Chickpeas (aka Chana or Garbanzo beans) are one of the most versatile beans available- whether used whole, split or as flour.
They are important staples around the world. Chickpeas are integral to the cuisines of India, the Middle East and across the Mediterranean regions.
For vegetarians and vegans they are great sources of protein and form the basis of satisfying meat free meals. For those with gluten issues, they provide a great alternative to wheat based products.
Some fun facts about chickpeas from around the web-
- Chickpeas are traded in commodity markets in India.
- Over 8.5 million metric tons of chickpeas are grown annually.
- They are nutrient dense and promote healthy blood pressure and cholesterol levels among other things.
- Chickpeas are thought to have been first cultivated around 3000 BC.
- Chickpeas supposedly played an important role in Italian history (namely in Sicily). Check out the story here.
There is quite a bit of variety in how chickpeas can be used- in pastas, soups, curries, salads, savory snacks, flatbreads and in sweets. They even taste great, just cooked with a dash of salt.
I have featured chickpeas in their various forms many times on Global Veg. What’s your favorite way of using chickpeas?
Coming up soon in Part 2- Customized Chickpea Pancakes