Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Chick Pea - Bengal Gram - Channa

The chickpea, chick pea, garbanzo bean, ceci bean, bengal gram, chana or channa (Cicer arietinum) is an edible legume (British "pulse") of the family Fabaceae, subfamily Faboideae.

The plant is 20 to 50 cm high and has small feathery leaves on both sides of the stem. One seedpod contains two or three peas. The flowers are white- or reddish-blue. Chickpeas need a subtropical or tropical climate and more than 400 mm annual rain. They can be grown in a temperate climate, but yields will be much lower.

Desi vs. kabuli chickpeas
There are two types of chickpea:

Desi - "with small, dark seeds and a rough coat (prevailing in the Indian subcontinent, Ethiopia, Mexico, Iran)"
Kabuli- "with light-coloured, larger seeds and a smoother coat (mainly grown in S Europe, N Africa, Afghanistan, introduced to India only in the 18th cent., Chile)."[[1]]
The Desi form is also known as Bengal gram or chana. The Kabuli form is the kind grown e.g. in the Mediterranean today. The desi-type closely resembles those seeds found on archaeological sites and the wild ancestor, so it is probably the earlier form. Desi-type chickpeas are said to have a very low glycemic index[2] making it good for many people with blood sugar problems.

Delicious Recipes using chick peas

Kadalai Kuzhambu
Chick pea Curry
Chick Peas Vada
Fuity Channa Salad

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