Gonzo Garbanzo: Tips and Tricks

The humble garbanzo bean hits way above its weight class. Integral in Middle-Eastern, Mediterranean, and Indian cuisine, the tiny legume has grown to be the mostly widely consumed bean in the world. From superstar snacks like hummus and falafel to everyday dishes like chana masala and fresh salads, garbanzo beans are prevalent in more recipes than you may think. See why we’re gonzo for garbanzo with these tips and tricks.

  • Did you know? Chickpeas, gram, and garbanzo beans are all different names for the same thing! Garbanzo beans are merely the traditional Spanish name, while chickpea is the English translation. 
  • There are two prevalent types of garbanzo beans that you should be aware of, namely a large beige variety known as Kabuli and a smaller, darker type known as Desi. Chances are if you’ve used canned chickpeas you’ve encounter the Kabuli variety, but be on the lookout for Desi chickpeas if you specialize in Indian cuisine, where the variety is more commonly used.
  • Garbanzo beans are considered a nutrient dense food, as they’re loaded with hefty nutritional benefits despite their small size. A regular serving contains 30% of your daily dose of fiber along with high amounts of vitamin B, protein, folate, and iron.
  • Not sure whether to use dried or canned garbanzo beans? We’d recommend choosing based on how much time you have available. Generally, dried chickpeas will have a richer flavor but require a substantially longer cook time (typically an hour of more). In other words, reach for the can if you’re in a pinch.  
    • Pro Tip: If you decide to utilize dried garbanzo beans rather than their canned cousins, you can cut the cook time in half if you soak your garbanzo beans overnight before cooking. 
  • Don’t get stuck using garbanzo beans exclusively for hummus. They can be turned into flour, fried, baked, and even popped like popcorn!