Chickpea (Cicer arietinum)

The information about Chickpea is by no means final and it is being continuously corrected/ updated.

Types of Chickpea:

The varieties of chana or chickpea are separated on the basis the seed size, color and taste. Two of those varieties, namely Kabuli (macrosperma) and Desi(microsperma), as they are termed in India, are very important in terms of usage and commercial purposes.

There are two main kinds of chickpeas commercially.
  • Desi has small, darker seeds and a rough coat and is cultivated mostly in the Indian subcontinent, Ethiopia, Mexico, and Iran .
  • Kabuli has lighter colored, larger seeds and a smoother coat, and is mainly grown in Southern Europe, Northern Africa, Afghanistan, and Chile, and also was introduced during the eighteenth century to the Indian subcontinent.
  • Kabuli (meaning "from Kabul" in Hindi, since they were thought to have come from Afghanistan when first seen in India) is the type widely grown throughout the Mediterranean.
  • Desi (meaning "country" or "local" in Hindi) is also known as Bengal gram or kala chana.
  • 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 markedly higher fiber content than Kabulis and hence a very low glycemic index, which may make them suitable for people with blood sugar problems.
  • The desi type is used to make Chana Dal, which is a split chickpea with the skin removed.
  • Study at ICRISAT, Hydrabad revealed that desi and kabuli types differ in their dietary fiber components of seed both qualitatively and quantitatively.
  • Kabuli types contain higher amount of dietary fiber, particularly cellulose and hemicellulose.

  • Nutrient Values of Chickpeas per 100g
    Calories 164kcal Energy Value 686kj Total Fat 2.59g Carbohydrates 27.42g Sugars 4.80g
    Dietary Fiber 7.6g Protein 8.86g Sodium 7mg Zinc 1.53mg Potassium 291mg
    Iron 2.89mg Magnesium 1.030mg Copper 0.352mg Calcium 49mg Vitamin C 1.3mg
    Vitamin E 0.35mg Vit. B3 (Niacin) 0.526mg Vitamin B6 0.139mg Vit. B1 (Thiamin) 0.116mg Vit. B2 (Riboflavin) 0.063mg

  • Leaf types and their genetics in chickpea (Cicer arietinum L.) R. P. S. Pundir, M. H. Mengesha and K. N. Reddy,Biomedical and Life Sciences