Not really. It's just that their texture adds body to a multitude of dishes and the bland taste welcomes a host of ingredients. And they're cheap. And easy to source and cook.
Now all I have to do is get the children to eat them.
Curried chickpeas with fresh coriander
Fry a large chopped onion in a heavy, deep pan. When almost done, add a scored clove or two of garlic, half an inch of peeled and finely grated ginger, and one fresh chopped chilli of your preferred type. Fry some more until the latter ingredients soften. Now add a teaspoon of cummin powder. Stir.
Drain a tin of chickpeas and add, along with a tin of cherry tomatoes (diced if cherries unavailable) and half a cup - or more - of chicken stock or water. Salt to taste if using water or low-salt stock. Stir and cook on a low heat for as long as you can resist the incredible aroma.
Stir through half a cup of yogurt and scatter some coriander leaves and fine threads of ginger over the dish before serving. Enjoy with fenugreek roti and plain basmati rice on the side.
And on a day like today, a very, very cold beer. It's 41 degrees outside right now. Celsius.