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I buy dried chickpeas to make hummus, and since I don't use tahini or oil, the softness of the beans is important. I typically quick-soak a cup of dried chickpeas with 1/4 tsp baking soda (bring them to a boil, boil for 2 minutes, then let sit for an hour), then drain, rinse, and simmer them for about 40 minutes, by which time some have begun to split. Then I remove the skins before adding flavors and blending. Some times this yields perfect, creamy hummus, and sometimes it comes out dry and crumbly. My question is whether all dried beans are equally dry, or some are just drier than others. Thanks!

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  • Thanks so much. It's good to know that it wasn't me.
    – Melissa
    Jun 30, 2023 at 19:06
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    It took me 2 hours to cook dried chickpeas with results no better than canned. Thus, canned now. If blending, why remove skins? Without tahini, where's the flavor? Jul 2, 2023 at 1:51

2 Answers 2

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I would swear that we already had an answer to this on SA, but I can't find it.

Short answer: yes, some beans are drier than others, and some are unusable.

Long answer: Dried chickpeas can fail you in two ways.

First, like all dried beans, they can be too old. At a certain point, sufficiently old chickpeas will not absorb water at all, and are unusuable. When they're getting close to that age, they will still cook but will have very poor texture.

Second, there is a problem specific to chickpeas: they have to be heat-treated while being dried due to contamination risks. In low-quality chickpeas, sometimes they get overheated (basically burned) during heat-treatment, and such chickpeas cannot be used. Again, if the overheating is marginal, you will get a bad texture you can't fix.

The solution to this is to buy your dried chickpeas from a high-quality provider, ideally one that prints the date of production on the package. Here in the USA bean producers like this include Rancho Gordo or Sunshine Farms. Such chickpeas are usually 4X as expensive as "generic" chickpeas, but it's a question of how many failed batches of hummus you can tolerate.

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They are all similarly dry at around 18% moisture. In the US, beans with a higher moisture content are graded "high moisture." Fresh dried beans certainly take less time to soften than older beans. The quality of the bean also varies, which I could see impacting your final product. If you enjoy making your own humus, I would recommend seeking out high quality dried beans. The difference is noticeable. All dried beans are not alike.

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