Wed 9 Apr, 2008 12:08 am
My wife cooks a lot of garbanzo beans (chickpeas).
It seems that sometimes, not matter what store she goes to, no matter how long she soaks them and then cooks them, they don't really cook to full softness and also maybe seem a little smaller. Also sometimes I see a few with a greenish tint.
What's going on, what can be done?
If she's adding any salt to the cooking liquid before the beans are cooked thoroughly, that is probably the problem. Salt toughens them.
They also need to be soaked for a lot longer time than the usual bean. Most beans are soaked overnight, while recipes suggest chickpeas be soaked for 24 hours at least. A teaspoon of baking soda to the soaking water speeds up the process a bit.
They have a long cooking time, two to three hours at least, depending on the recipe.
Some chickpeas, if they are just too old, won't soften at all no matter what is done to them.
Very good, fine, excellent, I'll let her know!
I also don't add salt until the end of the bean cooking. However, I have recently seen a fair amount of recipes from reliable sources that suggest adding salt half way or 2/3 the way through the cooking. Anyway, other than that, which I haven't tested, and might be afraid to given I don't want to ruin a pot of beans, I agree with all Butrflynet mentions.