These large dried peas are usually golden in colour, although there is also a small, dark brown variety known as channa dal (used mainly in Middle Eastern cookery). Chick peas have a slightly crunchy and nutty flavour, and can be used in salads, casseroles and other savoury dishes. In the Middle East they are used in the well known dip hummus, and patties (falafel). They are available whole and split and also yield a very good flour called gram or besan. Chick peas are available whole and split. They are very hard and need to be soaked for at least 24 hours before long, slow cooking.