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.
In step 2, when you say cook for a half and hour, do you mean in water? Do they boil, or just simmer? I am excited to use a bag of dried beans I have in my cupboards.
Yes – cook in water, and just simmer. Actually, it is even better to cook it over medium fire for longer. Good luck!
It’s pronounced almost as it’s spelled- shalom zachor.
When I was young, my Aunt Sarah (from Eastern Europe) used to make a snack of boiled chickpeas and fava beans she called, I believe, arbis and bab. My father would sit happily in front of the TV eating that like others eat potato chips. Is anyone familiar with that combination? No one in my family recalls that – just making sure I am not misremembering.
The Indian and Mexican versions of the roasted chickpeas are much better and have more spice…and don’t contain as much salt.
what’s with cooking with soda. What does it do?
@t – “Shulem Zucher” is the pronuciation favored by those of Galitzianer and Hungarian origin. Litvaks say “Sholom Zocher”. As far as modern Israeli Hebrew goes, you are correct.
@Michael – Fava beans are served at many Hasidic tischen, and known as “beb’lach”. When someone is making a Shulem Zucher as well, you’ll find the same combination that Aunt Sarah made.
@ Mary Ellen – Let’s see a recipe!
@Shooky – Local wisdom has it that, as opposed to Humus – where the small beans are preferred – Arbes works better with the biggest beans you can find. Has this been your experience?
we had these growing up as a kid.
grind alot of fresh black pepper on the chickpeas.
i like to add sometimes zhatar to them.
rainer. susan. kim
How much baking soda?
greatrecipe – thanks for sharing!
My Iraqi in-laws make a nice variation of this – it’s essentially the same, but they also add chile (either chile powder or chopped fresh) and lime juice. Sort of like Mexican esquite
In Tunisia, they add Cumin instead of Pepper.
Or maybe even both.
Do you know the Lablabi ? A tunisian popular dish made with chick peas ?
What if you don’t have time to soak the chickpeas overnight? Can you soak them for a few minutes or can you use canned chickpeas instead and cook them a little?
Does anyone have a recipe for kuskuluch (small baby pasta) and peas? Thanks
@Jean – how is it possible not to have time to soak beans overnight? This is easier than boiling water. Here’s how to do it:
Before going to bed, place 2 cups dried chickpeas in a large bowl or pot
Add water until covered by about 1-2 inches (2.5 to 5 cm)
Go to sleep
HUMMUS IS AN ARAB WORD FORE CHICKPEA
FALAFEL IS ANOTHER ARAB WORD
WHERE IS THE ARGUMENT???PURE N SIMPLE THESE DSISHES WERE GIVEN ARAB NAMES BY ARABS.
IF IT WERE “REALLY INVENTED”BY THE JEWISH PEOPLE..BOTH HUMMUS N FALAFEL WOULD HAVE JEWISH NAMES.
WOULD A JEW GIVE AN ARAB NAME TO ONE OF THEIR MISSILES OR TO THEIR HORRIBLE TASTING MATSO SOUP??? SO THEY GIVE “THEIR GREAT RECIPE HUMMUS” AN ARAB NAME. GIVE US A BREAK
BUB und NAHIT:
Salty Chick peas with bigger brown beans that must be Fava beans. That’s what we ate.
As a child, I loved the nahit, but avoided the bub with great care.
Hi Sarita. Nahit is indeed chickpeas. The Bub (short for the Yiddish name “Bubbes”) is actually Lima beans.