Prep time: overnight

Cook time: 6 mins

Yield: 4 servings


  • 2 cups dried chickpeas
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 tbsp coarse sea salt
  • 1 tbsp baking soda


  1. Soak the chickpeas in water for 2-3 hours.The water will get murky and yellow. Pour it off, rinse the chickpeas with clean water then soak again – in double their amount by volume – of water and coarse salt for 10-12 hours. The salt helps break down the outer skin of the chickpeas and make it softer.
  2. Then, pour off the chickpeas and their water into a colander. Wash, then sprinkle with baking soda, toss and let the chickpeas sit in the colander in baking soda for 15 minutes. Baking soda helps soften the skin of chickpeas. It also makes the chickpeas more digestible and decreases bloating.
  3. After 15 mins, wash the chickpeas very well from the baking soda and put them in a pot with 1 cinnamon stick. Cover with water – double their amount by volume.
  4. Bring the pot to a boil then simmer covered or semi-covered (to avoid having the scum from the chickpeas spill out of the pot) on low heat for about 45-90 mins or until the chickpeas are nicely soft. Different chickpeas take different time to cook so it’s good to test them every now and then.
  5. Skim the scum that rises to the surface.
  6. When the chickpeas are done, they should easily squish between your fingers.
  7. With a strainer, take the chickpeas out and they are ready to use.
  8. While it may seem convenient to use canned chickpeas, dried chickpeas are greatly superior in taste, quality and nutritional value. And also, chickpeas freeze very well so you can freeze some after they cool down in ziplock bags, both whole or as paste. We usually prepare a batch of 1-2 kgs of dried chickpeas and freeze them in batches, whole or as a paste. If you want the chickpeas as a paste for recipes like hummus dip with lemon and tahini, cook the chickpeas a bit longer till they’re even softer then take them out of the pot, remove all their skins for an extra creamy paste, blitz them in a food processor while they are still warm then cool them down, place in ziplock bags and freeze. And then when you want to do hummus dips, you just get the hummus paste out, defrost it, and blend it with whatever ingredients you’re adding.
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