Chickpea (Cicer arietinum)
[size=75]From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia [/size]
The chickpea, chick pea, garbanzo bean, Indian pea, ceci bean, bengal gram, hummus, kadale kaalu (Kannada), chana or channa (Cicer arietinum) is an edible legume (English “pulse”) of the family Fabaceae, subfamily Faboideae.
The plant grows to between 20 and 50 cm high and has small feathery leaves on either side of the stem. One seedpod contains two or three peas. The flowers are white or sometimes reddish-blue. Chickpeas need a subtropical or tropical climate with more than 400 mm of annual rain. They can be grown in a temperate climate but yields will be much lower. The garbanzo is often used as a source of protein by vegetarians and vegans since it has one of the highest protein levels of all plants.
There are two main kinds of chickpea (garbonzo):
The Desi form is also known as Bengal gram or kala chana. Kabuli is the kind widely grown throughout the Mediterranean. Desi is likely the earliest form since it closely resembles seeds found both on archaeological sites and the wild plant ancestor of domesticated chickpeas (cicer reticulatum) which only grows in southeast Turkey, where it is believed to have originated. Desi chickpeas have a very low glycemic index which may make them suitable for people with blood sugar problems.
Chickpeas (garbonzo) are grown in the Mediterranean, western Asia and the Indian subcontinent. Domestically they can be sprouted within a few days all year round with a sprouter on a windowsill.