Every December and January vendors would tie chickpea plants full of tender pods on their cycles and would cycle through the streets selling them. It used to be a tasty and protein rich snack for us kids during our Christmas holidays and would keep us occupied and away from mischief for a while.
Chickpea also known as Kadale in Kannada, Channa in Hindi and other common names are Bengal Gram, Garbanzo Bean, and so on. When dry and split, the peas are yellow and are known as Kadlebele or Channa Dal in Kannada and Hindi respectively. There are many different types of Chickpeas available like Dry Green peas, Dark Brown peas, Kabuli Channa etc.
The botanical name is Cicer arietinum and belongs to Fabaceae family. Chickpea is one of the earliest crops and has been found to have been cultivated 7,500 years ago. Chickpea is a leading crop in India.
The plant grows to a height of 50 cm.
The plant itself is beautiful with feathery small leaves. The leaves are sour to taste.
The flowers are small and pretty and they are in shades of blue, violet or pink.
The pods encase two or three peas.
Tender, dry, powdered or split, Chickpea is used in a variety of dishes in India. Chickpea flour popularly known as Besan is an essential ingredient in Indian cuisine.
The goodness list of Chickpea is very long and it includes high fiber content, low glycemic index, source of zinc, folate, protein, phosphorous, calcium, magnesium, iron , zinc etc.
Recipes using Chickpea:
- Besan Ladoo
- Kadalebele Usali
- Mirchi Bada
- Missi Roti
- Soppina Kadlekayi Kosambari
- Khaman Dhokla
- Lauki Dal
- Channa Dal Masala
- Masala Vada
- Kadalebele Kosambari
- Mysore Pak
- Nuchchina unde
- Chutney Powder
- Bhindi Besan Masala
- Masala Channa Dal