Member Information‎ > ‎Food-a-pedia‎ > ‎

Garbanzo Beans

Garbanzo Beans a.k.a. chickpeas, Indian pea, ceci bean

There are two main kinds of chickpea: Kabuli, which has lighter colored, larger seeds and a smoother coat, orginally grown in Southern Europe, Northern Africa, Afghanistan and Chile.

Desi, which has darker, smaller seeds and a rough coat, cultivated mostly in the Indian subcontinent, Ethiopia, Mexico and Iran. These are also called bengal gram or kala chana. The desi type is used to make Chana Dal (Hindi word), which is a split chickpea with the skin removed. This darker type is higher in fiber content

Nutritional Information:  The chickpea is sweet in flavor and supports the spleen-pancreas, stomach, and heart.  It is a good source of Fiber, Protein, Copper, Zinc, Folate and Manganese. A healthy source of carbohydrates for persons with insulin sensitivity or diabetes. The chick-pea provides more vitamin C, iron and three times more fat than most legumes.

Storage Information: Store in a dry, cool, dark place. (not in fridge) 
Cooked: Refrigerate cooked beans in a covered container for up to 5 days. Alternately, you can freeze them for up to 6 months in an airtight freezer container.

Fun Food Facts: This prominent ingredient in Mediterranean, Middle Eastern, & Indian dishes (mmmm…hummus & falafel) has a mild but hearty flavor. Garbanzos are a good staple to use with strong spices like curry, cumin and cayenne, so add them to stews, curries, soups, pasta. Chickpeas may also be brewed as a coffee substitute.(recipe below) Chickpeas can also be cooked and eaten cold in salads, ground into a flour called gram flour (also known as besan and used in Indian cuisine) and shaped in balls and fried as falafel, fermented drink similar to sake, stirred into a batter and baked to make farinata, ground into a paste called hummus or roasted, spiced and eaten as a snack. In the Philippines garbanzo beans preserved in syrup are eaten in desserts such as halo-halo. Ashkenazi Jews traditionally serve whole chickpeas at a celebration for baby boys.
The New Whole Foods Encyclopedia by Rebecca Wood 

Basic Recipes: see general bean page for soaking and preparation suggestions

If soaked for 12+ hours, cooking time for garbanzos should be less than 1 hour. However, they will not easily fall apart when cooked longer. One CSA member recommends removing the skins after cooking - to ease the digestion process.

Simple from scratch: add to a salad and enjoy!

Other Recipes:
Savory Chickpeas in Tangy Tomato Glaze~ Recommended by Ashram Member Durga
 This is slightly simplified from the recipe in ISKCON's cookbook, "The Best of Lord Krishna's Cuisine," by Yamuna Devi. Have never had a bad recipe from this book. The list of ingredients with Indian foods tends to appear intimidatingly long, but this is actually very quick, easy, and delicious--even picky kids like it! ;-)
1) 1/1-4 C cooked chickpeas:
Soak 1-1/4 C. garbanzos/chickpeas soaked 24 hours in a warm place with 1-3 T. whey, lemon juice, or yogurt.
Cook overnight in the crockpot on high, with 1/2 T baking soda to ensure they are soft--but not too much soda, or they will be mushy. You want butter soft but with form.
Reserve at least 1/4-1/2 C. of the cooking liquid.
2) Sauce:
5 T. ghee or your favorite oil
1/1-2 tsp. peeled minced ginger root OR 1/2-3/4 ginger powder
1-1/2 tsp black mustard seeds
1-1/2 tsp cumin seeds
5 medium tomatoes, diced
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp or more to taste fresh lemon juice
1 tsp garam masala*
1/4 C. cilantro (opt'l, really nice, but delicious without too)
1/1-4 tsp salt (fine)
Melt the ghee or heat the oil over medium heat. Fry the mustard and cumin seeds til mustard seeds pop. Now drop in the ginger, turmeric, garam masala, and cilantro if you have it and fry for a few more seconds. Now add the tomatoes, lemon juice, and salt. Cook for 3-5 minutes until it starts to turn "saucy" mashing the tomatoes if need be. Add the drained chickpeas, with the reserved cooking liquid. Turn heat to low, cover, and cook for 10 mins or so stirring after 5 mins, until the peas have absorbed the flavor of the sauce. Done!
If you happen to make rice as an accompaniment, incorporate the rest of the garbanzos cooking liquid with the water required for the rice--it is loaded with iron and other minerals.
*available from Indian stores, or make your own: cumin, coriander, cinnamon, red pepper, and cardamom powders blended in equal parts or to taste.

Curried Garbanzo Beans~ From the Duncans, CSA Members

3 c. cooked garbanzos
1 T. oil
1 tsp. each coriander, cumin, turmeric
1/4 tsp. cayenne
3/8 tsp. each ground cloves, cinnamon
3 cloves garlic
1/3 tsp. ground ginger
2 T. lemon juice
1 T. fresh cilantro
1 diced tomato

Heat oil in saucepan; cook spices over low heat for a few minutes.
Stir in garbanzos and enough liquid to just barely cover.
Stir well; mash a few beans with a fork or potato masher.
Cook beans over medium heat for about 20 minutes, or until sauce thickens.
Remove from heat and stir in lemon juice, cilantro (chopped) and tomato.
Use 2 cups dry lentils instead of garbanzos; boil lentils until done and mix with spices.
This makes an excellent dal.

Garbanzo Beans with Coconut Milk: (serves 6-8)
This version of beans in coconut milk is from the spice island of Zanzibar.
Cook 2 cups (presoaked) chickpeas (or any other bean) in enough water to cover them until you estimate that they are about half done. Drain the beans, then add the following to the pot: 1 ½ cups coconut milk, 1 chopped tomato, 2-4 crushed cloves, 1 minced clove of garlic, 1 ½ tsp. turmeric. Continue to boil until beans are tender. Serve hot with rice.

Hummus Recipe:
Makes about 4 cups. This recipe can be prepared in 45 mins. On a cutting board mash 4 garlic cloves to a paste with 1 tsp salt. In a food processor purée 3.5-4 cups cooked chick-peas with the garlic paste, 2/3 cup tahini, 1/4 cup lemon juice, 1/4 cup of oil, and 1/2 cup water, until the hummus is smooth, add salt to taste. Add water, if necessary. Transfer the hummus to a bowl. In the food processor, cleaned, purée 1/4 cup oil with 1/4 cup parsley leaves. (For a short cut, you may add coarsely chopped parsley into the first mixture and puree all at once.) To serve, divide hummus between shallow serving dishes and smooth the tops. Drizzle hummus with parsley oil. Sprinkle with 2 tablespoons toasted pine nuts/paprika (optional). Serve the hummus with bread or raw vegetable sticks.

Simple Chana Dal or Curry Recipe:
Preparation: Soak chickpeas overnight. Cook 2 cups chickpeas in 6 cups water until tender. Purée part of them (optional). Carmelize 1 chopped onion in a bit of olive oil. Add 1 tsp *garam masala (or individual spices of your choice) simmer a bit more. Add onions to chickpeas. Salt to taste. Serve over a bed of grain –your choice. You may top with sour cream or plain yogurt.

*Garam masala is a mixture of fragrant, pulverized spices. In Bengal it consists of cinnamon, cardamom, and cloves. In other parts of India it may also include black peppercorns, nutmeg, coriander, and other spices. All Indian stores sell ground garam masala.  

Spicy Chickpea Snack:
Preheat oven to 350. Mix together: 2 Tbsp curry powder, 2 Tbsp brown sugar, pinch of cinnamon and nutmeg, 1 Tbsp salt and pepper, 3 cups cooked chickpeas (drained and rinsed). Bake on a lined baking sheet until crunchy (about 60 mins). When cool, toss with grated orange zest and 1 cup raisins.

Chickpea Chocolate Cake:
2 cups chick peas (other beans will also do)
2/3 cup orange juice 4 eggs
1 tsp vanilla 2/3 cup of sugar or honey
2/3 cup cocoa 2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda salt (optional)
Blend the chickpeas until smooth in a blender or food processor, and mix in all the rest of the ingredients until blended. Bake at 350 degrees for 50 minutes in 9x9" pan.

Garbanzo beans (chickpea) coffee:
Roast chickpeas at 300° until dark brown - the color of roasted coffee beans. Then grind the beans in a coffee grinder to the same consistency you desire in regular coffee grounds. These beans seems to do better in a percolator, or boiled and then strained, rather than the quick-drip-through coffee makers.