Chickpeas are grown in the Mediterranean, Western Asia, the Indian subcoNtinent and Australia. Mature chickpeas can be cooked and eaten cold in salads, cooked in stews, ground into a flour called gram flour (also known as chickpea flour snd besan and used frequently in Indian cuisine), ground and shaped in balls and fried as falafel, stirred into a batter and baked to make farinata.
Chickpeas flour is also used to make “Burmese Tofu” which was first known among the Shan people of Burma. The flour is used as a batter to coat various vegetables and meats before frying, such as with panelle, a chickpea fritter from Sicily. Chickpeas flour is also used to make the Mediterranean flatbread socca, and a patty called Panisse in Provence, southern France, made of cooked chickpea flour poured into saucers, allowed to set, cut in strips, and fried in olive oil, often eaten during Lent. Chickpeas(Cicer arietinum)do not cause lathyrism. Similarly named “chickling peas”(Lathyrus sativus)and other plants of the genus Lathyrus contain the toxins associated with lathyrism.