Discover the Unique Flavor of Chickpeas | What Do Chickpeas Really Taste Like?
Cicer arietinum or Chickpeas taste like other common beans. But it features a mild and sweet nutty with a hint of earthy flavor that everyone loves. Thus, many people find the flavor matches to cannellini and pinto beans.
Besides the flavor, chickpeas are excellent sources of healthy nutrients. You can consume them right from the can or mix them into different salads or stews. Even they can be an excellent alternative to kidney beans. Hence, some popular cuisines made with chickpeas are hummus and falafel.
You can often use chickpeas as savory and filling by blending them with other culinary ingredients. After mixing, it attains creamy with a grainy texture, usually beige or dull in color if not blended.
I share everything in this blog as you search for chickpeas’ taste information. I hope you will love to read the whole post. I appreciate your attention and time.
What do Chickpeas Taste Like? – A Mini Overview
Chickpeas generally have a mild nut-like flavor. But it may taste different depending on how you consume it, like other food items. Here is a glimpse of the taste of chickpeas in different contexts:
|Roasted chickpeas||Nutty, slightly smokey|
|Canned||Like dried one, but some consider it more of as “tuna fish” flavor|
|Cooked||Sweet like other beans|
|Boiled||Soft, chewy, tuna fish-like|
|Air-fried||Like other deep-fried foods|
|Black||Richer, more robust, nutty|
So, you can see in most cases, chickpeas offer a similar taste to beans or nuts. It is up to you which one you prefer most. Thus, I will explain more about the flavor in the rest of the blog. Before that, let’s discuss something interesting about chickpeas.
Chickpeas: Definition and Origin
Besides the name “chickpeas”, people often call them as garbanzo beans and Indian peas. These are very popular in multicuisine like India, Middle Eastern, and Mediterranean.
Consequently, the first known origin is the Middle East, where these chickpeas were traced around 9500 years ago. In Mesopotamia, the first plant was found around 7500 years ago. So, you can consider them ancient, cultivated vegetables besides legumes. Alternatively, many people believe the origin of these beans is Turkey. But Indians cultivate them more in these days than in other parts of the world.
The plants of these legumes are tiny in size, like a flowering tree. Farmers allow them to produce fruits (chickpeas) while following farming procedures. They fall under the pulse family so that we can consume them wholly.
You can find these beans in shades like green, red, black, and brown. Among them, mostly green ones are used as an ingredient in salads. Hummus and falafel have brown chickpeas as a base ingredient.
If you have ever visited India, you will find different curries made of chickpeas. The “chana masala” is a popular spicy dish with more significant portions of these legumes.
Likewise, two standard varieties of chickpeas are Desi and Kabuli peas. The first ones are smaller with light tan to black shades. Alternatively, the Kabuli peas are larger than Desi, with different color options.
Variations of Chickpeas – And Their Taste
Chickpeas are mostly of three types: canned, dried, and roasted. They have significant tastes. Besides, some other ways of using these beans can be considered types.
Canned Chickpeas – What do Canned Chickpeas Taste Like?
It’s the most popular form of chickpea available everywhere. You can start consuming instantly after cutting out the lid of the can, as these chickpeas are already cooked. However, you may find a similarity in taste between these veggies in dried form.
Many people consider canned chickpeas to taste similar to Tuna fish in the packaging. Also, there is no need to prep a lot to consume them. But it is good if you rinse the canned garbanzo beans before using them. It helps to reduce excess salt from them.
The canned version of these legumes has a creamy texture, more than the dried one. But you will love both of their tastes. Still, if you want to cook them, you will see their shape retain firmly. That’s why chefs use them as an ingredient for salads, soups, and different stews.
Dried Chickpeas – What do Dried Chickpeas Taste Like?
The first significance is that you need to cook these dried chickpeas before you eat them. Usually, the taste is quite like beans with a nutty and earthy flavor. They are suitable for storing in airtight containers for months. Thus, you need to cook the items more appropriately if you keep them.
The dried peas are ideal for adding a genuine taste and texture to the dish you want to serve. Yet there are uses for dried ones as a snack item.
I suggest you soak them before you eat them. If not, you can store the beans for a whole year, ensuring no air passage in the containers.
Roasted Chickpeas – What do Roasted Chickpeas Taste Like?
Roasted chickpeas are incredible if you want to enjoy every lick or bit of them. Even I often eat this type of chickpea. And I am sure you will love the smoky essence with its nutty taste. This taste appears due to roasting, where the producers caramelize the peas’ sugars. So, you can consume them as snacks or items of spicy relevant foods. Adding some seasonings of salt, pepper, and other spices may improve or provide a distinct taste.
These beans are simple to consume but rich in taste. Even there is no requirement of cooking – just bring them out of the packet and start eating. Moreover, roasted chickpeas are more affordable than other types available in the market.
Especially if you are vegan but want a roasted item full of nutrients, this food is just for you. You may also get variations of flavors depending on brands.
Cooked Chickpeas – What do Cooked Chickpeas Taste Like?
It’s a sweet, creamy version of chickpeas, like black or kidney beans. Usually, these legumes are used as an ingredient in hummus and curries. Cooks use these chickpeas in different dishes, including tasty broth, stew, or served with vegetable oil.
Black Chickpeas – What do Black Chickpeas Taste Like?
These chickpeas are also great for soothing your tastebuds. You can find them in nutty flavors besides enjoying versatile dishes. Again, these are richer and more hearty than usual chickpeas. They may have a similar texture but are applicable in prepping different snack items.
Green Chickpeas – What do Green Chickpeas Taste Like?
You can find green chickpeas mostly in Asian markets. Specifically, South Indian countries like India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh produce and sell these beans more these days. People of these countries love to consume them in curries, salads, and rice dishes.
The taste of green Indian beans is mild, nutty, and slightly nutty. But they have an indifferent firm, grainy, and chewy texture to other beans. However, you can roast them to eat as snack items. Even there are lots of recipes available on the web regarding these peas.
Boiled Chickpeas – What do Boiled Chickpeas Taste Like?
I love the soft, creamy texture of the boiled chickpeas. They fulfill our mouths by melting their interior part. On the other hand, the exterior of boiled peas is good to chew and enjoy the food juice.
Many consumers or chickpea lovers find it to taste like tuna fish. They also use these chickpeas as their favorite snack foods. Again, sprinkling some salts on them may enhance the taste. But you should always ensure you are not overcooking them to prevent them from being mushy and a bit tough to digest later.
Air-fried Chickpeas – What do Air-fried Chickpeas Taste Like?
Air-fried garbanzo beans are trendy nowadays. They taste quite similar to roasted forms; crispy and crunchy on the out there and soft on the inside. You will get a light, delicate taste when you put them in your mouth.
The process of air-fried chickpeas is straightforward. You must soak them in water overnight, drain them, and dried before putting them in an air-fryer. Then, add some seasonings to air-fried beans for a distinct taste.
Crunchy Chickpeas – What do Crunchy Chickpeas Taste Like?
The crunchy chickpeas taste best if you roast them with herbs and spices. But unlike others I have mentioned, this bean type offers a slightly bitter flavor. The crunchy part is outside, so you may need to peel them before roasting them.
How to Identify the Bad Chickpeas
We often face unexpected conditions, like getting bad chickpeas instead of fresh and healthy ones. Usually, the bad ones taste different from the fresh ones, which gives a strange feeling when you try to consume them. Sometimes you can identify bad chickpeas with a bad odor. If you find them smelling bad, you shouldn’t use them. After all, chickpeas generally have no odor.
However, some ways to detect that your bought or stored chickpeas are bad are:
- Mushy or incredibly soft chickpeas are good to throw into the bins.
- Spoiled chickpeas taste sour while spreading a foul odor. They have increased chances of causing food poisoning.
- If the beans get pungent or unusual color, they are also bad.
- They can be harmful if you find them hard while chewing after exposure to heat or light.
- When you see mold on the chickpeas, you should not keep them anymore.
- If you see any holes in the beans, there is a chance that insects have bitten them.
Taste of Chickpeas in Hummus and Falafel
Adding chickpeas to hummus creates a delicate, creamy texture. Mixing olive oil, garlic, and lemon extracts makes the unique taste of chickpeas as they absorb the flavors of those ingredients. As a result, we get a delicate taste of hummus.
Falafel is an Egyptian-born food item. Some common falafel ingredients are chickpeas, herbs, onions, spices, and oil. Hence, the elements give the chickpeas a powerful positive impact. You will love to try the soft, fluffy peas.
Comparing the Taste of Chickpeas with Other Food Items
Chickpeas vs. Nuts
Both are nuts, yet chickpeas are not completely nuts; they are just from the same legume family. Nuts have a strong nutty flavor, while the latter has less nutty hints.
Chickpeas vs. Chicken
You may find quite a similar taste between chickpeas and chicken. But chickpeas are less dry than chicken but more flavorsome. Also, you can find them softer than chicken.
Some people think fully differently. They don’t consider the taste the same. However, chickpeas can be a good vegan alternative to different meats. You can cook additional chicken-like food items with chickpeas, such as nuggets, fried chickpeas, salad, etc.
Chickpeas vs. Garbanzo Beans vs. Butter Beans
All of them are the same thing with different names. So, their taste is the same. But there are more things you should know. Chickpeas are mostly used as ingredients in Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cuisines. On the other hand, garbanzo beans are mainly added to Spanish and Italian goods.
More precisely, the “Kabuli beans” are garbanzo beans. In the case of butter beans, they taste sweeter with a hint of vanilla which is absent in chickpeas. Also, butter beans are starchier, while chickpeas are creamier.
Whatever you choose among these three items, you will get a delicious taste. Also, they are applicable in almost similar dishes.
Chickpeas vs. Tuna Fish
Do you love tuna? Maybe you have found a similarity between chickpeas and tuna fish. Many people think so; you are not feeling it alone. Thus, some people consider the taste entirely different.
You should know that the reason for this similarity is the level of umami in both foods. Both have high levels of it. Typically, umami has a savory flavor, like meat or broth. It happens due to the amino acids like glutamic acid and aspartic acid in chickpeas and tuna.
Hence, chickpeas get their umami flavor naturally from the salt in them. Another possible reason is that our brain identifies soft and slightly mushy textures.
Chickpeas vs. Cannellini Beans
Both have the same creamy texture. But chickpeas have a denser and starchier texture than cannellini beans. Also, they are softer, milder, and creamier in terms of the consistency of surfaces.
Chickpeas vs. Edamame
They are almost the same in taste. But the distinction is in their nutrient levels. For example, chickpeas have higher levels of copper, manganese, iron, folate, fiber, vitamin B6, and zinc. But Edamame contains less sugar which is pretty good for the diet. It has 2.48g of sugar, while the same amount of chickpeas has 10.7g of sugar.
Overall, chickpeas are great if you think of more vitamins and minerals in them than Edamame.
The Texture of Chickpeas
Chickpeas is common veggies at home and restaurants. They have unique textures. But many people describe them in multiple textures.
In general, they are small balls like other beans. They also look grayish or whitish normally. Yet they can be in brown, red, and tanned colors.
Some say they have a firm texture, mostly felt on their papery skin. Inside the beans, the chewy flesh is another exciting part.
Some people would say these peas are slightly grainy, like potatoes when you cook them. Once cooked, it will release stews and casseroles when you consume them. But if you overcook them, they become bland and mushier. Also, the texture becomes quite unattractive. Still, if you overcook, try to blend with other essential or preferable ingredients.
If you mash the chickpeas, they may appear with their basic color. But the consistency will be different. These mashed peas are used in prepping fast food like burgers, sandwiches, etc.
Health Benefits of Chickpeas
Yes, chickpeas are a superfood. Like other legumes, they have quality nutrients and immunity boosters. Here are some healthy nutrients of these peas, which make them superfoods:
- Multiple minerals and vitamins: Manganese, zinc, copper, iron, selenium, potassium, and B vitamin folate.
- Protein: 14.5g protein in 164g chickpeas (Source: National Library of Medicine)
- Dietary fibers: Chickpeas contain sufficient dietary fibers that increase digestion and bowel movement.
- Low Glycemic Index (GI): They help to regular blood sugar well and reduce the risk of diabetes and heart diseases. (Source: Defeat Diabetes Foundation)
- Less Inflammatory: According to some research, Chickpeas can prevent colon cell inflammation. (Source: National Library of Medicine)
- Compound choline: Choline helps control muscles, learn, and improve memory. Chickpeas have this thing that may enhance brain health. (Source: MedicalNewsToday)
- Iron: Sufficient iron in these beans can help pregnant women and any anemia patient.
- Reduce cholesterol: The soluble fiber of chickpeas can reduce cholesterol levels in our bodies.
- Gluten-free: If your concern is about fitness, these legumes are great as they don’t contain gluten.
Nutritional Content of Chickpeas
Here is a quick overview of nutrients available per 100g of chickpeas, according to Food with Feeling:
According to The Food XP and The Rusty Spoon, these are the nutrients available in a cup (164g) of chickpeas:
The quantity of these nutrients shows how much the consumers benefit from chickpeas in their meals. Here is more to learn about the nutritional benefits of eating chickpeas:
- Protein: Chickpea is a great protein source for vegetarians. If you consume one cup of these beans, you can possibly meet 1/3rd of recommended daily intake, known as RDI. Likewise, it helps to build skin, bones, and muscles.
- Fiber: Fiber in these legumes can reduce inflammation and the risk of type-2 diabetes by lowering blood glucose levels. Also, it can reduce the chances of having colon cancer.
- Potassium: Many medical professionals suggest you can control blood pressure well if you take less sodium and more potassium. So, having chickpeas in your meal can be efficient for you.
- Minerals: Chickpeas contain sufficient minerals to help bone development and prevent osteoporosis. Minerals like the selenium of garbanzo beans can prevent different health issues, including cancer.
- Other nutritional benefits include better weight management, healthy metabolism, robust mental health, and cholesterol reduction.
Side Effects or Bad Things About Chickpeas
Chickpeas have more benefits and fewer bad or side effects. More precisely, if you consume them raw, you may encounter slight negative impacts on the body.
Raw chickpeas have several toxins and substances, including sugars. So, you may face digestion issues when you eat raw chickpeas. You will often find it discomfort after eating them raw. As a result, bloating and gas will disturb you, especially for the high fiber content. Excessive potassium may also be unsuitable for people with kidney issues.
Canned items may seem raw, but they are not raw actually. You can directly consume them as they are already processed well.
According to many food experts and nutrients, dried chickpeas are superior to convenient canned items. Usually, canned chickpeas are soaked in preservatives that are not absent for dried ones. So you can get a more natural, healthy flavor. It is another reason for the affordability of dried forms.
How to Use or Cook Chickpeas Well?
Dried chickpeas offer more flavor, as I have already said. But you can use both forms (canned and dried). Some popular recipes include salad, hummus, falafels, and stew.
Canned chickpeas are easy to consume – just drain and rinse them, and you can readily eat them. Otherwise, you may cook them for around half an hour. Adding some seasonings and olive oil can enhance the taste.
Dried chickpeas may require more effort, but you will love the outcome. First, you need to soak them in water throughout the whole night. Then, pressure cook the chickpeas for several whistles. After that, you can eat them.
In the case of frozen chickpeas, you may bring out the number of chickpeas from the bag. Then, restate the rest amount in the refrigerator.
These beans are ideal for prepping soups and casseroles. But I suggest you not thaw them first if you want to use them in any cooked meal. For hummus or salad, you can thaw them in the freezer before adding them to your recipe.
Hence, you can add peas to the meal directly. Then, cook the food for 5-10 minutes more, depending on the number of frozen items you have taken.
Roasted chickpeas are great if you love the crispiness of beans. You may need to spend 30 minutes eating them after leaving them in the oven.
First, you should preheat the oven to 400°F. Then, pat dries the chickpeas after bringing them from a can to a tray with paper towels. Then, you can drizzle some drops of olive oil on top. Toss the items to distribute the oil properly.
Next, take a well-greased baking sheet and place all the oiled chickpeas on it. Place the sheet inside the oven for 20-30 minutes. Once you see the chickpeas get slightly brown, bring them out. Add some seasonings and serve on the table.
How Can I Make Chickpeas Taste Better?
Here are some suggestions for you to enjoy the chickpeas in a better way:
- You can use spices like garlic, chili powder, and cumin.
- Use olive oil and seal salt to give a crispy texture to roasted chickpeas.
- Mash chickpeas to add to soups or salads.
- Use them as puree into hummus to bring a smooth and creamy texture.
How Can I Store the Chickpeas?
You want to store these tasty beans, right? Well. These versatile peas are perfect for various dishes. Also, they can improve the typical taste of any food. That’s why many people like you want to store them.
Some ways you can follow to store the garbanzo beans for a long time are
Method of Storing Canned Chickpeas
Excessive canned items are storable if you don’t want to use them now. If so, just remove the leftover peas from their can and rinse them to drain the water. Next, add some olive oil, and place them inside an airtight container. Keep the container inside a fridge for a maximum of 5 days to get the fine for eating.
Method of Storing Roasted Chickpeas
Taste is your concern; storing chickpeas for taste is also essential. If you have roasted beans, put them in a food container while keeping the lid open. It will allow air to pass in and out of the container and keep the chickpeas well at room temperature. This way, you can store roasted chickpeas for up to 4 days.
Method of Storing Cooked Chickpeas
Cooked items can remain good to eat for a maximum of 4 days. Rinse the cooked peas and drain them well. Then, place all the beans in an airtight container. Then, store them in a refrigerator for 3-4 days at most.
What are Chickpeas Good For?
Do you have chickpeas at home? You can use lemon, honey, tahini, etc. for better results.
- Tahini sauce adds an earthy but slightly bitter taste to chickpeas.
- You can add lemon with garbanzo beans if you love the mint flavor.
- Some people love to add drops of honey to use as a natural sweetener with the peas.
- Chickpeas go great with items like tahini, lemon juice, garlic, salt, and others in hummus.
- You can also use these peas with tzatziki sauce.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Is it bad to eat roasted chickpeas?
- No, they are not. Roasting may reduce vitamin contents at high temperatures, yet beneficial for your health.
- What happens if you eat chickpeas every day?
- Though there is no limitation, it is good to avoid overeating than usual or long-term to prevent unnecessary health issues.
- Can I eat chickpeas straight?
- You can eat canned chickpeas directly out of the can without cooking.
- Can you freeze chickpeas?
- You can do so after soaking them for later thawing. It prevents them from being mushy or excessively soft after defrosting them.
- How Long Do Canned Chickpeas Last?
- Canned Chickpeas can last for long days. But if you want to store them (after exposure), it will remain suitable for 3-4 days.
So, what do chickpeas taste like? I hope you got info about this topic in extended detail. Therefore, allow me to recap the whole blog again.
Chickpeas are versatile and nutritious ingredient that adds depth of flavor and texture to any dish. Their mild, nutty taste makes them a perfect complement to various cuisines. Also, you can quickly cook and prepare in different ways.
In short, they are ideal ingredients or veggies if you want to add protein and fiber to your diet or simply want to try something new in the kitchen.
So, why not try them today and see how tasty and versatile they can be?