One of the most popular and widely used legumes in the Middle Eastern diet is the chickpea. Chickpeas are also called garbanzo beans in Spanish cooking and ceci beans in Italian. They have a buttery texture and nutty taste.
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. 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.
Chickpeas are a helpful source of zinc, folate, calcium and protein Chickpeas are low in fat and most of it is polyunsaturated. . 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.