I made hummus from dried chickpea and I removed the skin manually after boiling it. It was a tedious process.

Thats when I thought of Channa Dal or split chickpea. I want to try with that to make hummus. (I just soaked it)

But I could not find a recipe / cooking video with channa dal. So, I am wondering if there is any difference between split chickpea & whole chickpea. Why isn't it used?

Also, I am curious how is it split. Could not find info about the processing. Do they boil the chickpeas to skin it?

Does the skinning process chickpea change it in any way? What about the cooking time?

  • When I make hummus with whole chickpeas I don't skin them and I've never noticed a problem from the skin. Mine is quite smooth though, done in a food processor, so things may be different if you mash the chickpeas by hand. How do you cook the chickpeas? I slow cook mine and wouldn't expect a difference except maybe chana dal might be a little quicker.
    – Chris H
    May 21, 2020 at 19:31
  • @ChrisH I too use the food processor, but when I tried, I felt that the one without skin was more smooth. I just boil it on the vessel, till its soft. How do you slow cook? In the rice cooker?
    – OkBeat9
    May 22, 2020 at 17:01
  • No, I use an actual slow cooker. I'm not sure a rice cooker would do them (unless it's much more sophisticated than any I've used)
    – Chris H
    May 22, 2020 at 17:21

1 Answer 1


The chickpeas used for hummus are traditionally the ‘Kabuli’ type, grown in the Mediterranean and Middle East, whereas Chana Dal is Bengal Gran or ‘Desi chickpea’ commonly grown in India. https://wikipedia.org/wiki/Chickpea

Both are varieties of Cicer arietinum, but while the Kabuli is large with pale skin , the Bengal Gram is smaller, has darker skin and slightly more yellow flesh.

I’ve never tasted them side by side since I have always used Mediterranean or North African flavours with the Kabuli and Indian flavours with the Bengali. Here’s a quick side-by-side from my kitchen. Kabuli (left), Bengal Gram (right)

According to USAPulses.org

There are a variety of ways to decorticate food legumes. The oldest and most common technique involves spreading out the seeds to dry in the sun or mixing them with a bit of water before pounding them in a mortar with a pestle. The hull is winnowed off to get the clean cotyledons. Similar methods are used in commercial mills, though being much larger in scale they are adapted for greater yield and operational efficiency.

Smaller processors can expect about 50 percent removal with the first effort in traditional de-hulling methods. The process is then repeated several times until almost all the grain is converted into dehulled, split cotyledons. It can be difficult with this approach to achieve complete removal of the hull from the grain. Breakage is also a common downside.

Another method for dehulling is based on adjusting the moisture of the grain to loosen the hull. The grain is first exposed to heated air in a tempering bin, for a pre-determined time based on the variety. Through gradual aeration it reaches a critical moisture level. The hull is then removed in an abrasion-type hulling machine, while efforts are made to minimize scouring or breaking endosperm. If it is to be split, the whole dehulled grain is then ready to proceed to a splitting machine.


Many of the operations, particularly decorticating and splitting, are mechanized. Splitting is often carried out in parallel with dehulling, though both are more effective if undertaken as independent operations.

Adding water prior to dehulling helps bring about splitting. Such a step does, however, often leave portions of hull on the split cotyledons (dhal) that then have to be removed by polishing machines. During splitting, the germ, which forms about 2 percent to 5 percent, is typically lost.

  • Thanks for the info. But there is the channa dal from Kabuli type too.
    – OkBeat9
    May 22, 2020 at 17:02
  • @OkBeat9 that’s interesting and, while not all that surprising, isn’t what I found when checking sources. If you can point me at something authoritative I’ll be happy to include that in the answer.
    – Spagirl
    May 22, 2020 at 20:14
  • Sorry, I don't have anything authoritative. I have my local spiceshop guy who showed me desi & kabuli channa split. He gets his stuff in huge bags. Next time I shall ask him who the main supplier is & more info. He was not sure how they split it, he just stated there must be "machine for it".
    – OkBeat9
    May 23, 2020 at 6:33

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