Chickpea

Chickpeas also called as garbanzo beans was originally cultivated in the Mediterranean and the Middle East. Next to the soybean, chickpea is the second most widely grown and used bean in the world. Chickpeas have three types namely Desi, Kabuli, Ceci neri (black chickpea).

Chickpeas are full of protein, dietry fibre, manganese, folic acid, potassium, phosphorous and magnesium. Germinated or sprouted chickpeas are rich in amino acids such as isoleucine, tryptophan, lysine and total aromatic amino acids.

Chickpeas are associated with a number of health benefits.

  • They consist of iron, protein, phosphorous, calcium, vitamin K, zinc, magnesium and manganese. All these nutrients help to build and maintain bone structure and strength.
  • The content of protein helps in building muscles, to repair tissues and supports digestion.
  • Low in fat and free of cholesterol, so it is best for the cardiovascular system.
  • Helps to increase sperm count in men and milk production in lactating mothers.
  • Treats kidney stone problem.
  • It is full of iron essential for pregnant and lactating mothers.
  • Beneficial for adolescents to perform routine tasks.
  • Contain low glycemic index and is hence highly suitable for diabetics.
  • The content of soluble fibre reaches colon cells and allows them to stay healthy, due to which it reduces the risk of cancer.

Why do we need protein?

Proteins are called as macronutrients, since it is an important element of every cell in the body. Protein comes in different forms and performs different functions. Let us see the important functions one by one:

  • Protein is an essential nutrient to build muscles.
  • To break-down food for absorption.
  • Protein makes enzymes, hormones, and other body chemicals.
  • It is essential to carry oxygen around your body.
  • To enhance integrity of bones, organs and the system.
  • Creates antibodies which circulates in the blood and protects against viruses.
  • Helps to form nails and hair.
  • High protein diet helps in reducing weight.
roasted chickpea
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Why are chickpeas a great choice for protein?

The Recommended Dietary Allowance for protein per day for the average sedentary man is 53 grams and for the average sedentary woman is 46 grams.

Chickpeas are great sources of protein. They are also loaded with fibre that keeps you free of hunger for a long time. 1 cup of cooked chickpeas contains 14.5 grams of protein which means 29% of the daily recommended value.

Healthy chickpea recipes

Here are some of the chickpea recipes for you to add in your daily diet plan.

Chickpea patties (suitable for kids and teens)

A traditional Indian snack made with nutritious ingredients.

Preparation time: 30 minutes

Servings: 3 to 4

Ingredients:

  • 250 g dried chickpeas
  • 1 small chopped onion
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • ½ tablespoon all purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon ground coriander
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon red chilli flakes, optional
  • Salt and pepper as needed
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil

Method:

  1. Soak the chickpeas in cold water overnight.
  2. Drain the chickpeas and keep them in a bowl.
  3. Add chopped onion and all other ingredients except oil.
  4. Process the mixture in a food processor. You need to break it down into finer pieces. So you can hand smash them if you do not have a food processor.
  5. Take out the mixture from the bowl.
  6. Roll the mixture into small balls.
  7. Cook them in a tava (flat pan) with little oil. You can also deep fry in hot oil but that is not as healthy as the former option.

Chickpea salad

Cooking time: 10 minutes

Servings: 4

Ingredients:

  • 1 small red onion
  • 1-2 red chillies
  • 2 handfuls ripe tomatoes
  • 1 lemon
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Sea salt
  • Black pepper, freshly ground
  • 4 large handfuls of soaked and cooked chickpeas
  • 1 handful fresh mint
  • 1 handful fresh green basil
  • 100 g feta cheese

Method of cooking:

  1. Peel and slice onion.
  2. Finely slice chillies.
  3. Roughly chop tomatoes.
  4. Mix them with onion and red chillies in a bowl.
  5. Add half a lemon’s juice
  6. Add 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  7. Saute 90% of chickpeas in a pan.
  8. Once hot, switch off and transfer into a bowl.
  9. Mash the remaining chickpeas and add these as well.
  10. Finally garnish with mint, lemon juice and basil.
chickpeas delicious homemade carrot and potato dish
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Germinated or sprouted chickpeas recipe

How to make chickpea sprouts

Method:

  1. Get usual dried chickpeas.
  2. Soak them in water overnight.
  3. Next morning, rinse them well.
  4. Use a big tray and spread them on the tray.
  5. Cover with cloth and leave them for 12 hours / overnight.
  6. Some of the chickpeas will start sprouting.
  7. Rinse the chickpeas gently and again place it on the tray.
  8. Between 12 to 24 hours all chickpeas will sprout.
  9. Store the sprouted chickpeas in the refrigerator and use as and when required.

Once sprouted the nutrient contents are getting increased, protein by about 20%, nucleic acid by 30% and other vitamin by 500%. Also they contain very low glycemic index, so it is more suitable for diabetes. Sprouted chickpeas are easier to digest which in turn promote ability absorb minerals in the food.

Raw sprouted chickpeas can be taken by adding some ingredients. It gives all good things to our health.

chickpea sprouts
Image source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/vegan-baking/5560562958/

Raw sprouted hummus

Ingredients:

  • 1cup sprouted chickpeas
  • 1 tablespoon tahini
  • 1 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 large cloves garlic
  • juice of 1 medium lemon
  • ¼ cup purified water, + more as needed to thin
  • ½ tablespoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoons coriander
  • 2 cayenne pepper, optional
  • Salt to taste

 Method of preparation:

  1. Put sprouted chickpeas into a food processor
  2. Add all the ingredients and water
  3. Blend until becomes creamy
  4. Garnish with coriander and serve
Hummus
© Strykowski | Dreamstime Stock Photos & Stock Free Images

Sprouted chickpeas curry

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup Sprouted chickpeas
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 2 finely chopped green chillies
  • 1 tablespoon chopped ginger
  • 2 tablespoons garlic – finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoon coriander powder
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 tablespoon garam masala powder
  • 1 Onion – chopped
  • 2 Tomatoes – chopped
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 teaspoons refined oil
  • Coriander leaves – 1 tablespoon chopped

Chickpea side dish

Method of cooking:

  1. Wash the sprouted chickpeas and keep aside
  2. Heat oil in a pan
  3. Add cumin seeds once spluttered, add onion, garlic, and chillies
  4. Cook the spices for 5 to 8 minutes in a medium flame
  5. Add coriander powder, turmeric and garam masala
  6. Mix all the ingredients, add tomatoes
  7. Stir well till the tomatoes mix well with other spices
  8. Add chickpeas, 3 cups of water and salt
  9. Cook on medium flame for 15 to 20 minutes till the chickpeas are tender
  10. Garnish with coriander leaves

Chickpea curry can be enjoyed with rotis, rice or bread.

Ramya Srinivasan, PDGBA, earned her Master’s degree in Business. As a result of her passion in native medicine, she got her Diploma in Traditional Siddha Medicine from Bharat Sevak Samaj registered under the Indian Planning Commission. She is certified by Stanford University School of Medicine in Introduction to Food and Health.