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Gram flour or chickpea flour or besan (Hindi: बेसन; Burmese: ပဲမှုန့်; Urdu: بيسن‎), is a pulse flour made from a variety of ground chickpea known as Bengal gram. It is a staple ingredient in the cuisine of the Indian subcontinent, including in Indian, Bangladeshi, Burmese, Nepali, Pakistani and Sri Lankan cuisines. Gram flour can be made from either raw or roasted gram beans. The roasted variety is more flavorful, while the raw variety has a slightly bitter taste.

Gram flour
Gram flour AvL.jpg
Nutritional value per 100 g (3.5 oz)
Energy 1,619 kJ (387 kcal)
57 g
Sugars 10 g
Dietary fiber 10 g
6 g
22 g
Niacin (B3)
1 mg
Folate (B9)
437 μg
45 mg
4 mg
166 mg
318 mg
846 mg
8 μg
64 mg
2 mg
Other constituents
Water 10 g
Percentages are roughly approximated using US recommendations for adults.
Source: USDA Nutrient Database

In the form of a paste with water or yogurt, it is also popular as a facial exfoliant in the Indian Subcontinent.[1] When mixed with an equal proportion of water, it can be used as an egg replacement in vegan cooking.[2]

Gram flour contains a high proportion of carbohydrates[3], higher fiber relative to other flours, no gluten,[4] and a higher proportion of protein than other flours.[3]



South AsiaEdit

Gram flour is most popular in the cuisine of the Indian subcontinent, where it is used to make the following:

In Andhra Pradesh, it is used in a curry with gram flour cakes called Senaga Pindi Kura (Telugu: శెనగ పిండి కూర) and is eaten with Chapati or Puri, mostly during winter for breakfast.[5] Chila (or chilla), a pancake made with gram flour batter, is a popular street food in India.

Asia Pacific Excluding Japan (APEJ) is expected to register the highest growth in terms of value throughout the forecast period 2017-2026. APEJ is estimated to exceed US$ 2,400 million revenue by the end of 2026. Chickpea flour is used on a large basis in Indian cuisines, especially in sweet desserts, snacks and various other dishes.[6]

Southeast and East AsiaEdit

Southern EuropeEdit

Along the coast of the Ligurian Sea, flour made from garbanzo beans, which are a different variety of chickpea closely related to Bengal gram, is used to make a thin pancake that is baked in the oven. This popular street food is called farinata in Italian cuisine, fainâ in Genoa, and is known as socca or cade in French cuisine. It is used to make panelle, a fritter in Sicilian cuisine. In Spanish cuisine, gram flour is an ingredient for tortillitas de camarones. Also in Cyprus and Greece, it is used as a garnishing ingredient for the funeral ritual food Koliva, blessed and eaten during Orthodox Memorial services.

North AfricaEdit

In Morocco, they make a dish called karan from gram flour and eggs, which is baked in the oven. A similar famous dish is prepared in Algeria called Garantita or Karantita (believed to be originated from the Spanish term Calentica that means hot [7]).

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "What is gram flour?". Retrieved 2007-09-29. 
  2. ^ The Vegan Society. "Egg Substitutes". Archived from the original on 2011-07-16. Retrieved 2009-12-31. 
  3. ^ a b "Chickpea flour (besan)". Nutrition Data: Nutrition Facts and Calorie Counter. Retrieved 2007-09-29. 
  4. ^ "Grains and Flours Glossary: Besan". Celiac Sprue Association. Archived from the original on 2007-10-03. Retrieved 2007-09-29. 
  5. ^ "Senagapindi Kura (Onion curry with Besan)". Archived from the original on January 6, 2014. Retrieved January 6, 2014. 
  6. ^ "Chickpea Flour Market: APEJ to Remain Dominant By 2026". Future Market Insights. 2018-01-25. 
  7. ^ "Karantita, Garantita, La Petite Panière". Retrieved July 18, 2016.