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Freezing soaked beans & grains.

>On 23 Sep 1997, susan.j.mcgee wrote:
>> Okay.  I need the real deal on how to cook dried chickpeas.  Do I need a 
>> pressure cooker?  Two weeks of soaking time?  All I have heard are horror 
>> stories and I have a one-pound bag of these things! 

>I cook my chickpeas just like any other dried bean.  Optimally, I soak 
>them overnight in warm water.  If I forget, I do the quick soak method of 
>putting them in a pot with water, bringing it to a boil, and letting it 
>sit for 30 minutes.
>After soaking, I discard the old water and put new in, add onions/garlic 
>or whatever, and start cooking.  You want to make sure not to add any 
>salt until the end of the cooking time, since it inhibits the beans' 
>absorption of the water.  Chickpeas can take longer than other beans, but 
>not outrageously so.  A lot varies from batch to batch, depending on how 
>old the beans are.  Older beans take much longer to cook.

Excellent advice. You can also cut the cooking time by more than half by
draining the overnight soaked chickpeas and popping them into a bag in the
freezer for an hour or so before cooking them. This technique also works
wonders with whole grains like rye or wheat berries that also seem to take
forever to cook. The freezing process softens the fibres in the bean or
grain (a trick learned from years of amateur winemaking with fruits and
berries). BTW, a great addition to rice is a cup or so of _cooked_ rye
berries added to brown or white rice prior to cooking the rice. The flavour
is wonderful!

Cheers, Matt.