While canned chickpeas are passable, they’ll never be as tasty as these freshly cooked ones. I like to cook chickpeas just to have them around. They’re so easy to prepare, and they’re just as good cold as they are hot. It’s best to soak them in the fridge overnight to make cooking go quickly, but if you forget, you can still soak them first thing in the morning and they’ll be ready for dinner that evening. Once they’re done, keep them on hand; they have endless uses. Here the spices penetrate the chickpeas while they’re cooking, so they taste nuanced even when eaten on their own.
The rounded heat of ginger and Aleppo pepper is balanced by the warmth of cinnamon and pimentón in these chickpeas. Dried garlic gives the chickpeas a more pronounced yet less sharp allium taste.
Makes about 6 1/2 cups
Lior Lev Sercarz, from "Mastering Spice" by Lior Lev Sercarz
21⁄2 teaspoons dried garlic slices (4 grams)
1⁄2 teaspoon ground ginger (1 gram)
3⁄4 teaspoon ground cinnamon, preferably Vietnamese (2 grams)
1 teaspoon pimentón (smoked paprika; 3 grams)
1⁄2 teaspoon Aleppo pepper (1 gram)
Want to use one of our blends? Try Cataluña and/or Izak.
1 pound dried chickpeas
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for serving
For the Spice Blend
Finely grind the garlic and immediately mix with the ginger, cinnamon, pimentón, and Aleppo.
For the Chickpeas
To make the chickpeas: Put the chickpeas in a large airtight container and add enough cold water to cover by 2 inches. Cover and refrigerate for at least 6 hours or up to overnight.
Drain the chickpeas well and put in a large pot. Add enough cold water to cover by 2 inches and add 2 tablespoons oil. Cover and bring to a boil over high heat. Uncover, skim off any foam that’s risen to the surface, and reduce the heat to maintain a simmer. Stir in half the spice blend. Reserve the remaining spice blend for serving.
Simmer until the chickpeas are tender all the way through, about 50 minutes. Sample one; it should be very soft now (chickpeas will harden as they cool).
Serve the chickpeas warm or at room temperature, seasoning to taste with the remaining spice blend, olive oil, and salt. Once you've made these you can try using them in some of our other recipes like hummus and the chickpea salad both posted here.