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Channa, the savoury staple of our little island. Channa isn’t just yummy, you know. They have a lot of health benefits too. Channa, or chickpeas or garbanzo beans are a good source of fiber, protein and folate. The fiber helps prevent constipation, promoting regularity and guess what else? The protein and fiber in chickpeas can also help keep your appetite under control.

Channa can help you lose weight (once consumed appropriately, of course… don’t go and eat 15 doubles then come back and say the channa in it makes up for everything else). Also, since channa is rich in protein, it can help in preventing hair loss as it contains manganese, which helps strengthen hair. Plus, channa contains potassium and vitamins C and B6 – all of which support heart health. Who would have thought something so scrumptious could be so good for you!

Channa can be bought dried or canned. For dried channa, it is best to use it within a year of buying it since the longer it is stored, the drier it becomes, which increases the cooking time. Check dried channa before cooking and throw out any that are shrivelled or have broken skin. Also, dried channa needs to be soaked for at least four hours overnight, before cooking. For canned channa, ensure that cans that are not dented, leaking, cracked or have bulging lids and store them in a cool, dry place. Here’s a tip: for canned channa, drain and rinse them with water to cut the sodium content.

Recipe by Sonali Sooknanan

Sonali is a Communications major with a love for Literature, public speaking and chocolate turtle brownies. She delights in finding the magic and beauty within every chapter of her life. God, her loved ones, coffee and cake keep her going.