Saturday, March 30, 2013

Kitchen Staple: Chickpeas

These may or may not be a staple in your kitchen, but after having chickpeas ready to go in the fridge this week, I realize they could really be a time saver... and consequently a staple for me. Since living overseas and getting to know the wonder of the pressure cooker, I have eaten more beans, but cooking them just right has been a challenge. Usually I under or overcook them, never really in between, but a colleague told a group of us how to cook them over lunch recently so I have more know how. I tested her instructions, and they worked.

Gorgeous chickpea photo from Lingo Lunch
To cook them to about the consistency of canned chickpeas, you need to soak them first, either overnight or for 2-3 hours after a 1 minute boil. After soaking and draining, add the beans to your pressure cooker and add a little more than double their volume of water. Snap on the lid and bring the cooker up to pressure over high heat. Once the first whistle blows, turn the heat down to low and cook for about 30 minutes. Allow the pressure to release naturally and then drain the cooked chickpeas. If you plan on releasing the pressure immediately after turning off the heat, cook for 40 minutes. I packaged mine in ziptop bags in 2 cup sizes. Then, you can pop them in the freezer, toss them in salads, or use them for other things over the course of a week.

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