Chick peas

Chick peas

Chick peas

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’.

Description

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, 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.

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