Optional Soaking: At least 6-8 hours before cooking, place the chickpeas in a bowl and cover with water. Soak for a maximum of 12 hours. When ready to use, drain water.
Using a colander, rinse dried chickpeas with clean water and add to a pot. Cover chickpeas with 2 inches of water and salt (if using). Bring to a boil.
Simmer chickpeas until they have reached desired consistancy.* Soaked: generally 1 hour, 30 minutes.Unsoaked: generally 2 hours 30 minutes.
Add more water throughout the cooking process to make sure the beans are always covered in water, otherwise, they may start to burn. I usually need to add in more water about every 45 minutes.
Once they have reached the desired consistency, drain extra water and use as desired. Chickpeas will last in the fridge for 4-5 days, or can be frozen for months.
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*The times I have given are for chickpeas that are soft but still have a little bit of chew to them. If you are planning on mashing your chickpeas, you'll probably want to cook them at least an additional 15 minutes to make them even softer. If you like your chickpeas chewy, you'll want to cook them for less time. Experiment a bit until you find the perfect time for you.1 cup of dried beans makes about 2 cups of cooked beans. There are about 1.5 cups of beans in a can of beans. Presoaking beans allows them to cook faster and more evenly but is not necessary.Adding salt drastically improves the taste of plain beans, and I would recommend using it if you are serving your chickpeas plain. If you are planning on using your chickpeas in a recipe that already has a lot of seasonings, and you are looking to lower your salt intake, you can skip the salt.