Garbanzo bean…chickpea, delicious either way

The garbanzo bean and chickpea are the 2 names for the Cicer arietinum, a member of the Pea family, Fabaceae. It is also referred to as ceci by Italian, Cicer by Armenians, Egyptian pea, Bengal gram by Hindis, Kichererbse by Germans, and revithia by Greeks. Garbanzo is the name used in Spanish speaking countries. The English name chickpea comes from the French chiche, which comes from the Latin cicer.

The garbanzo bean or chickpea is the most widely consumed legume in the world. Originating in the Middle East, this bean has a firm texture with a flavor somewhere between chestnuts and walnuts. The garbanzo bean we find here in North America is usually pale yellow in color and comes available in dried form and canned. In India you’ll find variations of red, black, and brown.

A fresh garbanzo bean in the pod is something to be truly enjoyed. The experience will entice all your senses, I promise. The pop of the bean pod, the pluck of the fresh bean from the root, the crunch of the tender bean, the fresh burst of flavor of the bean that actually tastes like green should – and much like the flavor of fresh fava beans. Experience it, you must.



There are 2 main kinds of chickpeas: Desi and Kabuli. Desi which is a smaller, darker seed with a rough coat cultivate mainly in Mexico, Iran and Ehtiopia. Kabuli is a much lighter and larger seed cultivated mainly in Pakistan, North Africa, and Chile.


Soak dry garbanzo beans in water, overnight, to help them bloom. This will help them cook faster. The fresh beans from their pods are quite delicious on their own – much like fava beans and of course they can also be cooked.



Summer time is when you’ll find the fresh garbanzo beans in their pods; dry and canned beans, you can find throughout the year.


Best Cooking Method(s)

The dry beans are typically covered with cold water, and boiled on medium-high heat, until soft.


Popular dishes

Garbanzo beans have earned their popularity from the much adored Middle Eastern dishes like hummus and falafel, as well as Indian curries. Great in dips, salads, soups, and stews.

Key nutritional attributes

This bean is rich in potassium, protein, phosphorus, good carbs, protein, and iron.

Complementary Ingredient Guide:

(ingredients in bold text are most compatible)        

Herb Garden & Spice Rack

Aleppo pepper, cayenne, cinnamon, cilantro (coriander), cloves, cumin, curry, fennel, garam masala, greens (arugula, spinach), mint, parsley (flat-leaf), rosemary, saffron, sage, thyme

Vegetable & FruitGarden

Vegetables:  carrots, garlic, ginger, lemon (and preserved), olives (black), onions, peppers (especially red, chile, jalapeno), raisins, scallions, tomatoes (and sun-dried)


Dairy Farm


Stocks & Consumes

Pasta & Legumes



lamb, pork, ham, prosciutto



Fish & Shellfish



apple cider, beer

Condiments & Miscellaneous

olive oil(especially extra virgin), sesame seeds, tahini, tamarind, vinegar (apple, red wine, balsamic)

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