The plant grows to 20–50 cm (8–20 in) 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.
Several varieties of chickpea are cultivated throughout the world. Desi chana closely resembles both seeds found on archaeological sites and the wild plant ancestor of domesticated chickpeas, Cicer reticulatum, which only grows in southeast Turkey, where chickpeas are believed to have originated.
Cicers farm in the area of Jamthi Kh. village in Hingoli Taluka, Maharashtra on Deccan Plateau
Desi chana has small, darker seeds and a rough coat. They are grown mostly in India and other parts of the Indian subcontinent, as well as in Ethiopia, Mexico, and Iran. Desi means “country” or “native” in Hindustani; its other names include kala chana (“black chickpea” in both Hindi and Urdu) or chholaa boot. Desi chana can be black, green or speckled. This variety is hulled and split to make chana dal.
Garbanzo beans or ‘kabuli’ chana are lighter-coloured, larger, and with a smoother coat, and are mainly grown in the Mediterranean, Southern Europe, Northern Africa, South America, and the Indian subcontinent. The name means “from Kabul” in Hindi and Urdu, and this variety was thought to come from Kabul, Afghanistan, when it was introduced to India in the 18th century. An uncommon black chickpea, ceci neri, is grown only in Apulia, in southeastern Italy. It is around the same size as garbanzo beans, being both larger and darker than the ‘desi’ variety.
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