Chickpeas (Cicer arietinum) are legumes and are roughly the size of hazelnuts.
The plant bearing them produces short, hairy pods containing the seeds.
They originated in ancient Mesopotamia and have been cultivated since around 5000 B.C. From there, they spread to the Mediterranean, India and Asia.
They were eventually introduced to Europe through Spain, where they are called garbanzos.
Chickpeas are a favourite of Asian, Middle Eastern and vegetarian cuisine, found in hummus and falafel.
Chickpeas can be ground to a fine powder, which is known as gram flour. It is full of protein and is used to thicken soups or mixed with water to form a batter for dosai.
Chickpeas are a rich source of minerals and vitamins.
Gram flour's absorbency helps to control moisture, making it ideal in dusting powders.