They taste way better when homemade.
I used to joke that, as a kid, I knew one of my siblings was having a baby any day now if, by Wednesday, I saw a bowl of chickpeas soaking in water on the kitchen counter.
Many have the tradition to serve arbes and beer at a shalom zachor, the Friday night after a baby boy is born. (If you want to know why we have this tradition, see this article). Growing up in Lugano meant making your own chrein, your own challos and babkas, and your own arbes, shalom zachor or not.
Truthfully, you don’t need a shalom zachor to have an excuse to make your own cooked chickpeas. They are so much better homemade and fresh, you won’t want to go back to the store-bought version (or use canned).
- 1 pound dry chickpeas (garbanzo beans)
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon sugar (or more), to taste
- Place chickpeas into a large bowl of water, enough to cover by a good few inches (they will double in size and soak up the water, so give them enough water for that). Soak them for at least 24 hours, in a cool place (on the counter, as long as it is 70-72 degrees in your kitchen). You can also freeze them after soaking (to save a step next time). I will typically start soaking them Wednesday night or early Thursday morning and cook them on Friday. Longer than 24 hours is recommended.
- Drain chickpeas and transfer to a large pot. Cover with water; simmer in a covered pot, over low heat, until tender, about 4 hours. Make sure to keep an eye on the pot and give it a stir from time to time, adding water only if necessary. You will think that they are soft enough after 2 hours, but be patient. This is what makes them special: the super-soft texture.
- Once chickpeas are soft, drain into a colander. Immediately spread them over a large, thick kitchen towel; let cool a bit.
- Sprinkle chickpeas with salt, pepper, and sugar. Wring the towel so that excess water drains out and spices mix well. Taste and adjust seasoning to taste (some like it sweeter than others).
- Serve warm.
Chickpeas take time to soak and cook, but are not hard at all to prepare. If you own a pressure cooker, by all means use it. It will cut the cooking time in half. Because of the extended soaking time, the chickpeas won’t bubble up as much as usual, so the vent won’t be blocked by the foam.
Once chickpeas are soft, drain into a colander. Immediately spread them over a large, thick kitchen towel; let cool a bit.
Sprinkle chickpeas with salt, pepper, and sugar.
Wring the towel so that excess water drains out and spices mix well.