My mother told me since childhood that the black chickpea is among the healthiest foods. In fact her parents who suffered from diabetes included black chick peas in their diet daily in one form or another. My mother could not explain to me why the black chickpea was so special, but just said the doctor prescribed this to her parents to keep their blood sugars in control from the time their diabetes was diagnosed nearly 60 years ago.
It wasn’t until much later, about five years ago that a patient of mine, a Caucasian middle aged man with brittle diabetes who asked me where he could buy black chickpeas. At the time I was working as a nurse in Denver, Colorado (U.S.A.). This gentleman told me that this particular kind of chickpea is among the best foods for diabetes because of its’ very low glycemic index. I was stunned to hear what he said which validated what my mother had been saying all along.
Since then, I became a believer in this wonderful food that my grandparents depended on for managing their diabetes. I now regularly make black chick peas in. This chickpea is pervasive in Indian cuisine. Here is a recipe I created by sprouting the black chickpea.
The black chickpea, also known as kala chana or Bengal gram is delicious and can be found essentially in every Indian grocery store. This chickpea is a powerhouse of nutrients, rich in protein, dietary fiber and complex carbohydrates as well as vitamins and minerals. The black chickpea is commonly associated with a healthy diet in India and is rock-bottom low in its glycemic index (GI). The GI of the black chickpea is unbelievably low, just 5. Foods low in GI are highly desirable for managing diabetes and sustainable weight loss because they produce little fluctuations in the blood glucose and insulin levels.
Sprouted Black Chickpea & Potato Cakes
- · 2 cups sprouted black chickpeas
- · 2 medium potatoes boiled and peeled
- · 2 Tbsp cilantro chopped
- · 1-2 small spicy green chilies chopped
- · Water
- · Salt to taste
- · Freshly ground black pepper to taste
- · 2 Tbsp Canola oil
Blend the black chickpea sprouts in a food processor, adding just enough water (1-2 Tbsp) to blend well. Transfer the blended sprouts in a mixing bowl and mash in the potatoes with a fork. Mix together all the ingredients, except the oil. Shape the mixture into 6 cm diameter cakes of 2 cm thickness. Pat them into shape firmly and leave to rest in the refrigerator for 20 minutes. Heat a non-stick pan, pour in the oil and pan-fry the cakes on both sides on medium heat until they have a crisp, brown surface.
Serve these cakes with a variety of chutneys, either as an appetizer or as a nice light meal with a side salad.
I hope you will try the amazing black chickpea to fuel your yoga workouts.
Neeru (200 hrs July/Aug 2013)