Gram 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.
|Nutritional value per 100 g (3.5 oz)|
|Energy||1,619 kJ (387 kcal)|
|Dietary fiber||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. When mixed with an equal proportion of water, it can be used as an egg replacement in vegan cooking.
Gram flour is most popular in the cuisine of the Indian subcontinent, where it is used to make the following:
- A variety of snacks
- Bikaneri Bhujia
- Mysore pak
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. Chila (or chilla), a pancake made with gram flour batter, is a popular street food in India.
Southeast and East AsiaEdit
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.
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 ).
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