Chickpeas are a small legume popular in Mediterranean, Middle Eastern and Indian cookery. They are usually sold pre-cooked in cans, or dried; the latter must be soaked before cooking. Chickpea, besan or ‘gram’ flour, made from dried ground chickpeas, is widely used in Indian and Bangladeshi cuisine.
If buying dried chickpeas, look for firm examples with a uniform beige colour. Choose canned chickpeas stored in water, rather than brine.
Dried chickpeas can be stored in a cool, dark place for up to one year without deterioration. Cooked chickpeas can be frozen.
Article by Felicity Cloake