Chickpea - Health Benefits
Chickpea is one of the earliest known legumes. According to archeological studies, the plant was domesticated some 7500 years ago in the ancient sites of Palestine, in the Middle East.
Although the production of Chickpea has increased manifold in West Asia in the last three decades, India is by far the world's largest producer and importer of Chickpea. Across the world, many different varieties of Chickpeas are grown. The Indian Chickpea (Desi Channa) is a smaller variant with a darker and rough overcoat. The other well-known variety of Chickpea used in India is 'Kabuli Channa.' It is said to have come from Kabul, Afghanistan. Kabuli Channa is a slightly larger light colored seed with a softer overcoat. Channa dal or Bengal gram comes from hulling and splitting of Desi Channa.
Chickpea flour also called as Besan is used in many Indian recipes, predominantly in condiments and snacks, like Ghatiya, Bajji, Pakoras, and Mysorepak. Channa or Chole Masala is a widely popular curry accompaniment that goes with Puris and Baturas. Desi Channa (Kadalai Curry) is also a traditional dish in the southern states of India. Kadala Curry, in Kerala, is a standard breakfast combination with Puttu and Vel appam.
When cooked or sprouted raw chickpeas provide up to 9g of Protein, around 10% DV of Vitamin B1 and B6, 43% of Folic Acid and a host of Amino acids like Lysine, Isoleucine, Tryptophan. While, cooking Chickpea improves its protein digestibility, germination, on the other hand, retains Minerals and B Vitamins present in it.