B Is for Black Chickpeas

updated May 1, 2019
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(Image credit: Kelsey McClellan)

If you’ve ever come across a bag of dried black chickpeas before, you might have thought there was something wrong with them. But no, they’re not moldy. In fact, they’re perfectly wonderful.

Here’s the deal with black chickpeas.

(Image credit: Karissaa)

What Are Black Chickpeas?

Black chickpeas are a rare kind of chickpea found in India and a tiny part of Italy. However, both countries actually grow different varieties. In India, they’re known as kala chana and are smaller than traditional chickpeas, while in Italy, specifically in the southern regions of Puglia and Basilicata, they’re known as ceci neri and are larger than the Indian black chickpeas and even deeper black in color.

Aside from both being slightly nuttier in flavor than more common chickpeas we’re used to, what makes them stand apart is their color. They can be cooked up and used in exactly the same way, and make one unique and striking hummus.

Look for them in Indian and Italian specialty food stores and online.

Have you ever cooked with black chickpeas before?