Chickpeas were cultivated in Asia Minor thousands of years ago and are known for their high fiber content.
From Wikipedia: Chickpeas are usually rapidly boiled for 10 minutes and then simmered for a longer period. Dried chickpeas need a long cooking time (1–2 hours) but will easily fall apart when cooked longer. If soaked for 12–24 hours before use, cooking time can be shortened by around 30 minutes. Chickpeas can also be pressure cooked or sous vide cooked at 90 °C (194 °F).
Mature chickpeas can be cooked and eaten cold in salads, cooked in stews, ground into flour, ground and shaped in balls and fried as falafel, made into a batter and baked to make farinata or cecina, or fried to make panelle. Chickpea flour is known as gram flour or besan in South Asia and used frequently in South Asian cuisine.
…Hummus is the Arabic word for chickpeas, which are often cooked and ground into a paste and mixed with tahina (sesame seed paste), the blend called hummus bi tahina. Chickpeas are roasted, spiced, and eaten as a snack, such as leblebi… Some varieties of chickpeas can be popped and eaten like popcorn.
Chickpeas and Bengal grams are used to make curries and are one of the most popular vegetarian foods in South Asia and in diaspora communities of many other countries served which was first known among the Shan people of Burma. In South Asian cuisine the Chickpea flour (Besan) is used as a batter to coat vegetables before deep frying to make Pakoras. The flour is also used as a batter to coat vegetables and meats before frying, or fried alone such as panelle (little bread), a chickpea fritter from Sicily. Chickpea flour is used to make the Mediterranean flatbread socca and called panisse in Provence, southern France. It is made of cooked chickpea flour, poured into saucers, allowed to set, cut in strips, and fried in olive oil, often eaten during Lent… In the Philippines, chickpeas preserved in syrup are eaten as sweets and in desserts such as halo-halo. Sephardic Jews traditionally serve whole chickpeas at a Shalom Zachar celebration for baby boys… A chickpea-derived liquid (aquafaba) can be used as an egg white replacement to make meringue.1
Chickpeas are a nutrient-dense food, providing rich content (20% or higher of the Daily Value, DV) of protein, dietary fiber, folate, and certain dietary minerals such as iron and phosphorus. Thiamin, vitamin B6, magnesium, and zinc contents are moderate, providing 10–16% of the DV. Chickpeas have a Protein Digestibility Corrected Amino Acid Score of about 0.76, which is higher than many other legumes and cereals.
Compared to reference levels established by the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization and World Health Organization, proteins in cooked and germinated chickpeas are rich in essential amino acids such as lysine, isoleucine, tryptophan, and total aromatic amino acids… Cooking treatments do not lead to variance in total protein and carbohydrate content. Soaking and cooking of dry seeds possibly induces chemical modification of protein-fibre complexes, which leads to an increase in crude fibre content. Thus, cooking can increase protein quality by inactivating or destroying heat-labile antinutritional factors. Cooking also increases protein digestibility, essential amino acid index, and protein efficiency ratio. Although cooking lowers concentrations of amino acids such as tryptophan, lysine, total aromatic, and sulphur-containing amino acids, their contents are still higher than proposed by the FAO/WHO reference. Diffusion of reducing sugars, raffinose, sucrose and others into cooking water reduces or completely removes these components. Cooking also significantly reduces fat and mineral contents. The B vitamins riboflavin, thiamin, niacin, and pyridoxine dissolve into cooking water at differing rates.
In some parts of the world, young chickpea leaves are consumed as cooked green vegetables. Especially in malnourished populations, it can supplement important dietary nutrients, because regions where chickpeas are consumed have been sometimes found to have populations lacking micronutrients. Chickpea leaves have a significantly higher mineral content than cabbage and spinach.1
The chickpea or chick pea (Cicer arietinum) is a legume… Its different types are variously known as gram, or Bengal gram, garbanzo or garbanzo bean, as well as the Egyptian pea. Its seeds are high in protein. It is one of the earliest cultivated legumes: 7,500-year-old remains have been found in the Middle East. In 2016, India produced 64% of the world total of chickpeas.1
Cultivation and harvest:
The plant grows to 20–50 cm (8–20 in) high and has small, feathery leaves on either side of the stem. Chickpeas are a type of pulse, with one seedpod containing two or three peas. It has white flowers with blue, violet, or pink veins.
Several varieties of chickpea are cultivated throughout the world. Desi chana closely resembles both seeds found on archaeological sites and the wild plant ancestor of domesticated chickpeas, Cicer reticulatum, which only grows in southeast Turkey, where chickpeas are believed to have originated. Desi chana has small, darker seeds and a rough coat. They are grown mostly in Pakistan, India and other parts of the South Asia, as well as in Ethiopia, Mexico, and Iran. Desi means 'country' or 'local' in Hindustani; its other names include kala chana ("black chickpea" in both Hindi and Urdu) or chholaa boot. Desi chana can be black, green or speckled. This variety is hulled and split to make chana dal.
Garbanzo beans or 'kabuli' chana are lighter-coloured, larger, and with a smoother coat, and are mainly grown in the Mediterranean, Southern Europe, Northern Africa, South America, and the South Asia. The name means "from Kabul" in Hindi and Urdu, and this variety was thought to come from Kabul, Afghanistan when it was introduced to India in the 18th century. An uncommon black chickpea, ceci neri, is grown only in Apulia, in southeastern Italy. It is around the same size as garbanzo beans, being both larger and darker than the 'desi' variety.1
Literature / Sources:
- Wikipedia. Chickpeas [Internet]. Version dated February 26, 2018 [Cited February 26, 2018]. Available from: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chickpea