Besan Flour – from chickpeas

Author: Shelley Bennetts  

Besan Flour – from chickpeas

Besan flour is also known as chickpea, garbanzo, chana and gram flour. Chickpeas are from the same family as beans, lentils and green peas. Being a legume, this flour is naturally gluten-free and grain-free. So, it’s a suitable wheat flour substitute for paleo, vegan and vegetarian diets. Besan flour is a versatile addition to your pantry with its nutty flavour and a bonus punch of protein. It has an earthy smell, a nutty taste and a pale yellow colour. It’s easy-to-use, inexpensive, and incredibly versatile for making both sweet and savoury treats. 

It’s Versatile

In Indian cooking, Besan flour is commonly used as a batter to coat vegetables before deep-frying. Or, swap it for wheat flour to bind fritters together and it’ll work a treat. A mixture of water and Besan flour is all that’s needed to make soft, flexible savoury wraps. In France and Italy, Besan flour is cooked like polenta, cooled, sliced into logs, then fried for a crunchy savoury snack. For a crisp, tempura-style batter, mix Besan flour together with seasoning and enough beer or sparkling water to make a thin batter that just coats the spoon. And, you can use it as a replacement for egg: ¼ cup Besan flour blended with ¼ cup water= 1 egg.
In baked goods, it gives a sturdy, but tender texture when mixed with other gluten-free flours. For quick breads, cakes and muffins it works really well. 

Try these simple, but tasty Besan Soda Breads,  or this Besan flour Banana Cake.