Black Chickpeas Are The Ingredient You Should Be Adding To All Your Salads

Adding chickpeas to salads is nothing new. In fact, Jennifer Aniston had to dispel rumors last year that a salad receiving a lot of publicity and containing an entire can of chickpeas was not identical to the version she routinely ate on set while working on "Friends." Apparently, as she explained to Elle, she would never put that many chickpeas in a salad.

Some TikTok videos, like this one, detail the "Jennifer Aniston Salad" and they usually contain chickpeas, also known as garbanzo beans. According to the Cleveland Clinic, chickpeas are a legume that is high in nutrients and offers several health benefits like promoting weight control and cardiovascular health. If you're already adding those recognizable, yellowish chickpeas to your salads and reaping some of the health benefits, you may be interested to find out there is another chickpea altogether called a "black chickpea" that also packs a nutritional punch. Naturally, there is at least one lingering question that comes to mind when determining if black chickpeas should play a starring role in your future salad masterpieces.

What even are black chickpeas?

Black chickpeas are a lot like what you might expect. StyleCraze explains that black chickpeas, much like the more familiar chickpeas, are legumes belonging to the Fabaceae; however, the black variety can be identified by their rougher exterior and darker color. Black chickpeas offer nutritional benefits like being high in fiber and iron, but the outlet warns the legumes' rough exterior makes for longer soaking and cooking times for the preparer.

When it comes to taste, black chickpeas have a "wonderful nutty flavor," according to Epicurious. Apparently, this nutrient-packing, nutty-tasting legume is quite a versatile ingredient. Australian-based chef and restaurant owner Gunjan Aylawadi spelled out several uses for black chickpeas to The Guardian, including incorporating them in salads and wraps as well as using them to make stocks for dals and rice. Aylawadi also reminisced about a soup that her mother used to make using fresh lime juice and the aquafaba from black chickpeas.

To begin experimenting with black chickpeas on your own, where you are in the world might help determine how you go about locating the legumes. Kitchen Stories points out that black chickpeas from India are called "kala chana," while Italian black chickpeas are called "ceci neri." But, when you finally create that viral black chickpea salad, you have the opportunity to call it whatever you want!