When conniving Mughal upstart Aurangzeb imprisoned his father, Emperor Shah Jehan, in Agra Fort in 1657, he told him he could choose just one thing to eat every day for the rest of his life. The old man chose chick peas because the prison cook told him he would be able to make something different every day of the year.
There are many health benefits to eating chickpeas. Their high protein content is perfect for those wishing to replace red meat in their diet. Chickpeas are also high in fiber and help to lower cholesterol. Then came ‘Chana Bhatura’
Today, chickpeas are popular among all parts of the world, more so in North Africa, Spain and India, where the chickpea is a staple for India’s largely vegetarian cuisine.
Cooking with Chickpeas
Today, chickpeas are used in a large variety of recipes. By themselves they can be used in salads, soups or stews, or as a quick snack. In India, where the chickpea is known as “chana”, a large number of recipes are based on the chickpea. The chickpea is the main ingredient in many Middle Eastern dishes, like falafel, where it is ground and shaped into balls, and in hummus, where is is cooked, ground and made into a dip.