpeas in a pressure cooker, cover them with fresh water, and bring them to a boil.
  • Cook the chickpeas on low heat at a slight simmer for about 20 minutes.
  • You’ll know they are ready when they’re soft enough to be easily pricked with a fork.
  • Transfer the chickpeas to a sieve and rinse them with fresh water.

How to Cook Dried Chickpeas in an Instant Pot

  • Add a cup of chickpeas to the pot, along with a teaspoon of kosher salt and 4 cups of cold water.
  • Set the cooking time for 5 minutes on high pressure with a 20-minute natural release.
  • Rinse the chickpeas when finished and enjoy.

Tip: If you don’t have a pressure cooker or Instant Pot, it will take longer to cook the dried and soaked chickpeas – usually about an hour or so.

As a general rule, the longer you soak the chickpeas, the faster they will cook. If you let them soak in water for a full 24 hours, the cooking time in a pressure cooker will be reduced to just 10 minutes. You can decide how long to soak your chickpeas accordingly.

The cooking time also depends on whether you need the chickpeas to be very soft for making hummus or firm enough to bite for use in curry or salad.

Health Benefits of Chickpeas

how to cook dried chickpeas
Chickpeas make a tasty addition to salad bowls and go great with vegetables. (Photo: CC0 Public Domain / Pexels - Anna Tarazevich )

Not only are chickpeas delicious, they are also come with real health benefits. Chickpeas:

  • promote healthy digestion because of their naturally high fiber content
  • are an excellent source of vegetarian protein
  • are low in calories, but hunger curbing
  • pack a punch when it comes to nutrients — they are full of iron, zinc, and magnesium
  • can be very cost-effective and great for padding out other meals

This article has been translated from German by Karen Stankiewicz. You can view the original here: Kichererbsen kochen oder einweichen – das solltest du wissen

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