Cooking chickpeas?

I soaked some chickpeas overnight but this morning looks absolutely crazy. Can I just put my presoaked chickpeas in the slow cooker, or are they like some other beans where they have to boil properly to be easily digestible? I don't know what I'm going to make with them yet, maybe hummus, maybe just fry them in bacon fat with lentils for crunchy rice topping... don't know. Just felt like I need to eat chickpeas.

There are so many contradictory resources online, I thought I would come here for proper know how. Any sources you recommend for cooking dry beans and peas like chickpeas?



Becky January 9, 2018
As a general rule, adding salt to the water when you cook pulses makes them stay hard for longer - best to cook them without salt for however long it takes (vary SO much! I've had chick peas cook in 1/2 an hour and others take 1.5 hours!) and then add salt for the last few minutes of cooking to flavour :)
Pulses are not all 'toxic' but do all contain lectins - which are inflammatory and so can be problematic for people in today's society who are all suffering (often chronic) inflammation on some level! Soaking or rinsing to death helps reduce the lectins and make digestion easier!
And yes, they do swell like mad! I ALWAYS make too many! :'D
trampledbygeese May 22, 2014
Took an hour and 10 min to boil the chickpeas on the stove until the middle wasn't crunchy. In total it made over five cups of chickpeas from less than 1/3 cup of dry peas. It's like magic, and way more than I need. Maybe mine were extra dry or a different variety than normal because they were imported from the middle east somewhere? Or do they always grow this much?

There is only so much hummus a girl can eat, so I've been tossing the cooked chickpeas in with everything, from fried rice (tastes amazing) to baked apple rhubarb mush (less successful). I'm going to try oven roasting some today, but that still leaves me with two cups left... hmmm, what to eat for lunch that has chickpeas in it but isn't too strong on the peas? They are hard to digest when the body's not use to eating them, so I don't want them to be the star of the dish. Not yet anyway. Who would have thought dried chickpeas could be so yummy, worlds better than slimy tinned stuff?

Next question about the initial cooking - some resources say it must be cooked with salt others say never, ever add salt at the beginning as it makes it difficult to chew. Is this because adding salt increases the boiling temp enough to make the peas cook differently, so different places, stoves and styles of cooking will produce these different results? Or does the salt react with the peas?
Jan W. May 22, 2014
They increase in size quite a bit - it is rather remarkable to see them after they plump up.

If you want something less mushy, falafel are incredibly easy to make, and you can bake them if you aren't really into deep frying things.

Also, I saw a recipe on the Guardian website that even has a recipe for chocolate cake made with chickpeas - worth a try i suppose?

As for initial cooking, almost everyone I know who cooks (family) and other sources online say that adding salt to the cooking liquid can make the chickpeas a bit tougher (same with lentils), best to wait until after they're cooked.
trampledbygeese May 21, 2014
Great advice. Thanks. Especially about not using the soaking water. I always like to wash my beans twice, once before the soak, once after - is this normal or am I being obsessive?

When I checked on the chickpeas this morning, the 1/3 cup of peas had grown to 4 cups of peas and overflowing my soaking container. Is it normal for them to grow this much? I expected about 1 to 1.5 cups, two at the most. Anyway, been boiling 20 min and still hard as gravel. If they aren't done in another 20, I'll have to turn them off and see if I can finish cooking them this afternoon.
Maedl May 22, 2014
I think you made the right choice because beans contain a degree of toxicity. I would want to be sure that a slow cooking would dissipate the toxins before the beans are eaten. I know there are traditional dishes containing beans that are slow cooked--cholent, for example--but would a slow cooker replicate that kind of cooking? too many questions to resolve when you are in a hurry!
Jan W. May 22, 2014
Chickpeas have no risk of toxicity. However, I do recommend discarding your soaking water and not using it to cook your chickpeas because some of the complex sugars released are known to cause flatulence in some people. Usually 45 minutes does the trick for me, although it can occasionally take longer.

Also, when soaking chickpeas, adding some baking soda does help the beans absorb water a bit more readily.
Maedl May 22, 2014
I believe that legumes, and chick peas are legumes, contain lectin, which is toxic. By toxic, I don’t mean that you’ll die if you eat it, but it could cause indigestion--thus the soaking of dried beans and subsequent discarding of the soaking water. If you know how to cook the food properly, the toxin is eliminated. Numerous foods contain toxic chemicals--including potatoes, manioc (the source for tapioca plus a major staple in South America), bitter almonds, etc. etc. The important thing is knowing how to rid the food of the toxin.
trampledbygeese May 22, 2014
I wondered if the toxin was in chickpeas as well. I know with most dried beans and cowpeas, they need to be brought to a strong boil which a slow cooker cannot do. If I want to make baked beans in the slow cooker, I have to at least par boil the beans first before putting them in the slow cooker, otherwise days of stomach cramps. Chickpeas grow and look so different, I didn't know if they had it or not.
Jan W. May 22, 2014
I understand your meaning - though I'm sure you're aware that there are types of legumes that do pose a risk of poisoning if not prepared properly. Lupini beans are probably the most notable. Also eaten in southern Europe occasionally are grass peas, but because of their toxicity they aren't exported outside of Spain/Portugal and southern Italy. Lima beans also contain linamarin and kidney beans contain a relatively high level of phytohemagglutinin (PHA), which is one of the class of proteins known as lectins.

Not all lectins are harmful, and the ones that are can be mitigated through proper cooking and preparation. People are most at risk of complications when trying to consume these foods raw or undercooked.

As far as I'm aware, chickpeas do not pose a great risk - I would recommend this page which contains summaries and abstracts of studies on various legumes for lectin content and toxicity.
trampledbygeese May 22, 2014
Thanks Jan Webber. I look forward to reading your link. I've known that there is something in beans and legumes that is very difficult for me to digest, but if it's the protein structure, excessive fibre (bad for crohn's) or something else, it's not clear. It's something I need to learn more about. I usually try to keep legumes to less than 5% of the total meal, which means it's pointless to open a can as it never gets eaten in time. But lately I've been cooking lentils from dry and now chickpeas, and they are much easier to digest. I don't know why it's so different, but I sure like the taste and good gut feeling. Maybe because I often forget and cook them too long, or because they often get cooked two or three times before I eat them - boil, fry till crunchy, then add to fried rice. So much to learn about how and why beans go evil. Off to do some reading. Thanks for pointing me in the right direction.
Maedl May 22, 2014
Could you try re-posting the link? It doesn't work, even after I remove the a ref bit and quotes. Thanks.
Jan W. May 22, 2014 is the original link, but i think the function that makes clickable URLs here doesn't work properly. I made an abbreviated URL - , should go to the same page.
ChefJune May 21, 2014
I don't think chick peas take long enough to cook to use a slow cooker. Mine never take longer than 40 minutes. But be sure you toss out the soaking water and use fresh.
petite_oiseau May 21, 2014
I have never had to cook my chickpeas for longer than 30 minutes in gently boiling salted water. I soak them overnight, sometimes an entire day (changing the water once) and then drain them, put them in a pot with fresh water and some salt. When they start to boil, I just keep an eye out and start testing for done-ness around the twenty mintue mark. If you don't have time for that, you could always just change the water and leave them soaking. If you are really eager to use the slow cooker, hopefully some one will come on with some advice for you!
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