Chickpea is a legume. In regional language, it is Bengal gram or channa. Desi and Kabuli are the two types of it. The classification is based on seed size, color, and the thickness and shape of the seed coat. Thick and angular seeds coated in light tan to solid black and looks small are desi types.
‘Desi’ chickpeas have a markedly higher fibre content than other varieties, hence a very low glycemic index, which may make them suitable for people with blood sugar problems.
Skin removed and split chickpea is chana dal.
Large with a smooth coat is ‘Kabuli’ type. This variety came from Kabul, Afghanistan during the 18th century. hence named after that.
Its seeds are high in protein. Cultivation of chickpeas as is happening from 7,500 years ago. Chickpeas are a nutrient-dense food, providing rich content (> 20% of the Daily Value, DV) of protein, dietary fibre, folate, and certain dietary minerals such as iron and phosphorus. Thiamin, vitamin B6, magnesium, and zinc contents are moderate, providing 10-16% of the DV. Chickpeas have a protein digestibility corrected amino acid score of about 0.76, which is higher than many other legumes and cereals.
Cooked and germinated chickpeas are rich in proteins. A 100-g serving of cooked chickpeas provides 164 kilocalories (690 kJ). Carbohydrates make up 68% of calories, most of which (84%) is starch, followed by total sugars and dietary fibre. Lipid content is 3%, 75% of which is unsaturated fatty acids for which linoleic acid comprises 43% of total fat.
India is the world leader in chickpea (Bengal gram) production and produces some 15 times as much as the second-largest producer, Australia. Between 80 and 90 percent of the world’s chickpea supply is from India.