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Kitchen Queries

Welcome to Kitchen Queries, where the nigella.com team will answer your cooking or food related questions.  We’d love you to submit some of your recipe problems, dilemmas or queries for us to get our teeth into!

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  • Peanut Butter Hummus

    I would prefer to use my chickpeas that I have cooked myself in Nigella's Peanut Butter Hummus - I can cook chickpeas in 55 mins from dry in my pressure cooker (no soaking required). What weight of dry chickpeas would produce the equivalent of two cans for the hummus with peanut butter?

    I want to make Nigella's Peanut Butter Hummus but cannot include Greek Yoghurt for health reasons. Could I substitute Coconut Cream instead? Different flavour of course but it might just work. What would be your suggestion?

    From the nigella team:

    Nigella's Peanut Butter Hummus (from Kitchen and on the Nigella website) uses two UK 400g cans chickpeas that are drained. The drained weight of one can of chickpeas is 240g, so you will need a total of 480g of cooked chickpeas. Unfortunately dried pulses tend to increase in size and weight at slightly different rates, and this will partly depend on how old the pulses are.

    As a rough guide chickpeas will increase in weight by 3 to 4 times once they are cooked. To be safe we would suggest using the lower end of this range, to make sure that you cook enough chickpeas. This suggests preparing a dried weight of 160g dried chickpeas. If you find that you have a slightly higher weight of cooked chickpeas after preparing them then you can use them in another dish, or freeze them for up to a month in an airtight container.

    For the US the equivalent is two 15-ounce cans chickpeas (garbanzo beans). One can yields roughly 1 1/2 cups drained chickpeas and this is the equivalent to 1/3 to 1/2 cup dried chickpeas. Again we would suggest using the most generous amount which means that you would need to use 1 cup dried chickpeas.

    If you are cooking chickpeas in a pressure cooker then please follow the manufacturer's guidelines. If you prefer to use a more conventional method then soak the dried chickpeas overnight in plenty of cold water. The next day drain and rinse the chickpeas then put them in a saucepan and cover generously with fresh water. Bring to the boil and boil for 10 minutes, then reduce the heat and simmer the chickpeas until tender. The cooking time will vary but start checking the chickpeas after 30 minutes of simmering. Don't salt the chickpeas until they have become tender, as if you add salt at the beginning of cooking then the chickpeas will never soften.

    If you can't use Greek yogurt but can use goat or sheep milk yogurt then these can be substituted instead. Alternatively you could use 1 tablespoon of extra olive oil and 3 to 4 tablespoons cold water.

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