Definition: Chickpeas, or Kabuli Chana, as they are known as in India, are legumes. However, these are not any legumes because these are tasty and exceptionally healthy. These have high levels of protein and are one of the instances of earliest cultivated items by humans.
Different names: These go by the names of Bengal gram, gram, garbanzo bean, garbanzo and the Egyptian pea. The word Chickpea is derived from the French word ‘cicer’, which is the Latin equivalent to chickpea. It was called Ciche or Chich in French and garbanzo in Old Spanish.
Place of Origin: According to archaeological studies, it has been found that legumes were first grown in the Middle East. In fact, 7500-year-old remains of legumes have been found in this area. While it is hard to say that chickpeas have been grown here, specifically, there is a good chance for that possibility. There was found traces of domesticated chickpeas at a digging site at Jericho, Turkey which dates from the late Neolithic period of human history.
The first mention of chickpeas anywhere in the world was in the Capitulare de villis written by the famous French king Charlamange. He mentioned it as ‘cicer italicum’. According t Albertus Magnus, there were three kinds of chickpeas: red, black and white. In those ancient days, people considered chickpeas to be from Venus due to its high nutritional content. At a more modern time in 1793, a German writer mentioned ground-roasted chickpeas as a substitute for coffee. Even today, it is enjoyed instead of coffee in some parts of Germany.
Type of products: There are many types of chickpeas in the world. The most common of these is the Bengal Gram. It is named so because it is grown widely in Bangladesh and West Bengal of India. This variety is also known to be one of the oldest strains of this plant as it resembles the ones found in the archaeological digs found in Turkey. The oldest strain was called Cicer reticulatum. Desi Chana is characterized by dark but small seeds and rough coat. Desi Chana is found in various parts of India, especially in the state of West Bengal, apart from countries like Bangladesh, Mexico, Iran, and Ethiopia. Desi means ‘of the country’ and Chana means ‘chickpeas’.
Garbanzo beans are a popular strain of chickpeas as well. It can be recognized by their light color, a smoother texture, and a larger size. It is found in Southern Europe along the Mediterranean region along with India, South America, and North Africa. Yet another kind of chickpea is grown in south Italy named Apulia which is about the size of Garbanzo beans and is even darker and larger than Desi chickpeas.
The largest grower of Green chickpeas is Maharashtra, India. In the local vernacular, it is called harbara and is known to be tender.
When it is highly preferred: It is used to make a wide variety of dishes.
Nutritional information: Chickpeas is said to have:
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