I love chickpeas and use them a lot - hummous, in stews & soups, curried and in salads. I have always bought canned organic chickpeas - I find they taste way better than non-organic. Even though organic peas are more expensive than regular I've still considered them relatively cheap - as all legumes are. But I decided to try cooking my own from scratch. Why didn't I try doing this before They really do not take long to cook. I followed the method in 'Kitchen Sense' by Mitchell Davis, which is one of my favourite cookbooks. I soaked a cup of peas overnight in lots of water with salt added. I changed the water in the morning and cooked them tonight after work. By the time I started cooking them they had been soaking for almost 24 hours although the book says soak for a minimum of 8 hours. They took about 45 minutes or so to cook. They are really nice - comparable to the organic peas in taste. If you cook your own they are unbelievably cheap!
Tomorrow I am going to make chickpea soup and will be interested to compare to canned when using in a recipe.
Another tip I read in 'Kitchen Sense'. Mitchell Davis swears the trick to making really great hummous is to peel the chickpeas. This is not a tedious as it sounds - they pop right out of their skins. It took me a half hours or so to peel enough to make the hummous - I did this while watching TV. I think it did make a big difference. The peelings do make a strange pile though.