How to Cook Chickpeas and Other Legumes

Chickpeas are high in fibre and protein, they definitely beat hunger, keeping you satisfied for longer and are said to be beneficial for healthy cholesterol and heart health among other benefits! They are very versatile, and if you cook them from scratch they are also very economical.

It takes around 3 hours for chickpeas to cook properly, so I usually do at least half to one kilo (dry weight) to make it worth the effort, as cooked chickpeas freeze really well in ziplock bags. It is very quick and easy to defrost them (just immerse in a bowl of boiling water for a few minutes) and whip up a quick hummus or add to a delicious soup or curry or make chickpea patties!

Cooking Chickpeas from Scratch

  • Difficulty: easy
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Dry weight/cooked weight ratio:

  • 500g raw chickpeas yields approximately 1.12kg cooked chickpeas
  • 1kg raw chickpeas yields approximately 2.25kg cooked chickpeas

Steps (this works for other beans too, although they may be quicker to cook):

    1. Place your chickpeas (or other beans) in a large saucepan and cover in plenty of cold water, leave overnight.
    2. Drain the soaked chickpeas into a colander, discard the soaking water and rinse the chickpeas under the tap. Place them back in the pot, cover with cold water well above the chickpeas, put the lid on and bring to the boil over a high heat.
    3. Let them boil for around 10 minutes until you see foam forming on the surface, then drain them again, discarding the cooking water. The foam will often stick to the sides of the pot, rinse this all away, and rinse the chickpeas under fresh water. This foam is what makes legumes gassy, the more you can get rid of it the better.
    4. Place the rinsed chickpeas back in the pot, cover with lots of cold water, put the lid on and bring to the boil over a high heat. As soon as they come to the boil place the lid ajar and turn the heat down to a gentle boil.
    5. Leave them boiling for 2-3 hours until they are soft (easily squished with your tongue against the roof of your mouth). Keep an eye on the water level, you will probably have to add water a couple of times during cooking.
    6. Once they are cooked drain and discard cooking water.

Notes: If they get really frothy again during cooking you can always repeat the rinsing process another time as in step 3, usually this is not necessary, but occasionally a batch of chickpeas is more foamy, possibly if they are older.

5 Comments Add yours

  1. Frank Z. says:

    2 to 3 hours cooking time! That’s why I do all my beans in a pressure cooker now. Chickpeas: soak overnight, and 10 minutes (at pressure) in the pressure cooker, the let cool until pressure drops (about another 5-10 minutes). Done! Once you get a pressure cooker, you won’t go back.


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