Discover Bhuna Chana! | 04 Benefits | The Secret Weapon of Indian Diets for 1000s Years

Bhuna Chana, also known as roasted gram or roasted chickpeas, is a popular snack in Indian households and across various cuisines worldwide. These crunchy legumes are not just delicious but also pack a punch of nutrition. Let’s delve deeper into the health benefits, nutritional value, and ways to incorporate bhuna chana into your diet.

Bhuna Chana

Bhuna Chana Nutrition

Bhuna chana is a delicious and nutritious snack made with roasted chickpeas. It’s a good source of protein, fiber, and several vitamins and minerals. Here’s a breakdown of the nutrients in bhuna chana:

  • Calories: 372 kcal per 100 grams
  • Total Fat: 5.6 g per 100 grams
  • Saturated Fat: 0.6 g per 100 grams
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg per 100 grams
  • Carbohydrates: 59.8 g per 100 grams
  • Dietary Fiber: 1.2 g per 100 grams (may vary depending on the brand)
  • Protein: 20.8 g per 100 grams
  • Calcium: 56 mg per 100 grams

As you can see, bhuna chana is a relatively low-calorie food that’s high in protein and fiber. It’s also a good source of iron, magnesium, and potassium. These nutrients are important for overall health and can help to improve heart health, blood sugar control, and digestion.

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Bhuna Chana Protein Per 100g

Bhuna chana contains 20.8 grams of protein per 100 grams.

Here’s a table summarizing the nutritional value of bhuna chana per 100 grams:

NutrientContent
Calories372 kcal
Total Fat5.6 g
Saturated Fat0.6 g
Carbohydrates59.8 g
Dietary Fiber1.2 g
Protein20.8 g
Calcium56 mg

 

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Bhuna Chana Benefits

Bhuna Chana Benefits

Here’s a more detailed explanation of how bhuna chana contributes to these health benefits:

1. Weight Management:

  • Protein & Satiety: Bhuna chana packs a good amount of protein (20.8g per 100g). Protein takes longer to digest compared to carbs, keeping you feeling fuller for longer. This reduces cravings and helps manage calorie intake, potentially leading to weight loss or maintaining a healthy weight.
  • Fiber & Feeling Full: The fiber content (around 1.2g per 100g) in bhuna chana also plays a role. Fiber adds bulk to your diet, promoting satiety and reducing the urge to overeat.

2. Heart Health:

  • Fiber & Cholesterol: The soluble fiber in bhuna chana binds to cholesterol in the digestive tract, preventing its absorption into the bloodstream. This can help lower LDL (“bad”) cholesterol levels, a major risk factor for heart disease.
  • Magnesium & Blood Vessels: Bhuna chana is a good source of magnesium, which helps relax blood vessels and improve blood flow. This can reduce strain on the heart and lower blood pressure.
  • Potassium & Blood Pressure: Potassium is another mineral abundant in bhuna chana. It helps regulate blood pressure by counteracting the effects of sodium. Maintaining healthy blood pressure is crucial for heart health.

3. Blood Sugar Control:

  • Fiber & Sugar Absorption: The fiber in bhuna chana slows down the digestion and absorption of carbohydrates. This prevents blood sugar spikes after meals, which is beneficial for managing blood sugar levels, especially for those with diabetes or pre-diabetes.

4. Digestion:

  • Fiber & Regularity: The fiber in bhuna chana acts as a prebiotic, promoting the growth of good bacteria in your gut. This improves gut health and digestion, leading to regularity and reducing constipation.
Additional Considerations:
  • It’s important to note that portion size matters. While bhuna chana is nutritious, consuming excessive amounts can lead to unwanted weight gain.
  • Some brands of bhuna chana may be high in sodium. Opt for low-sodium versions or prepare them at home to control sodium intake.

By incorporating bhuna chana into your diet as part of a balanced and healthy lifestyle, you can reap these potential health benefits and contribute to your overall well-being.

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Bhuna Chana in Pregnancy

Bhuna chana, also known as roasted chickpeas, can be a fantastic addition to your pregnancy diet. Here’s why:

Pros:

  • Packed with Nutrients: Bhuna chana is a great source of protein, fiber, folate, iron, and other essential vitamins and minerals. These nutrients are crucial for both you and your developing baby.
  • Supports a Healthy Weight: The protein and fiber in bhuna chana can help you feel full and satisfied, potentially aiding weight management during pregnancy.
  • Promotes Digestion: The fiber content can help with constipation, a common pregnancy complaint.
    Blood Sugar Control: The fiber in bhuna chana may help regulate blood sugar levels.

However, a note of caution:

  • Sodium Content: Some store-bought bhuna chana can be high in sodium. Opt for low-sodium versions or prepare them at home to control sodium intake.

Here’s what to remember:

  • Consult your doctor: Always discuss any dietary changes with your doctor, especially during pregnancy.
  • Moderation is key: While bhuna chana offers many benefits, enjoy it in moderation as part of a balanced diet.

Overall, bhuna chana can be a healthy and delicious snack option for most pregnant women. Just be mindful of sodium content and consult your doctor if you have any concerns.

Read more about pregnancy: Learn to handle it happily 

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How to Prepare Bhuna Chana

There are two main ways to prepare Bhuna Chana: dry roasting and a gravy-based version. Here’s a breakdown of both methods:

Method 1: Dry Roasted Bhuna Chana (Simple and Quick)

Dry Roasted Bhuna Chana

Ingredients:
  • 1 cup dried black chickpeas (Kala Chana)
  • 1 tablespoon cooking oil (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon chili powder (optional, for a spicy kick)
Instructions:
  • Rinse and soak the black chickpeas overnight in plenty of water. Soaking helps them cook faster and become more digestible.
  • Drain the soaked chickpeas and rinse them again.
  • Heat oil in a pan or skillet over medium heat (you can skip oil for a lower-fat option).
  • Add the drained chickpeas and spices (cumin, chili powder, and salt).
  • Dry roast the chickpeas, stirring frequently, until they are golden brown and crispy on the outside, but still tender on the inside.
  • This may take about 15-20 minutes.
  • Once roasted, remove from heat and let cool slightly before serving.

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Method 2: Bhuna Chana Masala (Gravy-based)

Bhuna Chana Masala (Gravy-based)

Ingredients:
  • 1 cup dried black chickpeas (Kala Chana)
  • 1 tablespoon cooking oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 tomato, chopped
  • 1 inch ginger, grated
  • 1-2 green chilies, chopped (adjust for spice preference)
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon red chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon garam masala
  • Salt to taste
  • Chopped fresh cilantro (optional, for garnish)
Instructions:
  • Rinse and soak the black chickpeas overnight in plenty of water.
  • Drain the soaked chickpeas and rinse them again.
  • In a pressure cooker or pot, heat oil over medium heat.
  • Add chopped onions and saute until translucent.
  • Add ginger and green chilies, cook for a minute.
  • Add chopped tomatoes and cook until softened and mushy.
  • Add all the dry spices – coriander powder, turmeric powder, red chili powder, and garam masala. Stir and cook for a minute, letting the spices release their aroma.
  • Add the drained chickpeas and enough water to cover them by about an inch.
  • Pressure cook for 3-4 whistles (or until chickpeas are tender) or simmer in a pot until cooked through (around 45 minutes to 1 hour).
  • Once cooked, adjust the consistency of the gravy to your preference. You can mash some chickpeas for a thicker texture.
  • Season with salt to taste.
  • Garnish with chopped fresh cilantro before serving.

Tips:

  • You can add other vegetables like chopped bell peppers or carrots to the gravy for additional flavor and nutrients.
  • Adjust the amount of chili powder according to your spice preference.
  • Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Both methods result in delicious and healthy Bhuna Chana. Choose the method that best suits your time and preference.

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Bite into Bhuna Chana

Bhuna Chana in Indian Cuisine:

Bhuna Chana, also known as roasted chickpeas, holds a special place in Indian cuisine. Here’s why:

  • Versatility: It can be enjoyed as a standalone snack, added to salads or chaat (savory street food), or used as a protein source in curries.
  • Accessibility: Chickpeas are a readily available and affordable legume across India.
  • Cultural Significance: Bhuna Chana is often featured during festivals and religious occasions.
  • Nutritional Value: It’s a source of protein, fiber, vitamins, and minerals, making it a healthy addition to any diet.

Bhuna Chana as a Snack:

Bhuna Chana is a popular and convenient snack choice in India for several reasons:

  • Portability: It’s easy to pack and carry on the go.
  • Shelf life: Dry-roasted bhuna chana has a long shelf life, making it a good option to keep on hand.
  • Nutritional Benefits: As mentioned earlier, it’s packed with protein and fiber, keeping you feeling full and energized.
  • Taste and Texture: The satisfying crunch and nutty flavor make it a delicious and enjoyable snack.

Bhuna Chana vs. Other Snack Options:

Here’s how Bhuna Chana compares to some common Indian snack options:

  • Vs. Fried Snacks: Unlike fried snacks like samosas or pakoras, Bhuna Chana is a healthier choice as it’s low in fat and calories.
  • Vs. Sweet Snacks: Compared to sugary sweets like barfi or jalebi, Bhuna Chana provides sustained energy and doesn’t cause blood sugar spikes.
  • Vs. Salty Snacks: While similar in salt content to some salty snacks like chips, Bhuna Chana offers additional protein and fiber, making it a more well-rounded choice.

Buying and Storing Tips:

  • Buying: Look for bhuna chana at Indian grocery stores or online retailers. Choose options with minimal added ingredients and adjust the spice level based on your preference.
  • Storing: Store dry-roasted bhuna chana in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 weeks. For longer storage, you can refrigerate it for up to 3 months.
  • Homemade vs. Store-bought: Making bhuna chana at home allows you to control the ingredients and spice levels. However, store-bought options are convenient and readily available.

By understanding its role in Indian cuisine and its benefits as a snack, you can appreciate Bhuna Chana as a delicious and healthy addition to your diet.

Conclusion

Bhuna chana is a versatile and nutritious snack with a rich history in Indian cuisine. Packed with protein, fiber, and various vitamins and minerals, it offers a satisfying and healthy alternative to many other snack options. Whether you enjoy it dry-roasted for a quick bite or incorporated into a flavorful gravy, bhuna chana can be a delicious and beneficial part of your diet.

Here’s a quick recap of the key points:

  • Health Benefits: Promotes weight management, improves heart health, regulates blood sugar, and aids digestion.
  • Versatility: Enjoyed as a snack, added to dishes, or used as a protein source.
  • Convenience: Portable, has a long shelf life, and readily available.
  • Nutritional Powerhouse: Provides protein, fiber, vitamins, and minerals.

So next time you’re looking for a healthy and satisfying snack, consider grabbing a handful of bhuna chana. You’ll be giving your taste buds and your body a treat!

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FAQs

Q. Is bhuna chana suitable for weight loss?
A. Yes, bhuna chana can aid in weight loss due to its high fiber and protein content, which promote satiety and reduce overall calorie intake.

Q. Can I eat bhuna chana if I have diabetes?
A. Yes, bhuna chana has a low glycemic index and can be consumed in moderation as part of a balanced diet for individuals with diabetes.

Q. Are there any side effects of consuming bhuna chana?
A. While rare, allergic reactions and digestive issues may occur in some individuals. It’s essential to consume bhuna chana in moderation and listen to your body’s response.

Q. How should I incorporate bhuna chana into my diet?
A. Bhuna chana can be enjoyed as a standalone snack, added to salads, chaats, or used in various recipes like curries and soups.

Q. Can I give bhuna chana to children?
A. Yes, bhuna chana can be a healthy snack option for children, but it’s crucial to ensure they chew it well to prevent choking hazards.

 

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