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Difference Between Garbanzo Beans and Chickpeas

Garbanzo Beans vs Chickpeas

Garbanzo beans and chickpeas are the same plant, or specifically, the same legume. Like many plants, garbanzo beans and chickpeas are just one of the various names and layman’s terms of the Cicer arietinum. Cicer arietinum belongs to the plant kingdom, Magnoliophyta division, Magnoliopsida class, Fabales order, Fabaceae family and subfamily Faboideae. The plant’s genus is Cicer.

The common names for this species are ceci bean, India pea, Bengal gram, or Egyptian pea. The garbanzo bean or chickpea is one of the world’s earliest crops. It was cultivated from the ancient times by the ancient Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans.

The etymology of “chickpea” comes from the Latin word “cicer.” “Cicer” evolved into the Anglo-French “chiche” to the English “chich.” From “chich” it evolved into “chich pea” to its modern form “chickpea.”

“Garbanzo,” on the other hand, is Spanish in origin and was first used in 1759. The term is derived form the Old Spanish “garroba” or “algarroba” and of Old Spanish “arvanço.”

Though referring to the same species, “chickpea” is often the common name used for English-speaking people while “garbanzo” is used by Spanish-speaking people. In a nation with both languages present, the names might be used interchangeably.

Two types of garbanzo beans or chickpeas are known, the Kabuli and the Desi. The Kabuli means from Kabul. It has a light color with large seeds as well as a smooth coat. It also has a uniform size and a round shape. This type is often cultivated in Northern Africa, Europe, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Chile.

The second type, the Desi (means local or native) is almost the opposite of the Kabuli. It is small, dark with a rough coat. It is cultivated in India, Ethiopia, Mexico, and Iran. Unlike the other type of chickpea or garbanzo bean, the desi has a thicker seed coat which contains a higher concentration of nutrients, specifically antioxidants like quercetin, kaempferol and myricetin. The desi is also richer in fiber and belongs to the group of foods which has a low glycemic index.

As a versatile legume, it is a staple ingredient in many Middle Eastern and Indian dishes. It is also an excellent source of zinc, folate, protein, and dietary fiber. It also has a good measure of minerals like phosphorus, calcium, magnesium, iron, and zinc. The plant also contributes additional health benefits. It can improve the diet and satiety. Its consumption can lead to less intake of processed foods and food in general which decreases a person’s calorie intake. It is a good source of carbohydrates for diabetes and can contribute to better control of blood sugar.

Chickpeas also give some unique antioxidants and are also good for the colon. They also improve blood/fat regulation, lower the levels of LDL cholesterol which can decrease an individual’s chances of cardiovascular disease. Chickpeas or garbanzo beans are mainly produced by India, Pakistan, Turkey, Australia, Iran, Myanmar, Canada, Ethiopia, Mexico, and Iraq.

Both types are available to use in either canned or dried form. The dried form needs soaking in water for a night before using in cooking while the canned version can be used immediately. Aside from preparations, another difference between the two is that the dried beans have hulls that need to be removed before using while the canned beans have their hulls removed in the factory.


1.Garbanzo beans and chickpeas are the same thing. They are both common names for a plant specie named Cicer arietinum. Because they are the same plant and entity, they share the same scientific classification, uses, types, and other identifying characteristics.
2.The term “garbanzo bean” is used as a common name by Spanish-speaking or Latin people. Meanwhile, the term “chickpea” is used by English-speaking people.
3.Both “chickpea” and “garbanzo” have different etymologies. “Chickpea” is a term that descended from the English language while the term “garbanzo” came from the Spanish language.

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