|Botanical Name:||Cicer Arietinum|
|Indian Name:||Chana / Kabuli Chana|
Chickpeas are grown almost exclusively for human consumption, with seed type and ethnic culture determining their use. Chickpeas (Split/ Peeled) are extremely nutritious pulse and spot third in the importance list of the food legumes that are cultivated in every part of the world. It contains 25% proteins, which is the maximum provided by any pulse and 60% carbohydrates. There are mainly two types of chickpea produced i.e. Kabuli and Desi Chickpeas. They can be segregate on the basis of their following features. In Middle East chick peas are widely consumed in form of dish known as hummus which is produced from meshed chick peas mixed with oils and spices.
Chickpeas are an excellent source of protein, fiber, complex carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals. Small volumes of low-quality chickpeas are being used for livestock feed. The two distinct types of chickpeas really are two different crops, each with a separate use and market. There is a small but growing demand for high-quality kabuli chickpeas in North America, where they mainly are used in salad bars and vegetables mixes.
The plant sprouts between 20–50 cm (8–20 inches) high and has little feathery leaves on either side of the stem. Chickpeas are a type of pulse, with one seedpod comprise of two or three peas. It has white flowers with blue, violet or pink veins. Chickpeas need a subtropical or tropical climate with more than 400 millimetres (16 in) of annual rain. They can be grown in a temperate climate but yields will be much lower.
Kabuli chickpeas have a whitish-cream color, light, and are relatively larger in size having a thinner seed coat as compared to the desi chickpeas. Introduced in India during the 18th century, the kabuli chickpeas are mainly grown in southern Europe, northern Africa, Chile and Afghanistan. Kabuli types are widely used in salads and vegetable while the Desi types are milled into flour. They are also used in wide variety of snacks foods, soups, sweets and condiments.
These are split peas and are relatively smaller in size having a thicker seed coat. They appear dark brown in color and they can be used and served in many ways. Desi peas are also known as “Bengal Gram” or “Kala Chana”. They are mostly cultivated in India, Mexico, Ethiopia & Iran. Desi chickpeas have a remarkably high fiber content and thus suitable for people suffering from diabetes.
The various qualities of Chickpeas are generally differentiated on basis of its size or the no of counts per ounces. The higher the number of Counts per Ounce the smaller is the size of the Chick Peas. The various qualities that can be supplied on the basis of its size are as follows:
• Chick Peas 40/42 Counts (Approximate 8 mm)
• Chick Peas 42/44 Counts (Approximate 9 mm)
• Chick Peas 44/46 Counts (Approximate 11 mm)
• Chick Peas 58/60 Counts (Approximate 12 mm)
• Chick Peas 75/80 Counts (Approximate 14 mm)