Chickpeas, or garbanzo beans, are the basis for hummus when they are pureed, and they are also delicious whole in soups, pilafs and by themselves. Cooking chickpeas by the regular stove-top method can take up to two hours, but with an overnight presoak, a pressure cooker reduces that time to just nine to 14 minutes. Pressure cooking also makes the skins more tender. If you forget to soak the chickpeas the night or morning before you plan to cook them, no problem, just allow for 30 to 40 minutes of cooking time.
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Sort and rinse the dried chickpeas and remove any debris or withered beans.
Cover the beans with water and allow them to soak for six to eight hours or overnight, or just add the dried beans to the pressure cooker with three cups of water for every one cup of dried beans. If you like, add chopped raw onions and garlic to the pressure cooker as well.
Seal the pressure cooker lid according to the manufacturer's instructions and bring the pot up to pressure over high heat. This will take about seven minutes and will generally be indicated by the safety valve closing and the steam-release rocker beginning to rock back and forth, although pressure cookers will vary by model and brand.
Reduce the heat to medium-high after the pot reaches pressure and cook the beans for nine to 14 minutes if they were presoaked, 30 to 40 minutes if not.
Remove the pressure cooker from heat and allow it to rest on the counter top until the pressure has been released, which will be indicated by the release of the safety valve.
Carefully unlock the lid and remove it, positioning the opening away from your face, as escaping steam could burn you. Add the cooked beans to the recipe of your choice or season them with salt and pepper and serve.