Saturday, March 14, 2009

what's up with the naked chickpeas?

Photo by Ferran NoguesSomewhere amidst the several times I've tried to make hummus I read that to get a silky smooth result you really have to cook the chickpeas yourself. OK, so I finally got some dried garbanzos at the co-op, and cooked them today. The first batch seemed soft enough after a quick boil and 3 hour soak, but I can't get it the hummus really smooth.

That was only with half of the soaked batch, so I went ahead and cooked the rest of them (about 2.5 cups of chickpeas) for 30 minutes. Then, following a suggestion in Crunchy Chicken's hummus recipe, I soaked the cooked peas in cold water and started collecting the skins.

Oh my goodness!! Who knew that chickpeas had skins? or that you could take them off? Or, most amazingly, that chickpea skins look like tiny jellyfish floating in the pot? Alternately, if you've never seen a bunch of jellyfish in the sea, imagine floating chickpea skins, only much bigger. Not gross like it sounds, just wierd.

Naturally, now that I've skinned the peas, I'm out of tahini, garlic and lemons, so there's a container of shivering naked garbonzos in my fridge. Poor things.

Does anybody know exactly why one would bother to skin cooked chickpeas? Is it aesthetic, or nutritional, or what? Do tell!

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