By Nutrition Expert – Trupti Gurav,Mumbai
Dry roasted chana are typically eaten as a snack in india. Chana as it is widely known in India, is perhaps one of the few ingredients that can serve as a staple in the main course, healthy snack on a lazy weekend or just something to nibble on for killing your boredom hunger. Chanas are dry roasted with skin on a slow flame till they are crisp. This helps to retain the crispness and freshness of chana and enhances the flavour as well.
The nutritional data proves chana to be an amazing source of protein, fiber, folate, minerals, and fatty acid. This snack is low in fat and packed with energy, and it works well to satisfy hunger, keeping blood sugar levels stable. 
Though roasted chana is easily available in the market, there are certain ways to make it at home too. Simply take the whole chana, along with the husk, and put it in a pan. Simmer for a few minutes until it is crispy or brown, and then if required, add spices to it such as hing. This snack will be flavourful, wholesome and an interesting addition to your diet. A similar process can also be implemented in the microwave, if gas is not available.
Bhuna Chana vs Regular Chana – What’s the difference?
Regular chana cannot be had raw as it’s hard in texture. One option is to cook it and serve it hot as a curry or boil it and serve it as a chaat. Since both options involve cooking in some form or the other, chana loses out its inherent nutritive properties and becomes less-nutrient rich than it originally contains.
Bhuna chana, on the other hand, retains many such properties and thus is more beneficial health-wise than chana had in any other form. This is not to say that regular chana does not have any health benefits in itself. But bhuna channa with its husk intact is much healthier for the appetite.
Other Health Benefits Of Chana
Chana has a number of health benefits too. The black gram may look tiny, but the dish surely packs a punch when it comes to being great for overall health. Here are a few health benefits of chana: [2, 3, 4]
Weight-loss Since we all realize that dieting doesn’t mean starving yourself instead it’s about replacing the unhealthy food with healthy rich in fiber snacks or meals. What could be a better snack than roasted grams because roasted gram is an effective source of fiber, protein, folate, minerals, and fatty acids. So if you’re planning to diet, roasted grams can be very helpful.
Controls diabetes Roasted chana has been proven by a number of researches to be very healthy for type 1 diabetic patients. They have the capability of controlling the sugar level, insulin level and lipid in the blood stream as they are rich in fiber.
Healthy Bones Roasted chana provides iron, calcium, phosphate, magnesium, zinc, manganese, and vitamin to a body, all of which contributes in maintaining strength in the bones. In addition to that, phosphorus and calcium also help in maintaining the bone structure.
Stabilize blood pressure Roasted chana can help in stabilizing blood pressure and keeping it low because these contain potassium in a great amount which could rectify the effect of sodium in the blood. So the intake of roasted grams can be an eminent source of stabilizing blood pressure.
Healthy heart Fiber is one of the 4 content that support heart health. It reduces the amount of cholesterol in blood eventually lowering the risk of undergoing a heart disease. According to one study those who have an intake of 4090 mg of potassium per day had 49 percent less risk of death from a heart disease.
Prevents from cancer The mineral selenium that is rarely found in fruits or vegetables is present in roasted grams. This mineral detoxifies some cancer-causing compounds from the blood and also helps in reducing inflammation and tumor growth. It even reduces risk of getting colorectal cancer, being rich in high-fiber content.
Lowers cholesterol level in the blood
The intake of roasted chana in your diet will decrease the level of low-lipoprotein which is bad cholesterol in your bloodstream.
Roasted chana contains choline which aids in maintaining the structure of cellular membranes which helps in better absorption of fat and reduces inflammation.
Being rich in high-fiber content roasted chana helps in promoting regularity in your digestive tract.
Irritable bowel syndrome Fiber intake, however, doesn’t ease the symptoms of the syndrome but the amount of fiber that roasted chana provide is well-tolerated by a number of IBS patients as compared to other fruits and vegetables rich in fiber.
Side Effects of Chana
Chana, like any other food, may cause a few side effects if had in excess. The consumption of chana is vital for the body functions – but needs to be taken with caution and after consulting a doctor. It is also important to have the right quantity of chana with your regular diet, to ensure your body gets the right amount of nutrients and fulfills requisite daily needs of vitamins and minerals. Chana, if had too much, may cause the following side effects: 
- May cause allergy in some people
- Bloating, intestinal gas, cramps and diarrhea may happen
- Dysentry may be caused by chana
Ways to use roasted chana
They are best consumed as it is protein- rich healthy snack
- They can also be added to chaats and bhel to added crunch and flavour.
- You can also pack masala peanuts and chana a protein loaded crunchy snack for kids.
- Another similar fun snack is this jowar dhani chivda made with jowar puffs and roasted chana.
- Just adding onion, tomato, salt, and lemon juices to this chana makes a lovely tangy chana chaat.