Chickpeas are snacks known since the Neolithic era
The origin of chickpeas is from the Middle East. Today, they are one of the basic foods in many cuisines of the world (especially vegetarian and macrobiotic cuisine). They belong to the group of legumes. The seeds are light brown in color (similar to soybeans or dried peas). In the diet, it is used as a stew, an addition to other vegetables for the preparation of very tasty salads and dishes, as well as spreads. In the East, very tasty pastries are made from chickpea flour, or flour (to a certain extent (10-20%) is mixed with wheat flour, resulting in a highly sought-after mixture for bread (pastries). The most popular chickpea specialty is fried chickpea seeds (which are snacked like pumpkin or sunflower seeds).
Nutritional value of chickpeas
These legumes have very few calories (115 per 100 grams) and are full of nutrients. Dry chickpeas contain 20% protein. That is why they are an important addition to the diet of vegetarians, even though these proteins are not complete (because they lack some amino acids that are found in fish and meat). Chickpeas are relatively rich in lecithin, potassium and magnesium and have small amounts of vitamins A, B, C and E. We should mention a significant amount of cellulose fibers which are important for digestion.
Aphrodisiac effect of chickpeas
There is an old Arabic recipe for potency stimulation. It is applied during winter days just before going to sleep. A mixture of honey, garlic powder, crushed chickpeas and water is made. In a book from the 16th century, it is written that chickpeas are not recommended for priests and schoolchildren because they have an aphrodisiac effect. A German writer wrote in 1793 that ground roasted chickpeas are the best substitute for coffee. Even today, in some parts of the world, chickpeas are used more for preparing coffee than for preparing food. In eastern Sicily, chickpeas are prepared according to a 1000-year-old recipe. Namely, chickpeas are placed together with hot stones in the same container. The mixture is stirred until the chickpeas are baked from the heat.
One of the older names of chickpeas is “Falcon’s face”.
Chickpeas are popular in the Middle East, India, Mediterranean countries and the United States. It is believed that the oldest chickpeas were found near Burdur (Turkey). It is not known for sure whether they were grown or gathered in nature. Chickpeas were found in Iraq, Crete and Cyprus. Elblebias are known to have been grown in the Hanging Gardens of Babylon. On a papyrus from the period of the last great Egyptian pharaohs (known as the New Kingdom) the list of plants includes chickpeas known as “falcon’s face”.
Preparation of chickpeas (chickpeas should always be pre-soaked in water overnight)
Chickpeas can be bought dried or canned. Chickpeas dried in the traditional way are more economical because they can be stored indefinitely, while canned chickpeas have a shelf life of 5 years. Dried chickpeas are cheaper, but canned are more practical for quick meal preparation. Namely, before use, dried chickpeas should be washed in a few drops of water, then drained, then submerged in a larger container and covered with cold water. They should be left submerged overnight. Pour out that water the next day, pour in fresh and cold water. Cook on low heat until the water boils. Leave on the fire for another 30 to 60 minutes to soften the chickpeas. For people who don’t have time, soak the chickpeas overnight. In the morning, put the chickpeas in cold water and cook until boiling, then another hour. Express pot is great for preparing chickpeas. The cooking time is much shorter (although the chickpeas should still be submerged in water and overnight. The cooking time in the pressure cooker is 10 to 15 minutes. Many recipes recommend that the chickpeas be cooked in water with one small spoonful of baking soda. This is however necessary only if the chickpeas have been stored for a long time.