Foundation Diet and Health
Diet and Health
The best perspective for your health

Chickpeas, cooked

Chickpeas are generally eaten cooked. They have a mild, slightly nutty flavor and are used in many popular recipes such as curries, soups, stews, and hummus.

Pictogram nutrient tables

Chickpeas have been grown in the Middle East for thousands of years and are an important source of fiber in many cultures.

General information:

From Wikipedia: “The chickpea or chick pea (Cicer arietinum) is a legume of the family Fabaceae, subfamily Faboideae. Its different types are variously known as gram, or Bengal gram, garbanzo or garbanzo bean, 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.”


“Chickpeas are a nutrient-dense food, providing rich content of protein, dietary fiber, folate, and certain dietary minerals such as iron and phosphorus. Thiamin, vitamin B6, magnesium, and zinc contents are moderate. 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.
A 100 g serving of cooked chickpeas provides 164 kilocalories (690 kJ). Cooked chickpeas are 60% water, 27% carbohydrates, 9% protein and 3% fat. 75% of lipid content is unsaturated fatty acids for which linoleic acid comprises 43% of total fat.”

Culinary uses:

“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. By the end of the 20th century, hummus had become commonplace in American cuisine. By 2010, 5% of Americans consumed hummus on a regular basis, and it was present in 17% of American households. ...

Leaves: “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. In natural settings, environmental factors and nutrient availability could influence mineral concentrations. Nevertheless, consumption of chickpea leaves is recommended for areas where chickpeas are produced as food for humans.
Preliminary research shows that chickpea consumption may lower blood cholesterol.”

Effects of cooking:

“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-fiber complexes, which leads to an increase in crude fiber 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.”


“Chickpeas are grown in the Indian subcontinent, Australia, Mediterranean, western Asia, the Palouse region and the Great Plains (both in the USA).
India is the world leader in chickpea (Bengal gram) production, and produces approximately 10 times as much as the second-largest producer, Australia. Other key producers are Pakistan, Turkey, Myanmar, Ethiopia, and Iran.”