Kala Chana - Cicer Arietinum

Kala Chana   ( Cicer Arietinum )

Description
The chickpea (Cicer arietinum) is a legume of the family Fabaceae, subfamily Faboideae. Its seeds are high in protein. It is one of the earliest cultivated legumes: 7,500-year-old remains have been found in the Middle East.

Other common names for the species include garbanzo bean, ceci bean, sanagalu, chana, hummus and Bengal gram.

The plant grows to between 20–50 cm (8–20 inches) high and has small feathery leaves on either side of the stem. Chickpeas are a type of pulse, with one seedpod containing two or three peas. It has white flowers with blue, violet or pink veins. Chickpeas need a subtropical or tropical climate with more than 400 millimetres (16 in) of annual rain. They can be grown in a temperate climate but yields will be much lower.

Uses
Chickpeas and Bengal grams are used to make curries and are one of the most popular vegetarian foods in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and the UK. On the Indian subcontinent, green chickpeas are called Chana in Gujarati Harbharaa in Marathi, while other varieties are known as Kadale Kaalu in Kannada, Chanagalu in Telugu, chana in Hindi and other related languages, small brown peas are called Chhola and the whitish bigger variety is called Kabuli Chhola in Bengali and Konda Kadalai in Tamil, where they are a major source of protein in a mostly vegetarian culture. Typically Chana in Hindi and Punjabi might refer to both varieties, as might chhole, but the former is more the green hard small variety while the latter is the large creamy softer one and also the more popular dish served around the region at home and at celebrations.


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