There are two types of Chana. One is desi, which is also called Bengal Gram and is produced majorly in India, Iran, Ethopia and Mexico. The second one is Kabuli, which is also known as safed chana in India. It’s mainly cultivated in Mediterranean, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Northern Africa and Chile. It is used as an edible seed and can be boiled, fried or grounded into flour for making other dishes. The prices of this commodity fluctuate frequently and are affected by the high substitutability with other pulses, crop situation and existence of fragmented markets.
India is the largest producer and consumer of chana in the world, due to high consumption it is the biggest importer as well for chickpea. Its production domestically accounts for about 40% of the total production of pulses and approximately 67% of the total world production of chikpeas.
Chana Dal is a bean grown in India that looks like yellow split peas. Many non-Indian stores will label yellow peas as Chana Dal. But unlike yellow peas, Chana Dal doesn’t go mooshy when boiled.
To be sure of what you are getting, you may be best to try looking in an Indian store.
Chana Dal is closely related to chickpeas. It has the same scientific family name as chickpeas, “Cicer arietinum”, but while chickpeas belong to the “kabuli” group, chana dal belongs to the “desi” group. “Desi” in Hindi means local or coming from the country (as in “India”) — they were always there.
Chana or chickpea is one of the oldest legume or pulse known to mankind. It is popular in Europe, Northern Africa and Mediterranean countries, India, Pakistan and Afghanistan. It is high in protein content.