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When it comes to research papers I have done had to write them about worse things. I really like chickpeas and have always had a soft spot for hummus. This paper is an extra part of another assignment that I had for my Contemporary Cuisine Class. I have always liked extra credit assignments just as much as I have hated doing the extra work. There are times when I don’t want to do the extra credit but I have this thing about blank spots or -/100 in assignment lists that I just can’t stand. Regardless of this fact I still do the extra work and when it comes to assignments that are about things I like it makes it that much easier. Sit back and enjoy the chickpeas Chef Fan’s…


Garbanzo beans (also known as chickpeas, Bengal grams, and Egyptian peas) have a delicious nutlike taste and buttery texture. They provide a concentrated source of protein that can be enjoyed year-round and are available either dried or canned. The Latin name for garbanzo beans, Cicer arietinum, means “small ram,” reflecting the unique shape of this legume that somewhat resembles a ram’s head. A very versatile legume, they are a noted ingredient in many Middle Eastern and Indian dishes such as hummus, falafels and curries.

There are two basic types of garbanzo beans. Most commonly seen at salad bars and in canned products are the “kabuli-type.” These beans are cream-colored or sometimes whitish in color, fairly uniform and rounded in shape, and about twice as large as the second “desi-type.” In addition to being much smaller, desi-type beans are darker (light tan to black in color) and more irregular in shape. From a botanical standpoint, the desi-type beans also have a thicker seed coat (the seed coat is the protective outermost layer of the bean). While kabuli-type beans are the ones we are accustomed to finding in U.S. salad bars and grocery stores, they actually represent only 10-20% of the garbanzo beans consumed worldwide, where the vast majority of garbanzos are desi-type beans. There are great health benefits from both types of garbanzos. However, in the case of some nutrients – including some antioxidant nutrients like quercetin, kaempferol and myricetin – desi-type beans provide more concentrated nutrient amounts since these nutrients are found in the seed coat and this seed coat is thicker in desi-type beans.


Garbanzo beans originated in the Middle East, the region of the world whose varied food cultures still heavily rely upon this high protein legume. The first record of garbanzo beans being consumed dates back about seven thousand years. They were first cultivated around approximately 3000 BC. Their cultivation began in the Mediterranean basin and subsequently spread to India and Ethiopia.

Garbanzo beans were grown by the ancient Egyptians, Greeks and Romans and were very popular among these cultures. During the 16th century, garbanzo beans were brought to other subtropical regions of the world by both Spanish and Portuguese explorers as well as Indians who emigrated to other countries. Today, the main commercial producers of garbanzos are India, Pakistan, Turkey, Ethiopia and Mexico.

The Healthiest Way of Cooking Garbanzo Beans

To cook the garbanzo beans, you can either cook them on the stovetop or use a pressure cooker. For the stovetop method, add three cups of fresh water or broth for each cup of dried garbanzo beans. The liquid should be about one to two inches above the top of the legumes. Bring them to a boil, and then reduce the heat to simmer, partially covering the pot. If any foam develops, skim it off during the simmering process. Garbanzo beans generally take about one to one and one-half hours to become tender using this method. If the beans are still hard and no more water remains, add 1 cup of hot water and continue to cook until soft.

If you are running short on time, you can always use canned beans in your recipes. If the garbanzo beans have been packaged with salt or other additives, simply rinse them after opening the can to remove these unnecessary additions. Canned beans need to only be heated briefly for hot recipes while they can be used as is for salads or prepared cold dishes like hummus.

A Few Quick Serving Ideas

  • Puree garbanzo beans, olive oil, fresh garlic, tahini and lemon juice to make a quick and easy hummus spread.
  • Sprinkle garbanzo beans with your favorite spices and herbs and eat as a snack.
  • Add garbanzo beans to your green salads.
  • Make a Middle Eastern-inspired pasta dish by adding garbanzo beans to penne mixed with olive oil, feta cheese and fresh oregano.
  • Simmer cooked garbanzo beans in a sauce of tomato paste, curry spices, and chopped walnuts and serve this dahl-type dish with brown rice.
  • Adding garbanzo beans to your vegetable soup will enhance its taste, texture and nutritional content.

Nutritional Profile

Both the seed coat (outer layer) and cotyledon (large main inner portion) of garbanzo beans contain a wealth of phytonutrients. The outer seed coat can be concentrated in flavonoids, including quercetin, kaempferol, and myricetin. The interior of the beans is typically rich in ferulic acid, chlorogenic acid, caffeic acid, and vanillic acid. All of these phytonutrients function as antioxidants, and many also function as anti-inflammatory nutrients. Garbanzo beans are an excellent source of sulfite-detoxifying molybdenum and energy-producing manganese. They are also a very good source of heart-healthy folate and a good source of muscle-building protein, digestive-supportive dietary fiber, antioxidant-promoting copper, and energy-producing phosphorus and iron. The fiber in garbanzo beanss is mostly insoluble, and it has been shown to undergo conversion into short chain fatty acids (SCFAs) in the large intestine and provide support for our digestive tract in that way.

Works Cited

“Chickpea (garbanzo Bean).” Chickpea. Web. 23 Apr. 2012. <http://www.hort.purdue.edu/newcrop/afcm/chickpea.html&gt;.

“Chickpea.” Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 23 Apr. 2012. Web. 23 Apr. 2012. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chickpea&gt;.

“Chickpeas or Garbanzo Beans (Cicer arietinum).” About.com Archaeology. Web. 23 Apr. 2012. <http://archaeology.about.com/od/domestications/qt/chickpeas.htm&gt;.

“Nutrition Facts.” And Analysis for Chickpeas (garbanzo Beans, Bengal Gram), Mature Seeds, Cooked, Boiled, without Salt. Web. 23 Apr. 2012. <http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/legumes-and-legume-products/4326/2&gt;.

The World’s Healthiest Foods. Web. 23 Apr. 2012. <http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&gt;.


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2 Comments on “Chickpeas”

  1. Tori April 26, 2012 at 1:25 pm #

    Really craving hummus now!


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