Chickpea (Cicer arietinum L.) is grown worldwide and is best adapted to cool, dry climates. Thus, it is a winter crop in some regions of the world. Two seed types are recognized: the large-seeded kabuli type, characterized by its beige-colored seed coat and ram's head shape, and the desi type, with its smaller size and dark-colored irregularly shaped seeds. Kabuli varieties are preferred for consumption as whole seeds, whereas desi types are typically processed into flour. Immature green pods and young tender leaves are also cooked and eaten as vegetables, especially in India.

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