Chickpea

 
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  • Specification and Characteristic
  • The chickpea or chick pea (Cicer arietinum) is a legume of the family Fabaceae, subfamily Faboideae. Its different types are variously known as gram,[2][3] or Bengal gram,[3] garbanzo[3] or garbanzo bean, Egyptian pea,[2] ceci, cece, chana, or Kabuli chana. 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.[4]
  • Description
  •  
    Flowering and fruiting chickpea plant
  • 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.
  • Types
  • Several varieties of chickpea are cultivated throughout the world. Bengal gram or ‘Desi chana’ is probably the earliest variety because it 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. It is grown mostly in India and other parts of the Indian subcontinent, 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. This variety is hulled and split to make chana dal. A closely related variety is the Bombay chickpea (‘Bambai chana’), which is also dark but slightly larger than ‘Desi’.
  •  
    Chickpea pods
  • Garbanzo bean or ‘Kabuli’ chana is lighter-coloured, larger, and with a smoother coat, and is mainly grown in the Mediterranean, Southern Europe, Northern Africa, South America, and the Indian subcontinent. 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.[13] 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.
  • Green chickpeas are common in the state of Maharashtra, India. In Marathi and Bengali, they are called harbara. Tender, immature green chickpeas are often sold as a street snack. These can be eaten raw or roasted on coal before the skin is removed; the latter snack is called hula in Marathi.
  • Human consumption
    Bengal gram, chickpea
  • Hummus with olive oil
  •  Dhokla, steamed chickpea snack
  • 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). Chickpeas (Cicer arietinum) do not cause lathyrism. Similarly named “chickling peas” (Lathyrus sativus) and other plants of the genus Lathyrus contain the toxins associated with lathyrism.
  • Mature chickpeas can be cooked and eaten cold in salads, cooked in stews, ground into gram flour (also known as chickpea flour and besan and used frequently in Indian cuisine), ground and shaped in balls and fried as falafel, or stirred into a batter and baked to make farinata, also called cecina, or fried to make panelle.
  • Chickpeas are popular in the Iberian Peninsula. In Portugal, they are one of the main ingredients in rancho, eaten with pasta and meat, including Portuguese sausages, or with rice. They are used in other hot dishes with bacalhau and in soup. In Spain, they are used cold in tapas and salads, as well as in cocido madrileño. In Italy, chickpeas are eaten with pasta or in soup. In the southern regions such as Sicily, grounded chickpeas flour is used to produce a famous local street food called panelle. In Egypt, they are used as a topping for kushari.
  • Hummus is the Arabic word for chickpeas, which are often cooked and ground into a paste and mixed with tahini (sesame seed paste), the blend called hummus bi tahini, or 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.[14] By 2010, 5% of Americans consumed hummus on a regular basis,[14] and it was present in 17% of American households.[15]
  • Some varieties of chickpeas can be popped and eaten like popcorn.[16]
  • Chickpeas and Bengal grams are used to make curries and are one of the most popular vegetarian foods in the Indian subcontinent and in diaspora communities of many other countries. Popular dishes in Indian cuisine are made with chickpea flour, such as mirchi bajji and mirapakaya bajji Telugu. In India, as well as in the Levant, unripe chickpeas are often picked out of the pod and eaten as a raw snack and the leaves are eaten as a leaf vegetable in salads.
  • Chickpea flour is used to make “Burmese tofu” which was first known among the Shan people of Burma. In South Asian cuisine the 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 Tuscany chickpea flour (farina di ceci) is used to make an oven baked pancake: the flour is mixed with water, oil and salt.Chickpea flour known as Kadlehittu in Kannada is used for making sweet dish Mysorepak.
  • In the Philippines, chickpeas preserved in syrup are eaten as sweets and in desserts such as halo-halo. Ashkenazi Jews traditionally serve whole chickpeas at a Shalom Zachar celebration for baby boys.
  • Guasanas are a Mexican chickpea recipe in which the beans are cooked in water and salt.
  • A chickpea-derived liquid (aquafaba) can be used as an egg white replacement to make meringue.
  • Domesticated chickpeas have been found in the aceramic levels of Jericho (PPNB) along with Çayönü in Turkey and in Neolithic pottery at Hacilar, Turkey. They were found in the late Neolithic (about 3500 BCE) at Thessaly, Kastanas, Lerna and Dimini, Greece. In southern France, Mesolithic layers in a cave at L’Abeurador, Aude, have yielded wild chickpeas carbon dated to
  • Indian street seller displaying green chickpeas
  • Chickpeas are mentioned in Charlemagne‘s Capitulare de villis (about 800 CE) as cicer italicum, as grown in each imperial demesne. Albertus Magnus mentions red, white, and black varieties. Nicholas Culpeper noted “chick-pease or cicers” are less “windy” than peas and more nourishing. Ancient people also associated chickpeas with Venus because they were said to offer medical uses such as increasing sperm and milk, provoking menstruation and urine, and helping to treat kidney stones.[7] “White cicers” were thought to be especially strong and helpful.[7]
  • In 1793, ground-roast chickpeas were noted by a German writer as a substitute for coffee in Europe.[8] In the First World War, they were grown for this use in some areas of Germany.[9] They are still sometimes brewed instead of coffee.[8]