Know about Whole Bengal Gram in English and known as काला चना in Hindi.
Whole Bengal gram or kala chana is a variety of chickpeas that is used in many cuisines all over the world. But it is most commonly used in India. They are small, dark brown in color and very rich in protein. From sprouted grams till maturity, they are eaten in all stages of their growth
It is high in protein, and has a low glycemic index. It contains a good amount of iron, sodium and selenium in addition to small doses of manganese, copper and zinc. A handful of Bengal gram is a very good source of fibre and folic acid.
Uses And Nutritive Value
- Cicer is a multipurpose pulse crop.
- Its leaves are largely used as vegetables,
- The grain being eaten raw or boiled as a vegetable, spiced and cooked.
- The grain is also parched and eaten.
- When ripe, the grain is split into pulse or dal and eaten variously as usual, bhajias, chutney, puran-poli or in sweets-like mysore-pak or as phutanas (parched gram).
- The grain is largely fed to horses and the leaves and stalks are dried and used as fodder for cattle.
- Animals thrive well on this wholesome diet which helps to build muscle strength.
- Roasted gram alone or in combination with popped rice is commonly eaten in South India.
- It is well known that pulses form a very important item of dietary all over India, being a good source of protein, especially in the vegetarian diet.
- Much has also often been said about the inadequacy of certain nutrients in the diet of major portion of the population, stressing the need for an improvement in the quality of grain.
- The basis of a nutritional assessment of any pulse is known to be governed by
- (i) the amount of its total protein content
- (ii) its biological value,
- (iii) its digestibility,
- (iv) net protein value,
- (v) the essential amino acids, viz. cystine, tyrosine, tryptophane and histidine and
- (vi) vitamin and mineral contents.
- Naturally, the different pulses differ in these important constituents.
- On a consideration of the contents of all these constituents,
- Bengal gram (Cicer arietinum) and black gram (Phaseolus mungo) have been assigned a higher order of nutritive merit, green gram (Phaseolus aureus), lentil (Lens esculenta) and soybean (Glycine max) being the next best. Then follow red gram (Cajanus cajan) and the horse gram (Dolichos biflorus), the rest being comparatively, inferior, mainly lacking in their biological value and not protein.
- A good study of the range of vitamin content of the various pulses is, however, still wanting.
- Whereas, the above is a broad comparison of the nutritive value of individual pulses, the innumerable species, varieties and forms thereof are further likely to afford considerable variation in each or some of these constituents.
- As the protein content was found to be higher in the case of the grain reaped from alluvial soil, it appears that the fertility status of the soil has considerable effect on the protein content of the grain as is often
- evidenced with better fertilization.
- In India, maximum area under Bengal Gram is in Madhyapradesh (3.13million ha) followed by Rajasthan 1.25 million ha.
- The maximum Bengal Gram production was in Madhya Pradesh followed by Uttar Pradesh with 3.55 & 1.27million tonnes respectively.