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Also Known as
Bengal gram flour / chana dal flour
Chana dal flour is a gluten-free product used in many vegetarian and ethnic homes. The aroma is best described as slightly "earthy." The super fine grind flour is made from 100% pure Chana Dal and is perfect for preparing onion bhaji, traditional potato and vegetable pakodas, and some sweet dishes. It is also used in many desserts and battered dishes all over the world.
How to Select
Choose proper yellow coloured flour, which is free from insects. Purchase coarsely or finely grounded besan, as desired. Always ask for the freshness as most of it comes without label.
· It is a versatile flour and is gluten free and very high in protein
· Besan: Chana dal of Choice for Indian Fritters - onion, potato or banana or any steamed vegetable, deep-fried to a beautiful golden brown. In India, they are often sold by street vendors. In homes, pakodas are cooked as snacks and for meals.
· Chana dal flour is widely used for its versatility in batters, soups, desserts, and some bread.
· This delicate yellow flour is often mixed as the base for vegetarian omelets.
· Besan is also blended into koftas and it is an important ingredient in the North-Indian Kadhi, which is a yogurt-based soup.
· Besan pancakes are another quick and easy snack. You can make them with any spices of choice and with or without finely diced green onions and tomatoes.
· It is the base for savoury snacks like Dhokla (steamed dumplings), Bonda (spiced potato curry balls dipped in a batter of besan and deep fried), or Sev fine, fried strands
· Besan is used as a thickener in soups and sauces of all types, and may be used as Westerners might use eggs to bind ingredients together.
· Besan is finely ground, not coarse as is the chickpea flour used to make falafels.
How to Store
Clean, Dry, Cool Area, Free from infestation Once you've obtained besan, it is best stored in the refrigerator. In an airtight container in the fridge, besan can usually be kept safely for about six months. But it always advisable to get minimal amount of either purchase or home grinded flour for maximum freshness.
· When you compare besan to standard plain flour, you can see that nutritionally, besan is far superior. A cup of besan has much more protein, as compared to the whole wheat flour/white flour.
· It is lower in carbohydrates and calories than is wheat flour of any type.