Chickpea, also called garbanzo bean or Bengal gram, annual plant of the pea family, widely grown for its nutritious seeds.

Chickpeas are an important food plant in India, Africa, and Central and South America. The seeds are high in fibre and protein and are a good source of iron, phosphorus, and folic acid.

The bushy 60-cm plants bear feathery pinnately compound leaves. The small white or reddish flowers often have distinctive veins in blue or purple and are usually self-pollinated. The yellow-brown or dark green beans are borne one or two to a pod. There are large- and small-seeded varieties. Like other legumes, such as lentils, chickpeas are rich in fiber and protein. They also contain several key vitamins and minerals.

Chickpeas contain a range of nutrients, including protein, which is necessary for bone, muscle, and skin health. For people who are cutting down on meat consumption, a dish of chickpeas and rice, for example, can contribute a significant amount of protein to the diet. A cup of chickpeas provides almost one-third Trusted Source of an adult’s daily protein needs

 In southern Europe and Latin America, chickpeas are a common ingredient in soups, salads, and stews. A kind of meal or flour is also made from chickpeas and can be used to make a flatbread known as socca or mixed with wheat or other flours for baking.

chickpeas mashed to a paste with lemon juice, olive oil, and tahini (sesame paste)—is widely eaten in the Middle East as a sauce and dip for bread. Mashed cooked chickpeas are formed into small flat cakes or balls and fried for falafel, a popular Middle Eastern dish. As with other legumes, chickpeas have a symbiotic association with nitrogen-fixing bacteria and can be rotated with nitrogen-intensive crops such as cereals to improve soil conditions.