To cook chickpeas, soak them in water with 1 teaspoon of baking soda for 12 hours to overnight, and boil them with 2 cups of water for every 1 cup of chickpeas. After bringing the water to a boil, reduce the heat to a simmer, and cook the chickpeas covered for one hour. To prevent the beans from drying out, regularly skim foam from the top of the water as they cook.
Drain the chickpeas for 15 minutes or until they're cooled enough to be used in recipes. Another method for cooking chickpeas is to soak them in a pot with water overnight and then bring them to a simmer. After two minutes, cover the chickpeas, turn off them heat, and allow them to soak for four hours. This pre-soak improves the texture of the chickpeas.
After draining the beans, add enough water to cover the beans by 2 inches, bring the water to a boil, and then simmer the chickpeas for 75 to 90 minutes. To add flavoring to the beans, add smashed garlic cloves, a whole yellow onion or chipotle peppers.
The beans can be cooked dry without being soaked in water, but it takes four or more hours. They can also be cooked in an oven, a slow cooker or a pressure cooker.