Chickpea is a legume belonging to the Fabaceae family. It is called garbanzo bean, ceci bean, kabuli chana, chole and Bengal gram. Their color varies from beige to brown. The size of the bean varies from 0.5 cm diameter to about 1 cm. It is one of the oldest cultivated crops.
- Chickpea can be used with prior soaking for about 12 hours. This reduces the cooking time.
- It can be ground to make a flour which has various uses in different cuisines of the world.
- Certain varieties of chickpeas have the ability to pop like popcorns.
Cuisines Using Chickpea
- Chickpea is extensively used in Middle eastern and Lebanese cuisines.
- It is used majorly in the North Indian subcuisine of India.
- It is popular in Pakistan and Bangladesh as well.
Soaking for 8 – 12 hours and pressure cooking. This takes about 25 minutes to cook chickpeas
Cooking without soaking takes about 1 hour.
- Chickpeas are used in Lebanese cuisine and all over middle east for making dishes like falafel, hummus with tahini and farinata.
- It is used extensively in India, Pakistan and Bangladesh for dishes like chana masala, pindi chole, salad and appetizers chana chaat, harabhara kebab and shammi kebab.Chickpea flour also called as gram flour is used to make a batter coating for fritters. It is also used to make thin pancakes called chillas. It is also used in Gujarat to make snacks like dhokla, fafda, gathiya and khandvi. A popular Maharashtrian staple zhunka is made with gram flour.
- It is also used to make Burmese tofu.
- In Philippines, whole chickpeas are preserved in syrup and eaten as a sweet dish or dessert.
- A variety of split chickpeas is used in India to make chana dal which is very popular in North India.
- Chickpeas and its flour is commonly used to make sweet dishes like halwa and barfi.
Serving size – 30 g
Energy – 100 cal, Fat – 1 g, Protein – 6 g, Dietary Fiber – 2 g
- Chickpea is high in protein and dietary fiber. It aids digestion and helps to lower cholesterol.
- It is a rich source of minerals like zinc, magnesium, phosphorus. It is also rich in folate.
- Excessive and everyday consumption of chickpeas is not recommended as it leads to problems like flatulence. It is rich in purines which leads to uric acid formation and causes a problem called gout. It can also lead to kidney stones.
- Soaking of chickpea is very important as it removes the saponins present in it which can be harmful for the body.
Buying and Storing Tips
· Chickpea can be bought dry all round the year. They stay for about 9 months without spoilage.
· Fresh green chickpea can also be bought but have to be consumed within a week.
· It can be stored in an airtight container.