Moroccan Arabic: الحمص
French: pois chiches
Hummus is the Arabic word for chickpeas or garbanzo beans. High in protein and fiber, the beans are integral to Middle Eastern, Mediterranean, North African, Western Asian and Indian cuisines. In traditional Moroccan cooking, dried chickpeas are almost always favored over the canned variety.
Some examples of Moroccan chickpea recipes are:
- Serrouda - Chickpea Puree
- Harira - Tomato, Chickpea and Lentil Soup
- Vegetarian Carrot and Chickpea Tagine
Soaking and Peeling Dried Chickpeas
Dried chickpeas need to be soaked before they're cooked. This is best done by placing the beans in a large bowl of tap water and leaving them at room temperature overnight (or for at least eight hours) before draining. Or, for a quicker method, drop the dried chickpeas into a pot of boiling water, cook for a minute or two, and then leave to soak off the heat for an hour or so.
Some Moroccan recipes also require peeling the chickpeas. To do this, pinch the soaked chickpeas between your forefinger and thumb to snap off the skin. Or, place a large quantity of soaked, drained chickpeas between two kitchen towels and massage against a hard surface such as a counter or table. This will loosen the skins from most of the chickpeas.
Soaked (and peeled) chickpeas can be frozen for several months until needed. Leave the chickpeas to drain thoroughly before transferring them to a freezer bag.
Cooking Dried Chickpeas
If a recipe calls for cooked chickpeas, place the soaked, drained beans in a pot and cover with ample salted water. Bring to a boil, cover, and simmer for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, or until the chickpeas have cooked to desired tenderness. Drain and use as desired in salads, soups and other dishes.
Dried and Soaked Chickpea Equivalents
One cup of dried chickpeas will yield approximately 2.5 cups of soaked beans or 3 cups of cooked beans.