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Shel_B

A Better Way to Peel Chickpeas?

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A couple of nights ago I spent fifteen minutes peeling a can of chickpeas for a soup I was making - one pea at a time <whew>. OK, a lot of time for a small, but noticeable, benefit. The peeling may be more evident when making hummus, so I will be doing this again.

Is there a better way to peal chickpeas, a method that won't damage them (I may want to use them in a salad)?

Would cooked, dry beans require peeling?

Thanks!


Edited by Shel_B (log)

 ... Shel


 

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Cooked dried beans would indeed require peeling. If you are using the chickpeas for hummus, run them through the food mill. It will press the meat of the beans through the screen and leave the skins in the hopper.

If you are skinning canned beans that you want to leave whole, rinse and drain them first. Then turn them out on a terry or Turkish towel and gently rub them until the skins pop off. You'll still have to separate the peas from the skins, but it's a lot easier than trying to peel them one at a time!


Edited by annabelle (log)

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Alright, I just looked this up on the Internet, and found several people had the same reaction I did. You're supposed to peel them?! I had no clue. What's the benefit? The Internet was not clear on that.

I once had to peel black-eyed peas. Not sure i would do it again, even though the fermented fritters were out of this world good. I shook a handful at a time in the bottom of a collendar and, IIRC, they remained reasonably intact.

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The skins are tough for some people to digest. It also makes a smoother product for hummus and the like. The skins don't bother me, so I don't peel them.

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Alright, I just looked this up on the Internet, and found several people had the same reaction I did. You're supposed to peel them?! I had no clue. What's the benefit? The Internet was not clear on that.

http://smittenkitchen.com/blog/2013/01/ethereally-smooth-hummus/

Just one source. I contacted a friend in Tel Aviv, and she said that the best hummus she's had was made with peeled chickpeas. She, and her mother, always peel the peas when making hummus.


 ... Shel


 

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I generally think things are better homemade, but could never out-do store bought hummus. Maybe this is why. It might also explain my, uh, digestive issues when I cook dried chickpeas.

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Put the chickpeas in a bowl of water, and rub them gently with your fingers to take off the skins. The skins float up to the top. It's much quicker than peeling them one at a time.


"There is nothing like a good tomato sandwich now and then."

-Harriet M. Welsch

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My face is red. :blush: Well, somewhat. I'm with TtoGull. You're supposed to peel them? And I've been making hummus for DECADES. And have never even tasted store-bought hummus. Oh well.


Darienne

learn, learn, learn...

Cheers & Chocolates

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I've never peeled a chickpea, though I can see how removing the bean skins would make for a more velvety end result. On the other hand, you're removing some of the indigestible fiber, which is a desirable thing for those without GI issues. Seems like a food mill would be quick and easy--a few turns of the handle, and the cooked peas are exfoliated.

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"Supposed to" might be a bit strong. I actually prefer hummus with a little texture so I usually don't bother. But if you want the hummus to have a very smooth and creamy texture, then you have to peel them.


"There is nothing like a good tomato sandwich now and then."

-Harriet M. Welsch

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Like Annabelle, I just use a food mill when preparing hummus or soups with chickpeas when I want the soup creamy.


"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

My blog:Books,Cooks,Gadgets&Gardening

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I also never knew chickpeas needed to be skinned. This would explain why some soups I've tasted are not as velvety as others, so it really can make a difference. Carole Grogloth, Molokai, Hawaii


Carole Grogloth Molokai Hawaii

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Like Annabelle, I just use a food mill when preparing hummus or soups with chickpeas when I want the soup creamy.

This advice came in handy tonight. I had some gigantic dried unpeeled fava beans. Soaking did not separate the skins from the bean, and neither did cooking them. I remembered this post, drug out my handed down Foley food mill, and had a wonderful fava bean purée in short order. Chickpea skins have nothing on these fava bean skins, so the food mill ought to work great with them too. Thanks for the posts/advice.


Edited by Ttogull (log)

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Here we are five years after the last post here, but perhaps with a useful tip.

 

Chickpea skins can be loosened by attacking the skin-to-bean bond with an alkaline solution. About half of the skin is made of pectin which can be substantially weakened by a hot solution of baking soda.  If you just want to make the skins soft (as opposed to trying to remove them) cook the chickpeas in a solution of 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda per cup of water.  When you boil the water, most of the CO2 from sodium bicarbonate boils off which increases the amount of carbonate in solution relative to bicarbonate and increases the pH from around 8 to around 9.  More baking soda produces a more pronounced effect but also affects the flavor. When done cooking you will find whisps of skin floating in the cooking liquid, but if you make it into hummus the skins will totally disappear (I use an Indian wet grinder to make hummus and the result is totally creamy after 40 minutes between the stones).

 

If you want to remove the skins completely and not just soften them, first hot soak the dry chickpeas for 15 minutes (boil water, add dry chickpeas - water should fully cover the chickpeas by 1/2" - put on the top, turn off the heat and wait 15 minutes).  Then boil the chickpeas in a solution of 1/4t of baking soda per cup of water for 5 minutes. Strain and chill in cold water. Using your fingers slip the skins off of the chickpeas and flush them out of the pan/bowl.  Repeat the rinse about 6 or 7 times to get all of the skins.  Soak the now skinless chickpeas for at least 8 hours (up to 12). Now you can steam (20 min for average size chickpeas), boil, or pressure cook the chickpeas to whatever level of doneness you desire (times will depend on the size and age of the chickpeas and how long you soaked them after removing the skins).  Done right, I have found that this will result in splitting about less than 5% of the chickpeas in the process.

 

I observed that going directly to boiling dry chickpeas in soda water resulted in the skins tending to come off everywhere except around the little beak at the top of the chickpea and it often left a strand of attached skin running half way around the bean that was removable but was too much trouble.  This behavior stimulated me to try a hot soak before introducing the soda. I first tried 10 minutes which was not enough to make it easy to get all of the skin off.  High soda concentrations tended to completely break down the skin everywhere except around the beak area where I wanted it to come clean.  The solution (no pun intended) was to drop the soda concentration down to 1/4t per cup which softened the skin but did not completely dissolve them.  As a result, when you rub the bean or squeeze it between your fingers, the skin comes off as a single sheet, pulling with it the skin around the beak so that everything is then clean.  If I further increased the hot soak time to 20 minutes I found that the chickpeas tended to split more often (up from 2-5% to 10-15% when the skins were rubbed off), so this is an area where somebody else may be able to improve this process.

 

The range of soda concentrations is between 1/8t per cup and 1t per cup of water and the boiling times range from 2 minutes to 8 minutes so run a few tests to decide where you want to operate. Since you hot soak the chickpeas before you boil them and rinse them after you remove the skins and before you eat them, the amount of sodium in the baking soda is not anything you should worry about.  You will put more sodium in when you salt them than will ever find its way into the chickpeas in the de-skinning process.

 

 

Photo is of peeled chickpeas soaking in room temperature water.IMG_6555.thumb.jpg.293d79efaf339a05f5aa31c86f3a414e.jpg


Edited by DocDougherty New discovery - the 15 minutes hot pre-soak makes a dramatic improvement in the ease of completely removing the skins. (log)

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