Chickpeas also known as chole in our Indian households are heartily relished by all of us. It is one of the widely prepared dishes in our homes and we all would agree on this that we can’t stop drooling over it. Be it chole bhature, matar kulcha, chole chawal or ragada patties, we find ourselves attracted to this small-sized legume. It is a key ingredient not only in our Indian dishes but it is also an important component of Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cuisines (hummus and falafel). Not just chickpeas but it’s family legumes are equally loved by us, be it Bengal gram, kaala chana, garbanzo beans, cholia, etc.
Nutritional Value of Chickpeas
Chickpeas not only tantalize our taste buds but this magic legume is packed with various nutrients required in our diet:
- Rich in protein, calcium, iron, antioxidants, and potassium
- Great source of carbohydrates, dietary fiber, and folate
- Packed with minerals such as iron and phosphorus
- Consists of Thiamin, Vitamin B, C, E and K, Magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, zinc
The nutritional value of per 100g is:
- Energy- 686 KJ (164 kcal)
- Carbohydrates- 27.42 g
- Dietary fiber- 7.6g
- Fat- 2.59g
- Protein- 8.86g
- Calcium- 49mg
- Iron-2.89 mg
- Zinc-1.53 mg
The cooked form of chickpeas is packed with essential amino acids such as lysine, isoleucine, tryptophan, and total aromatic amino acids.
Chickpeas Benefits for Health
Due to their high nutritive value, kabuli chana has various health benefits:
1. Control Diabetes
Being rich in fiber, it helps to reduce blood sugar levels and is a preferred food to be included in a diabetic meal plan
Also read Yoga for Diabetes.
2. Improve Bone Health
Having elements such as calcium and iron, chickpeas are beneficial for having strong bones. It is a major help for those suffering from bone-related issues.
3. Control Blood Pressure
Being a source of potassium, chole help reduces high blood pressure levels. 4700mg of potassium consumption is recommended for adults. Chickpeas are rich in potassium( 100g contains 291mg of the mineral) and therefore, incorporating it in our diet plan can help us fight against fluctuating blood pressure.
4. Keeps Heart Healthy
Possessing so many nutritional values, kabuli chana is heart-friendly and aids in having a healthy heart. Hence, this makes it ideal to be consumed especially by the patients dealing with cardiovascular troubles.
5. Fight Cancer
Chickpeas contain antioxidants like beta carotene and selenium. They help is flushing out the toxins from the body. Toxins accumulated in the body due to improper metabolism are the main cause of cancer as they damage the cell by free radical mechanism. Hence, it helps in fighting cancer. Because of the beta carotene levels, it is also good for eye health.
6. Lower Cholesterol Level
Making the legume a part of our meal helps reduce the bad cholesterol levels.
7. Prevents Iron Deficiency
Since white chana is rich in iron, it helps to combat iron deficiency. Hence, it is good for anemia and people with low hemoglobin issues.
8. Improves Mental Health
Chole has some parts of choline which are good for the nervous system and efficient functioning of the brain. Hence, having them in our diet will aid in improving our memory, regulating mood swings, and metabolism control.
9. Helps in Weight Loss Journey
This pulse helps in weight loss and is gut-friendly as it is rich in fiber. High fiber content makes us feel full for a longer time and thus, reduces the appetite.
10. Hair and Skin Care
Chickpeas Healthy Recipes of Intake
Hummus- spread or dips?
- 1 cup boiled chickpeas
- Tahini (sesame seeds paste made by blending roasted sesame seeds, olive oil/sesame oil, garlic, and salt)
- 5 chopped garlic/ 1 tbsp garlic paste
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tbsp Virgin olive oil
- Spices- Salt, black pepper, red chili powder/paprika
- Parsley (optional)
Blend all the ingredients to form a medium consistency paste. Sprinkle red chili powder and garnish with parsley. Serve with any bread or use it as a spread for fajitas or wraps or have it as a dip with calzones, falafel, and fritters.
Chickpeas Salad or Chana Chaat
Be it chaat or salad, they can be healthy and yet excite your taste buds too.
- 1 cup boiled chickpeas
- 2 teaspoon lemon juice (choose lemon juice if making a salad)
- Chopped vegetables- onion, tomato, bell peppers, cucumber, carrot
- Spices- salt, black pepper, cumin, chaat masala, red chili powder
- Herbs- coriander, mint leaves
- Optional- Boiled potatoes, spring onion, cottage cheese (paneer)/feta cheese, pomegranate, raw mango or ripe mango, sesame, peanuts, yogurt(choose yogurt if making a chaat), boondi, sev, tamarind chutney, green chutney, salad dressing
To the boiled chickpeas, add the chopped vegetables and other optional ingredients. Then sprinkle the spices as per taste. Finally, end with the lemon juice and garnish with your choice of herbs. Alternatively, you can also prepare the lemon juice dressing. Just add a few drops of olive oil to the lemon juice and the spices and just add this dressing to the salad.
Give our Soup the Chickpea Twist
- Olive oil
- Vegetables- onion, tomatoes, spinach, carrot, bell peppers, zucchini, yellow squash, garlic
- Optional- leeks, celery, coriander, mint, rosemary, thyme, parmesan cheese/butter
- Chickpea stock (the water in which we boiled the chole)
Take 1tbsp olive oil in a pan. Add the garlic, chopped onions, the optional ingredients, and sauté them for a few seconds. Add the zucchini, yellow squash, bell peppers, carrots, and boiled spinach and tomatoes. Add salt and red chili powder. Continue to cook. Add the chickpeas and mix everything well. You can take out some of this mixture for garnishing. Add the chickpea stock.
Stir it well and cover the pan for a few minutes so that the soup is reduced. Blend it well and the soup is ready to be served. Garnish with the kept sautéed veggies, parmesan cheese/butter.
- 1 cup boiled chickpea
- 1 onion, chopped
- 5 cloves of garlic
- Green chilies
- Coriander leaves
- Sesame seeds
- Spices- salt, black pepper, red pepper, cumin powder, coriander powder, chana masala,
- Optional- Bread crumbs (they will help in binding the mixture and in making falafel crispy)
- Olive oil
Blend the boiled chickpea, onions, garlic, green chilies, and coriander to form a coarse paste. Transfer the mixture to a bowl and add sesame seeds and spices. (Add bread crumbs at this stage). Mix everything well. Make small balls or cylinders out of the dough. Deep fry the balls till they turn golden brown. Serve hot with hummus or chickpea salad.
There are a variety of recipes for this small pea. Hence, we suggest making it a part of your meals and relishing it in various ways. Chole can even be the best snacking option as they are healthy and nutritious. They will keep you satiated and won’t let you binge eat on the unhealthy stuff. Soaking them in water overnight and boiling them to consume is preferred as this process leads to the increase in its fiber content. It will also improve the protein content in the legumes and will help in its easy digestion. Chickpea in the flour form can be a great option for vegans and gluten allergic people too.
Did you know that when consumed with vitamin C, the iron absorption by the blood is enhanced?
If you have any unique chickpeas recipes or any fun facts related to them which you would love to share with us, then please comment below.