Table of content A-Z

 

chickpea

 

Synonyms: garbanzo bean, garbanzo pea, Indian gram, kabuli, desi, channa

botanical name: Cicer arietinum


Kichererbse

 

The Near East or Southwest Asia is considered the home of the chickpea. It is believed that the chickpea began to be cultivated there 8000-10,000 years ago. In India, Mexico, and many countries of the Mediterranean area, particularly Spain, chickpeas are one of the dietary staples.

 

The most important area of cultivation is India, followed by Turkey, Pakistan, North Africa, South America and southern Europe. In Germany chickpeas are of little importance; small amounts are imported, although earlier they were also grown in southern Germany.

 

Availability

 

Dried chickpeas can be purchased all year round. They should be sold in every well-assorted supermarket; otherwise they can be found in Turkish or Asian shops.

 

Appearance, taste, characteristics

 

The chickpea is a crop plant of the legume family, therefore a pulse. Only the ripe, dry seeds of the plant are harvested.

 

One to three seeds mature in short, thin-skinned pods and are yellow, light red, or rarely black. They are round or irregularly angular and are about 8-12 mm in diameter. The seeds of the western sorts are usually large and smooth, while those from southern India and Ethiopia are smaller and more wrinkled. The yellowish-beige variety, the size and shape of a filbert or hazelnut, is the most common.

 

The seeds of the variety garbanzo are quite large and pale brown. Kabuli black, sometimes also called desi, produces large, black-skinned seeds.

 

Cooked chickpeas have a mild, slightly nutty flavour.

 

Ingredients

 

Like all pulses, chickpeas have a high protein content and are rich in carbohydrates, as well as in important minerals, particularly calcium and iron. Like most pulses, they have little fat and much fibre.

100 g contain:

 

Chickpea, dried7

Chickpea, cooked

Chickpea, tinned

Energy (kcal)

325

114

125

Water (g)

10

62

64

Protein (g)

18

8

7

Fat (g)

6

1

3

Carbohydrates (g)

48

16

17

Fibre (g)

12

9

5

Vitamin A (RE) (µg)

141

12

98

Vitamin E (mg)

5.8

1.4

2.9

Vitamin B1 (mg)

0.5

0.2

0.1

Vitamin B2 (mg)

0.2

0.1

0.1

Niacin (mg)

8

1.8

2

Vitamin B6 (mg)

0.3

0.2

0.1

Folic acid (µg)

40

80

72

Vitamin C (mg)

24

1

7

Potassium (mg)

108

287

333

Sodium (mg)

37

9

2406

Calcium (mg)

124

53

57

Magnesium (mg)

119

62

44

Phosphorus (mg)

192

173

80

Iron (mg)

5.9

2.8

2.2

Note: As this is a natural product, and as the information is taken from various sources and therefore from different analyses, there may be fluctuations in the nutritional facts. The minerals in particular may fluctuate, since the plant takes these from the soil, the composition of which itself can vary. Its mineral content is influenced, for instance, by fertilization. The footnotes are explained here .

 

Quality criteria, optimal storage conditions

 

When buying loose goods you should make sure that the chickpeas are of a uniform colour and size. Be sure that the seeds are intact and not broken; small holes the size of a needle point to damage from insects.

 

Storage is unproblematic. In a cool, dry place chickpeas can be kept for up to a year. Never mix new goods with old, as they will have different cooking times.

 

Cooked chickpeas freeze well or can be kept in the refrigerator for several days.

 

Form of consumption, use, processing, practical tips for preparation

 

Like most pulses, chickpeas must be soaked in water for about 12 hours. Further tips for preparation can be found in the chapter on legumes and pulses.

 

Cooked chickpeas are good as an accompaniment to meat dishes and in raw salads, or they can be used similar to peas for purées or soups. The modern whole-food cuisine presents versatile uses for nutritious and tasty dishes made of chickpeas: chickpea balls, chickpea polenta, chickpea stews, and casseroles with vegetables.

 

In the chapter on sprouts you will find more information on the use of chickpeas as sprouted vegetables. The cooked seeds can also be roasted like peanuts in a pan with oil.

 

In the food industry chickpeas are processed as vegetarian spreads and as tinned goods.

 

In many of the producing countries mentioned, chickpeas are something of a national, ethnic food. In the Middle East there is a specialty called hummus, a purée made of cooked chickpeas, ground sesame seeds, water, lemon juice, garlic, sesame or olive oil, and mint.

 

In India, flour made from the seeds is one of the main ingredients in many confectioneries. For example, sweet little balls made of chickpea flour are served as a dessert. The whole seeds are also eaten cooked or steamed. In Morocco they are a component of stews, and in France chickpeas with spinach are popular.

 

In India chickpeas are roasted several times and soaked in water. In this state they serve as a delicacy, as the basis for dishes, and as ersatz coffee. Seeds harvested green are also eaten as a vegetable in the producing countries and can also be eaten raw like other peas.

 

In various countries of the Near East and increasingly in Germany, falafel is very popular as a snack. This is a mixture of chickpeas, beans and seasonings that is deep-fried in small balls and usually eaten in a pastry roll like pita with a spicy yoghurt sauce and a salad.

 

Seasoning tip

 

Chickpeas go well with bay leaf, saffron, cumin, sage, coriander, cayenne pepper, garlic and soy sauce, but curry, thyme, marjoram or ginger also taste good with this pulse.

 

Miscellaneous

 

The name of this pulse has nothing to do with chickens; rather, it is probably taken from the Latin name "Cicer arietinum".

 

 

 

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