- Chholia is a desi favourite and can be cooked or eaten raw
- Hara chana is cooked in pulavs and curries
- Hara chana contains protein and essential vitamins
One of the parts about winters is the plethora of seasonal vegetables that it brings along with it. Apart from a number of winter greens, there's a whole range of winter vegetables that can be used in many different ways. From broccoli, green peas, spinach, fenugreek greens, bathua leaves and mustard greens to carrots and beetroots, winter is a season of healthy low-calorie vegetables. But there is one vegetable that is not talked about a lot - green chickpeas. Also known as chholia or hare chaney, green chickpeas are a desi favourite and are cooked in vegetarian and meat curries, as well as a number of traditional recipes, including chholia pulav (spiced vegetable rice dish containing cooked chholia).
If you haven't sampled this nutritious and delicious winter vegetable, then a trip to your local grocers will allow you to acquaint yourselves with the tiny green chickpeas that are often sold along with the branches that they grow on. They are plucked from the branches and then their soft and fuzzy outer covering is removed to reveal the tiny young chana, which can even be enjoyed raw. They are basically the young, fresh forms of the garbanzo beans or mature chickpeas that we enjoy during the rest of the year.
Also Read: 10 Best Indian Winter Vegetable Recipes
Green Chickpeas Benefits For Winter
Hara chana, or choliya, is quite a healthy food to include in your winter diet. Here are some benefits of consuming green chickpeas during winters:
1. Rich In Protein: Just like their mature counterparts, green chickpeas are rich in protein, which is a satiating macronutrient, important for boosting muscle growth.
2. Rich In Vitamins: Green chickpeas are a rich source of vitamins A and C, which are both important during winters, as they have antioxidant properties. Both help in boosting immunity and maintaining skin health.
3. Rich In Folate: Green chickpeas are also rich in vitamin B9 or folate, which is important during winters to fight low mood. Folate is known to fight depressive symptoms, which may be triggered by Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) or Winter Blues - a condition characterised by depressive phases during the winters.
There are a number of different ways of consuming hara chana during winters. You can mash the tender chickpeas and add them to your parathas, or use them in salads as well as in rice and meat dishes. Make sure you add this wonderful vegetable to your winter diet before it goes out of season!
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