Chickpeas Vs Lentils What's The Difference

Chickpeas vs. Lentils: What’s The Difference?

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Chickpeas are delicious, versatile, and cheap. With the rise in veganism and awareness about the advantages of eating plant-based food, more and more people are turning towards chickpeas, lentils and legumes to meet their nutrition needs. And this increase is there for good reasons as Chickpeas and Lentils can provide many essential nutrients and help our bodies maintain positive health and good nutritional status. 

According to a survey published on Statista, India produced around ten million metric tons, and Turkey produced about six lacs, thirty thousand metric tons of chickpeas in 2019. A total of Fourteen million metric tons of Chickpeas were produced throughout the world. According to another survey,  Chickpeas were ranked in the top five pulses sold in the US. 

Survey has also shown that by 2025 the total value of legumes is estimated to reach almost seventy-six billion US dollars. Now that’s a big number! Even though more and more people are starting to use these nutritious foods, there is still some misconception about the difference between them. 

In this article, we are going to do exactly that. We will provide you with relevant information about legumes and Chickpeas to make an informed decision about your diet. So, let’s get started. 

Chickpeas

Chickpeas, also known as garbanzo beans, are seasonal legumes. There are different variants of legumes worldwide, such as Bengal gram and Egyptian beans. You can also buy dried chickpeas from the market, which have a longer shelf life than standard chickpeas.

Chickpeas can also be canned to increase their shelf life. Kabuli and Desi are the two main types of dried chickpeas. These dried chickpeas are green at the time of harvest and then turn tan, speckled, and then brown and black.

Chickpeas have a rich history; it is known to have been cultivated around 9500 years ago in the Middle East. Today, chickpeas are famous in the Middle East and are incorporated in many dishes like Hummus and falafel. Chickpeas are also an integral part of Indian and Pakistani cuisine, where they are used in various dishes, soups, and curry. 

Lentils

Lentil is an edible legume, just like Chickpeas. It is known for its special-shaped seeds. Most of the Lentils produced in the world come from India and Canada, where locals widely use them. 

In fact, Lentils are considered a staple food in Indian cuisine, where they are called daal and are generally cooked into a thick and spicy curry which is eaten with a soft bread known as roti. There are different types of lentils one can buy, and then there are even more varieties within each type. So, it is highly unlikely that you’ll be bored by these delicious and nutritious seeds.

Popular Lentils Types

  • Red-cotyledon: Nipper, Cobber, Nugget, Masoor daal, and red chief, among others. 
  • Small-green or brown-seed coat:Pardina and Verdina (both hail from Spain) and Eston green. 
  • Medium Green or brown Coat: IncludesRichila, Matilda, and Avondale.
  • Large Green or Brown Coat: Boomer, Castellana, Mason, Mosa, Pennell, and Riverland.

Difference Between Chickpeas and Lentils

Despite being essentially the same (Legumes), Chickpeas and Lentils have various factors that set them apart. So, let’s take a look at their differences now.

Nutrition

Lentils and chickpeas have almost the same amount of fiber, non-haem iron, proteins, and potassium. Even though Lentils and Chickpeas have a high amount of calories, Chickpeas have almost 41% more calories than lentils. This difference in calories comes from the higher fat content in chickpeas. Fats provide 9 kcals per gram, and there are about14g of fat in 100g of Chickpeas. 

On the other hand, Lentils have a higher amount of dietary fiber. There are 7.9g of dietary fiber in lentils and 7.6 in Chickpeas. So, we can consider both lentils and Chickpeas to be an excellent source of fiber, which is important because fiber is essential to feed the gut bacteria, help us feel full for longer, prevent constipation, and ease bowel movement. 

As we’ve already mentioned, Chickpeas contain more fat than lentils. But this fat is not harmful, as most of it is unsaturated fat. The amount of saturated fat in both lentils and Chickpeas is low (chickpeas being slightly higher), with 0.05g of saturated fat in 100g of lentils and 0.27g in 100g of Chickpeas.

Chickpeas are also a good source of Vitamin A, while there is essentially no Vitamin A in Lentils. 100g of Chickpeas contain 1ug Vitamin A. Vitamin A is an essential fat-soluble vitamin that is used by our bodies to maintain proper eye health and functioning.

Culinary

Chickpeas are usually used by first soaking them in water for about ten minutes. This ensures that the starch is properly hydrolyzed so the peas can be easier to chew. If you use the dried variety, you need to soak and cook them for longer (One to Two hours). Also, soaking the Chickpeas for twelve to twenty-four hours can shorten the cooking time to thirty minutes. 

Chickpeas are generally used in different types of salads, used in stews, or grounded up and used as flour. This grounded flour can be made into small balls and deep-fried to make falafel, a delicious and vegan-friendly treat that you have to try at least once. You can also make a thick paste from chickpea flour, and you’ll have a delicious serving of Hummus. 

Lentils are prepared and eaten in various ways. You can bake, fry, or boil lentils and make curry. The cooking time for lentils is about ten to forty minutes. 

So What’s the Difference Between Chickpeas and Lentils

  • Lentils are high in unsaturated fats, while Lentils have low amounts of fats.
  • Chickpeas have to be soaked for at least ten minutes, while Lentils can be cooked straight away. 
  • Chickpeas are usually eaten by grounding them up and either making a paste or making small balls and frying them; lentils, on the other hand, can be baked, boiled, or fried. 

Sources