Arbis: the ultimate chickpea snack

Arbes is so simple to make, and so tasty, that after you know the recipe you might find yourself eating it all the time. It also has an interesting story.

Arbes (or “arbis”) is a traditional dish, originally eaten by jews on the “Shalom Zachar” feast (usually pronounced “Shulem Zucher”). When a child is born, the family hosts a ceremonial meal, where it is customary to serve the arbes.

Arbes is basically a snack – cooked chick peas with salt and pepper. Very simple, very easy to make, and unbelievably tasty.

Ironically, “Arbes” is actually the Yiddish word for “peas”, not chickpeas. And besides the “Ashkenazic” Jews (European) who gave it the Yiddish name, it is also eaten by Sephardic Jews (from North Africa and Arab countries) such as Iraqi Jews who call it “Lablabi” and add cumin to it.

This is how you make it (about 5-10 servings):
1. Soak 2 cups of chickpeas over a night.
2. Drain and wash carefully, then cook for about an half an hour.
3. Add some baking soda and cook for another 1/2-1 hour, until soft (the chick peas should be soft enough for you to squash between two fingers, but not too soft).
4. Add lots of salt and freshly grained pepper.
5. Eat.