Chickpea, also called garbanzo bean or Bengal gram, annual plant of the pea family, widely grown for its nutritious seeds. Chickpeas are an important food plant in India, Africa, and Central and South America. The seeds are high in fibre and protein and are a good source of iron, phosphorus, and folic acid.
The bushy 60-cm (2-foot) plants bear feathery pinnately compound leaves. The small white or reddish flowers often have distinctive veins in blue or purple and are usually self-pollinated. The yellow-brown or dark green beans are borne one or two to a pod. There are large- and small-seeded varieties.