How (and Why) to Peel Chickpeas
The secret to Michigan blogger Maureen Abood's authentically silky hummus is peeling the chickpeas. It adds about 10 minutes to the recipe, but it's easy and makes a world of difference.
If you've ever made homemade hummus, you've probably noticed the texture is more coarse than the purchased stuff. In her cookbook Rose Water & Orange Blossoms, Michigan blogger Maureen Abood offers a solution: Peel your chickpeas. There are three ways to get the job done.
1) If you're starting with canned chickpeas, you can pop them out of their skins one-by-one. It's tedious, but not difficult, especially for a small batch of hummus made with a single can. It will take about 10 minutes, and it's worth it.
2) For larger amounts of canned chickpeas, you can drain and pat dry the chickpeas, then stir in 1½ teaspoons baking soda for every 2 cups (400g) of chickpeas. Warm the coated chickpeas in the microwave or on the stove in a large skillet over medium heat for 3 minutes, then rinse them with water in a large bowl three times. With each rinse, rub the chickpeas vigorously between your hands, and the skins will fall off and rinse away.
3) Maureen's personal preference is to start with dried chickpeas. They yield the smoothest, most flavorful hummus. Soak the chickpeas overnight in cold water (or quick-soak them in boiling water for an hour). Drain, then pat the chickpeas dry. Stir in 1½ teaspoons of baking soda for every 2 cups (400g) of chickpeas. Warm the chickpeas in a large pot over medium heat for 3 minutes, then cover them with plenty of cool water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for a few hours, or until the chickpeas are very soft. The skins will mostly fall off and can be poured away with the cooking water; remove any stragglers form the chickpeas with your fingers.
And, okay, there's one more way. You can order pre-peeled par-cooked dried chickpeas online from Maureen's website (maureenabood.com). They're a splurge, but certainly very easy!