I have a big bag of dried chickpeas in the cupboard. I’ve used a handful a couple of times – soaked them overnight and then flung them into whatever I was cooking for a shot of added protein, and wondered why they didn’t taste as good as the canned ones.
And then I went to a beans, pulses and grains cookery lesson and discovered that as well as soaking overnight, you’re meant to bring them to the boil and simmer for an hour to an hour and a half until the chickpeas are soft, and THEN add them to your cooking. Ohhh.
So that’s what I did – poured a large quantity of chickpeas into a bowl, covered them with lots of water and left them to soak for sixteen hours. Then I moved them into my biggest saucepan, and simmered them for more than an hour. Let us pause for a moment to admire the miracle of food science: the chickpeas tripled in size during this process.
I adore hummus, so that was the first thing I wanted to make with my new batch of cooked chickpeas. I decided to use this recipe from Vegangela, because it looked straightforward and only included one ingredient I didn’t have (the tahini). Yes, I realise it isn’t really hummus without tahini: hence the approximate. However, I did have some sesame oil so I sloshed a bit of that in.
The recipe called for a tin of chickpeas, but I had cooked dried ones. I guessed that a tin might be approximately 200g of drained chickpeas but that didn’t look quite enough once I’d blended it all up so I added another 50g or so. I also doubled up on garlic because I like garlic. Following the tip on the recipe page I spent quite some time peeling my chickpeas but on reflection I quite like the more chunky texture so I won’t do that next time – it takes ages, although it is indeed quite meditative. The lack of tahini was evident (I will buy some as soon as I figure out where to get it from) but it still tastes pretty good on a slice of nice crusty bread.
Finally once it was all blended up and stirred in, I transferred it into a handy tub that turned out to be exactly the right size, sprinkled paprika over the top (note: if you do this, the paprika slowly dissolves and blends into the hummus, which is what I wanted it to do, but will mean it looks less impressive as time goes on). Cheaper than shop-bought hummus, fresher, probably healthier and some nice foodie points for making your own! Why would you ever buy shop-bought hummus again?