The chickpea (Cicer arietinum) is a yellow edible legume (bean). It can be used for cooking. The peas can be bought canned or dried. It was one of the earliest fruits to be grown. The first chickpea was grown in the Middle East about 7,500 years ago.
The most popular place for chickpeas to grow is in Pakistan. In 2008, nearly 6 million tonnes of chickpeas were produced there. Because the growth is so popular there, it is also known as the Indian pea.
The dried bean is boiled and served whole or mashed, such as in the popular dish hummus. Chickpeas are ground into a flour, called "besan" or "gram" flour, used in South Asian cooking.