Chickpeas, description and useful properties in medicine and cooking

Chickpea is a plant that has been cultivated in culture for so long that it is quite difficult to accurately determine the date of its domestication. The plant got to the territory of Greece and Rome in the Bronze Age, and even then several varieties were grown at once. For several millennia, not only the nutritional qualities of the chickpea culture have been used, but also useful properties.


  • Botanical description of plants from the genus Chickpea
  • Why are mutton chickpeas grown?
  • Chickpeas in official and traditional medicine
  • Chickpea in cooking

Botanical description of plants from the genus Chickpea

According to the classification, chickpeas are a genus of plants from the legume family. The life form is an annual herb, although there are also semi-shrub perennials. The roots and rhizomes are strong enough. Stems in perennial varieties are highly branched, numerous, in annuals - erect, branching most often from the middle of the shoot. Very often they have dense pubescence. The leaves of most representatives are small, the edge of the leaf blade with denticles, can be located both in pairs and not in pairs.

The flowers are white, light pink or blue. The shape of the flower, like that of most legumes, resembles a moth. The pods of the plant are oval, swollen, and have hairy pubescence. Opened with two flaps. Inside are rounded seeds. There can be from 1 to 4 pieces. The surface of the seeds in most species is slightly wrinkled or warty, somewhat similar to the surface of the hazelnut. The genus includes several dozen species of chickpea, including:

  • Dzungarian
  • tiny
  • barbed
  • anatolian

The most famous species is mutton chickpeas or chickpeas. It is this species that is usually grown in culture and then used for food.

Why mutton chickpeas are grown

Chickpea mutton is actively grown in many countries. The leader in the production of chickpeas is India; over the past decade, the production of chickpeas in this country has doubled. This is due to both suitable climatic conditions, a very warm climate with a large number of sunny days and little rainfall, and the fact that some part of the population adheres to a vegetarian diet, and chickpeas are quite capable of replacing animal products.

Although the white-seeded varieties are larger, brown chickpeas are most commonly grown in India. Mainly small brown-skinned desi chana grows here.

After India, the leadership in cultivation belongs to Pakistan, Australia and Turkey. Light chickpeas with large seeds - kabuli chana - are more popular here. Hulled brown chickpeas or chana dala have a very low glycemic index, which makes them indispensable in the diet of people with diabetes. In terms of protein content, chickpea is inferior to other legumes, but its proteins are absorbed by the body almost completely. In addition, the benefits of chickpeas are due to the content:

  • phosphorus
  • potassium
  • calcium
  • gland
  • sulfur
  • cobalt
  • zinc

Even a very modest amount of boiled chickpeas can provide the daily need for essential amino acids, folic acid and other useful and nutrients. The high fiber content helps to improve bowel function. In terms of protein content, chickpeas are not inferior to meat. Moreover, the difference between white and brown varieties in composition is insignificant.

Thanks to the content of nutrients and nutrients, chickpea is growing in popularity around the world. Since about 2005, his plantations have appeared in the United States and Canada. For cultivation on the territory of Russia and the CIS countries, special varieties of chickpea have been bred:

  • Coloring
  • Pegasus
  • Rosana
  • Dobrobut
  • Triumph

Chickpeas in official and traditional medicine

From ancient times to the present day, the beneficial properties of chickpea have been actively used in folk medicine. Currently, traditional medicine does not deny the benefits of chickpea. First of all, the beans themselves and products made from them are recommended by doctors for medical nutrition for diabetes and gluten intolerance. Chickpea dishes also help to avoid iron deficiency, including for expectant mothers. In folk medicine, chickpeas are used:

  • for eye diseases
  • to cleanse the body
  • when coughing

It is believed that regular consumption of chickpeas is a preventive measure against eye cataracts. For prevention, it is enough to use soaked chickpea seeds. To do this, pour half a glass of chickpeas with a glass of water in the evening and keep warm until morning. During this time, the chickpeas will become soft and will have the maximum positive effect on the body.

To treat bronchitis, you need to take a glass of crushed chickpeas and boil it in water. Take two liters of water, cook the stew for half an hour. After that, put butter in it, season with radish and celery juice. Take during the day in small portions at regular intervals.

It is important to know that treatment with chickpeas has contraindications. First of all, this applies to old age and individual intolerance. In addition, it is not recommended to use chickpeas and people with diseases of the bladder, kidneys, gallbladder during an exacerbation. Healthy people can and should include chickpea dishes in their diet.

Chickpea in cooking

You can use chickpeas in cooking in the same way as ordinary peas, cook soups from them and cook porridge. You can surprise loved ones with a salad using sprouted chickpeas. To do this, you need to germinate the chickpeas by soaking them in water for the first night. On the second day, the beans must be rinsed and folded into a colander, covered with a cotton or linen napkin dipped in water.

Keep for another 12 - 14 hours. Such chickpeas can already be considered sprouted, then keep in the refrigerator, rinsing it daily. In the early days, add fresh to salads. On the 5th - 7th day, when the chickpeas have already sprouted solid sprouts, you can cook soup from it. To prepare a vegetable salad from raw vegetables and sprouted chickpeas, you need to take:

  • a tomato
  • lettuce leaf
  • clove of garlic
  • a couple of tablespoons of sprouted chickpeas
  • salt

Cut a tomato, tear a lettuce with your hands, crush the garlic, put the chickpeas. Season with salt to taste and season with oil and lemon juice. This dish is ideal for people who follow a regular diet as well as a vegetarian and raw food diet. When preparing baked goods on fast days, eggs can be replaced with a decoction of chickpeas.

When making any dishes from chickpeas, it is important to remember that it needs to be soaked for several hours, this will not only reduce the cooking time, but also reduce the unpleasant phenomena associated with excessive gas formation. In addition, you should not drink water immediately after chickpea dishes.

Video on how to cook chickpeas:

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