Chickpeas, Garbanzo Beans… Kacang Puteh

This is an extremely lazy and easy post. There is really no recipe involved but you would wonder why we don’t make this more often since it is such a delicious and healthy snack… I couldn’t stop gobbling them up as I was watched The Mentalist last night. (Love the twinkle in Simon Baker’s eyes every time he smiles.)

To oldies like us, chickpeas are Kacang Puteh. I did not learn about the term Chickpeas until when I got much much older. As for Garbanzo beans? I only started seeing the term a few years back when Organic grocery stores started to offer the organic version of these humble beans….

Kacang Puteh, in the old days were sold by Kacang Puteh Men – usually cart venders from South India. They would normally park their carts / stalls outside a cinema. Those were the days before we saw the influx of Caramel Popcorns, Nachos and Cheese and possibly the ubiquitous potato chips.

Kacang is ‘nut’ in Malay and Puteh means ‘white’. One would find a variety of chickpeas, peanuts, sugar coated tapioca chips and muruku at the stall. Most of the nuts are either deep fried or roasted. This Kacang Puteh shown here today is boiled and has a soft and slightly powdery texture. This has always been my favourite at the stall where we would pick and choose what we wanted and the Kacang Puteh man would then unscrew the cap of the glass bottles and scoop the nuts into a cone fashioned out of torn out pages from magazines. Depending on the type of nuts one chose, each cone would cost about 20cents to 50cents.Today? Not only has the Kacang Puteh man become a rare sight, the kancang puteh cone now costs about $2 – so I have been told.

I got these chickpeas for 95 cents at the supermarket and they boil up to pack a pot big enough to fill up many many paper cones to be enjoyed with nostalgia over a DVD screening….

Recipe : 
Dried Chickpeas
Tumeric powder ( Adding tumeric power will make it more yellow. I did not add this for this preparation)
Baking soda (this will help to soften the peas)

Method :

1. Wash the chickpeas and place them in a pot. Cover with water. Add a little baking soda (roughly 1/8 tsp for 100g of chickpeas)  and let chickpeas soak overnight.

2. Drain away water. Rinse with fresh water and soak chickpeas in fresh water for another 10mins to remove the alkalinity. Drain.
3. Fill pot with enough water to cover the chickpeas. Add tumeric powder if you wish. Boil for about 25mins until softened. (alternatively, you can boil this in a pressure cooker – it will cut down cooking time.)

4. Drain and season with a little salt.