An Introduction of Chickpea (RS Roasted Gram)
Chickpeas are edible legumes belonging to the family of 'Fabaceae' with slightly round & irregular shape, and are slightly longer in size than the normal peas. They are also known by the names of 'garbanzo beans', and have a nut like taste with a high protein content in them. The plants of the chickpeas grow between 20-25 cm and have feathery leaves on both sides of the stem. The scientific name of chickpeas is 'Cicer arietinum', and they are also known as 'chana' in Hindi and several other names like 'Bengal Gram', 'Kadaale Kaalu', 'Sanaga Pappu', 'Shimbra', etc. Chickpeas can grow well only in sub tropical and tropical climates requiring an annual rainfall of more than 400 mm.
Types of Chickpeas
Chickpeas come in two basic varieties. These are
Desi Chickpeas: These are split peas and are relatively smaller in size with dark, small seeds and a rough coat. Desi peas are also known as 'Bengal gram' or 'kala chana'. They are mostly cultivated in India, Mexico, Ethiopia and Iran. Desi chickpeas have a remarkably high fiber content and are thus suitable for people suffering from diabete
Kabuli Chickpeas: These chickpeas are light, almost whitish cream in color, with larger seeds and a smoother 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.
History of Chickpeas
Chickpeas can withstand drought conditions, and are therefore, ideally suited for cultivation in areas which are relatively cooler and have a low level of rainfall. Since they are very sensitive to excess water, they grow well on sandy soils, but having an appropriate drainage conditions. Chickpeas are rabi crops that are grown in India during the periods of September to November. While desi type chickpeas take 95-105 days to mature, kabuli types chickpeas take 100-110 days to mature. The harvesting of chickpeas is done during the months of February, March and April. At times, chickpeas are also grown on a rotation basis, along with other crops like jowar, bajra, wheat and coriander.
Nutritional Elements of Chickpeas
Chickpeas are healthy as they contain many nutritional elements that are deemed necessary for the proper growth of our body. Chickpeas contain many vital vitamins like Vitamin A, Vitamin B1, B2 and B3, Vitamin C, Vitamin D, Vitamin E, Vitamin K, Folate and Pantothenic acid. They also contain many important minerals like calcium, iron, molybdenum, potassium, manganese, copper, zinc, etc. Other nutrients that are found in chickpeas are dietary fibers, carbohydrates, proteins, water, etc.