The idea seemed good, logical, well almost! Buy chickpeas and mill them into flour for some pasta development work I’m currently working on. How wrong was I? My previous experience working with these indestructible black pebbles had clearly been forgotten somewhat, pushed to the back of my forgetful and complex mind. Have you ever experienced the pleasure of working with or cooking the humble black chickpea? They take hours……time, patience and more even more hours.
I will tell you now the experiment worked and I successfully ended up milling the chickpeas but dear me did they make me work for it. Blood, sweat and swear words were endured by the bucket load. Dried chickpeas benefit from being soaked for a few hours or overnight with a little bicarb. Drained and cooked until tender. Black chickpeas have a slightly firmer coat and require a little more attention than the normal amber chickpea, I would actually refer to them as ‘The needy chickpea’. So, to mill them into a useable textured flour requires a little more work than just your standard soak and boil prep. After cooking they require air drying and dehydrating. Here are the steps I took in order to achieve a passable flour.
1. Place the chickpeas in a large bowl (as they will swell). Pour over cold water and cover them, along with a pinch of bicarbonate of soda. Stir and leave for 48 hours changing the water every 6 hours as required.
2. After 48 hours, drain and rinse the chickpeas.
3. Place the chickpeas into a saucepan and cover with water, add a pinch of salt.
4. Boil with the saucepan lid on, over a medium heat for 3 hours or until tender.
5. Drain and place the cooked chickpeas on a tray to cool at room temperature for 12 hours.
6. Place the chickpeas into a dehydrator for 4 hours (or at a low oven temperature of 80C) until you are able to crumble the chickpeas in-between your fingertips.
7. Once dried, allow them to cool.
8. Mill using a flour and grain mill until the ideal texture and consistency has been achieved. Or pulse in a food processor and use a mouli to mill and form the flour.