Selection and storage
Harvesting may be undertaken mechanically once the whole plant and seed-pods turn yellow and dried under the sun. Threshing and winnowing methods are applied for seed separation. Unlike as in other long bean varieties, seed dispersal is not common in chickpeas.
In the markets, choose dried garbanzo beans. The seed color would not come in the way of quality. In the US markets, dried chickpea in bulk bins, canned, sprouted, flour available in the supermarkets all year round.
At home, store dry garbanzo beans in an air-seal plastic/metallic bin in a cool, dry place away from high temperatures and humidity.
Young tender chickpea pods are also a delicacy and treated much like vegetables in India (hara chana). Green chick-peas store for short periods. To enjoy, use them soon after the purchase.
Preparation and serving ideas
Soak chickpeas for 6-10 hours before cooking. They can be left to soak overnight and ready for cooking the next day. This reduces the cooking time by about 1 hour. In the pressure cooker, soaked peas cooked for 20-25 minutes and without soaked, for 35-40 minutes.
Green chickpeas picked when their pods are not yet dry, are shelled, and can be eaten raw or cooked as vegetable beans. The mature seeds, fresh, or dried are prepared in the same way as other legumes. Unlike most other beans, however, they do not disintegrate when cooked.
Here are some serving tips:
Boiled dry garbanzo beans are used in a variety of appetizers, soups, dips and main dishes.
Boiled beans are delicious cold in mixed salads or pureed.
Whole and split chickpeas (chana dal) are popular ingredients in curry preparation which served on rice. Choley or chana masala is one of the most popular dish served with roti, or kulcha in India, Bangladesh, Nepal and Pakistan.
Hummus is a Middle-eastern specialty dip prepared with boiled, mashed chickpeas, mixed with tahini and olive oil.
Falafel (special bean croquettes) is a Egyptian preparation based on chickpeas.
They are also items in several specialties from the south of France, in particular, its stews and hot pot dishes. Puchero is a Mexican hot pot dish and cocido madrilèno is a Spanish chickpea-based stew.
Chickpeas are one of the traditional ingredients in couscous dish.
Chickpeas can be roasted or sprouted. Its flour (besan) is especially used for batters, unleavened breads and flatbreads.
Roasted chickpeas (bhuna chana), salted or unsalted, are often eaten as snacks in the same manner as peanuts in the Indian subcontinent.
Chickpea rarely causes food allergy. However, they often cause gaseous stomach distension and mild stomachache.
Methionine, the limiting amino acid, is deficient in them which could easily be compensated with the combination of rice/wheat in the food. (Medical disclaimer)
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