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 9 Super Health Benefits of Besan

  Last Updated : Mar 14,2020

5/5 stars      2 REVIEWS

10 Super Health Benefits of Besan, Nutirtional Information, 9 Healthy Besan Recipes

Get two health-conscious people talking for a while, and they will touch upon topics like diet and cooking, in specific about grains and flours. Inevitably, one of them raises the doubt about whether besan is good for health or not! Next time you are part of such a discussion, you can confidently answer that yes, besan is good for health.

Besan is super-fine flour prepared from pure chana dal. For some recipes, especially sweets, coarse besan flour might be used. This gluten-free flour has an earthy aroma and binding nature, which make it a key ingredient in the preparation of several traditional savouries and sweets, including laddoo, onion pakoda, vegetable bhajiyas, and more. It is used all over the country to make tasty sweets – the Besan Laddoo of North India and the Mysore Pak of South India are two world-famous examples!

Besan, also known as Chickpea Flour, Bengal gram flour or chana dal flour.  Pure, unadulterated besan gives you a good dose of several nutrients. Let’s set forth some points about the health benefits of pure besan ...

10 Health Benefits of Besan

1. Energy Metabolism


The B-vitamins Thiamine (B1), Riboflavin (B2), Pyridoxine and Folic acid (B9) which are present in good amounts in besan are involved in various metabolic reactions in the body. They’re involved in conversion of the macronutrients – Carbohydrates, Proteins and Fats into energy. Sprouts Tikki is an absolutely nutritious snack in which besan has been used as a binding agent. 

2. More Protein

Besan-ChillaBesan Chilla

It has more protein than wheat flour. 100 grams of besan has 20 grams of protein, as compared to 12 grams in whole wheat flour. A Besan Chilla provides around 10 g of protein.

3. Good Fats

Baked SevBaked Sev

Besan has more good fat than whole wheat flour. Most of the fat (about 70%) contained in besan are healthy unsaturated fats, which help to lower your cholesterol levels. 100 grams of besan has 5.6 grams of good fat while whole wheat flour has only 1.7 grams. Master the art of making non-fried version of sev - Baked Sev

4. Diabetic Friendly

Diabetic Friendly

Rich in complex carbohydrates and with a low glycemic index, besan is good for diabetics too. Also it is a good source of fibre which is important for diabetics. Besan is a good source of Magnesium which improves insulin response by lowering insulin resistance. Having very low magnesium will result in the pancreas not secrete enough insulin to control our blood glucose (1).  Try the Non fried Besan Chakli, which with its cruncy texture and flavourful boost is sure to please your palate.

5. Helps to Relieve Constipation

Jowar Bajra Besan ThalipeethJowar Bajra Besan Thalipeeth

The insoluble fibre present in besan reduces chances of constipation and promotes regular and healthy bowel movement (2). Combine it with other flours and try making a nourishing delicacy like Jowar Bajra Besan Thalipeeth

6. Contains Blood Building Nutrients

Besan Paratha, Zero Oil Besan ParathaBesan Paratha, Zero Oil Besan Paratha

Besan is high in Folate or folic acid, which is important for rapid growth and multiplication of RBC’s and WBC’s in the bone marrow. 30 grams of besan has 44.25 mcg of folic acid and besan is good to have before and during pregnancy as the requirements increase. One serving of Chana dal flour gives 7.5% Recommended Daily Allowance of Iron. Iron is an important component of haemoglobin, the substance in red blood cells that carries oxygen from your lungs to all parts of the body. Try using besan uniquely as we have done in the recipe of Besan Paratha.

7. Brain Function

Cauliflower Greens and Besan MuthiaCauliflower Greens and Besan Muthia

Besan is a good source of Thiamine and Folate, which are essential for glucose metabolism, and maintenance of proper brain function (3). Cauliflower greens and besan muthia is a breakfast option worth trying. 

8. Healthy bones

Healthy bones

Besan is a good source of minerals like Phosphorus and Magnesium which are required for maintaining strong bones along with Calcium (4). Pitla, a Maharashtrian delicacy, is an easy and quick way to make up for all these key nutrients. 

9. Alternative for wheat flour

Gluten free

Besan is great for those following a gluten free diet. It contains no gluten, so you can use it in place of whole wheat flour. Wheat flour can easily be replaced with other flours like brown rice flour, jowar flour and besan and combined with fenugreek leaves to make Hariyali Roti.



Nutrition Information for Besan, Bengal gram flour, Chana dal flour

Nutritional Information for 1 serving Besan
One serving of Besan is 30 grams.
RDA stands for Recommended Daily Allowance.

111 Calories
6 grams of Protein
16.32 grams of Carbs
1.68 grams of Fat
44.25 mg of Folic Acid = 26.55% of RDA (about 200 mg)

See full nutritional details of besan in Besan glossary click here.



Here is a collection of yummy recipes using besan, not only for our gluten-sensitive friends, but for everybody who wishes to harness the health benefits of besan.

Happy Cooking!

health benefits of besan

khaman dhokla | Gujarati khaman dhokla | steamed, soft khaman dhokla | with amazing 20 images. The Khaman Dhokla is an all-time favourite Gujarati street food that is served with peppy green chutney at tea time. It has an exquisite texture and appetizing flavour. Khaman dhokla, a famous snack sold in every street of Gujarat, it is no longer restricted to that region -- it is readily available in every part of the country. Khaman Dhokla is a soft and fluffy steamed snack from the Gujarati repertoire. This all-time favourite khaman dhokla is enjoyed as a starter, as a tea-time snack, or even for breakfast. Basically, something you can have any time you are hungry. Making khaman dhokla is not at all a task, the recipe is very simple and luscious. To make khaman dhokla, combine the besan, semolina, sugar, ginger-green chilli paste, lemon juice and salt with approx. ¾ cup of water in a deep bowl and mix well using a whisk to get a smooth batter. Just before steaming, add the fruit salt and mix lightly.Pour the mixture immediately to a greased 175 mm. (7") diameter thali and spread evenly by rotating the thali clockwise. Steam in a steamer for 10 to 12 minutes or till the dhoklas are cooked. Keep aside. Heat the oil in a small non-stick pan and add the mustard seeds.When the seeds crackle, add the sesame seeds, asafoetida, curry leaves and green chillies and sauté on a medium flame for 30 seconds. Add ½ cup of water and mix well. Pour the tempering over the prepared dhoklas and spread it evenly. Wait for 5 minutes so that the water is absorbed completely.Cut into pieces, garnish with coriander and coconut. Serve the Gujarati khaman dhokla immediately with green chutney. People love these yummy steamed, soft khaman dhoklas as a breakfast, snack or as a farsan (savoury accompaniment. We made khaman dhokla in a jiffy using besan, but it can also be made by soaking and grinding chana dal. These versatile dhoklas can be steamed in a traditional dhokla steamer or in a microwave oven like Green Peas Dhokla, Quick Microwave Khaman Dhokla, Makai Na Dhokla and Microwave Mug Dhokla. These Khaman Dhoklas can be used to make variants like Amiri Khaman, Rasawala Dhokla and Pav Bhaji Dhokla. Enjoy khaman dhokla | Gujarati khaman dhokla | steamed, soft khaman dhokla | with detailed step by step photos and video below.
pitla recipe | Maharashtrian pitla | besan pitla | Maharashtrian pitla with chawal bhakri | with amazing 15 pictures Pitla is a very famous Maharashtrian food, falls under the category of their comfort food. Not only Maharashtrians but many Indian households have pitla in their weekly menu. Pitla is a very quick and easy dish to make with minimum of ingredients. All the ingredients used in the dish are found in every Indian well maintained pantry. The base of the Maharashtrian pitla is made with besan. The first step is combining besan with enough water to get it started. Further, for the tempering take oil in a non stick pan, add garlic which gives a luscious taste to our Maharashtrian pitla. Next, add cumin seeds and curry leaves followed by green chillies and onions. Chillies can be adjusted according to the preference of spice and onions give a mouthful to the recipe, it basically adds crunch. Once onions are cooked, add the besan water mixture, with turmeric and coriander leaves for freshness. Further all you need to do is keep stirring it and make sure the besan doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan. And also make sure you do not leave besan pitla unattended as it might burn. Some places in Maharashtra also serve pitla as a street food. As pitla is super easy to make, I remember as a child when my mother was a working women she would make it for dinner as it doesn’t consume time and also she would cook it when we would run out of vegetables. Pitla goes really well with chawal bhakri, jowar roti and some green chilli thecha and red chill thecha. Enjoy pitla recipe | Maharashtrian pitla | besan pitla | Maharashtrian pitla with chawal bhakri | with detailed step by step photos and video below.
 by Tarla Dalal
Cauliflower greens have a crunchy texture and fresh flavour that lends itself very well to this unique pitla. While you might frequently prepare methi or plain besan pitla, adding iron-rich cauliflower greens to the preparation adds to the iron and vitamin C content of besan. Cauliflower Greens Pitla will surely make your skin glow by improving blood circulation. Serve it immediately with whole wheat bhakri.
 by Tarla Dalal
khandvi recipe | Gujarati khandvi | besan khandvi | with amazing 32 images Gujarati khandvi is a famous Gujarati farsan made with besan. It is easy to digest and is cooked using very less oil, which again amps up the health quotient. khandvi recipe is an easy recipe, which can be prepared in just a few minutes at home. Nobody can hide their love for this delicious savoury khandvi made of gram flour and curds with just melts in mouth tempered with mustard seeds. The ingredients used in the recipe are found in every Indian household. To make khandvi, start with greasing a thali and keep aside. Further, make curd water mixture or you can even use buttermilk if you wish to. Start with taking besan in a kadhai, make sure the besan is fresh or the khandvi will break while rolling, add the curd water mixture followed with asafoetida and lemon juice. Do not add lemon juice if your curd is sour. Add turmeric and ginger-green chilli paste that will give a unique and amazing flavor to khandvi. Mix well using a whisk, make sure no lumps are left or it will make the spreading and rolling the batter hard. Switch the flame on and cook until the mixture thickens, make sure no lumps are formed. Once the batter is cooked, take spoonful of batter and put it on the greased plate and spread it evenly on the thali. Wait for few seconds and roll it up tightly. Cut and place rolled strips of khandvi in a serving plate and to temper it, take oil in a small pan, add mustard seeds, sesame seeds and asafoetida and pour the tempering over khandvi. Lastly garnish khandvi with grated coconut and fresh coriander, serve immediately! If somebody asks you to make besan khandvi, they are probably testing your cooking skills! This delectable Gujarati snack, made of a besan and curd batter, is one of the tastiest foods you can sink your teeth into. None can deny that it is a difficult item to prepare! Be patient, and remember to cook the paste slowly and completely till thick. Also, take care to roll the khandvi lightly; and temper well. You can enjoy khandvi as a tea time snack or serve it as a farsan with your authentic Gujarati meal. besan khandvi can make for a nice healthy appetiser recipe for unplanned parties or get-together and we bet your guests will love this surprise. See why khandvi is healthy. The main ingredient is besan which has more good fat than whole wheat flour and also higher protein content. Rich in complex carbohydrates and with a low glycemic index, besan is good for diabetics too. Don’t forget to give your kids khandvi. Enjoy khandvi recipe | Gujarati khandvi | besan khandvi | with detailed step by step photos and video below.
methi thalipeeth recipe | jowar methi thalipeeth | methi millet flat bread | kanda thalipeeth Maharashtrian Breakfast | with 39 amazing images. methi thalipeeth recipe | jowar methi thalipeeth | methi millet flat bread | kanda thalipeeth Maharashtrian Breakfast is a satiating meal in itself. Learn how to make jowar methi thalipeeth. To make methi thalipeeth, combine all the ingredients in a deep bowl and knead into a soft dough using enough water. Divide the dough into 7 equal portions. Place a portion of the dough on a greased plastic sheet and flatten it into a 150 mm. (6”) circle by patting with your fingers. Create 3 holes on the rolled circle with the index finger. Heat a non-stick tava (griddle) and grease it with ½ tsp oil, put the rolled thalipeeth and cook the thalipeeth on a medium flame, using 1 tsp of oil and till it turns golden brown in colour from both the sides. Repeat steps 3 to 5 to make 6 more thalipeeth. Serve immediately with curds. Methi thalipeeth is a traditional Maharashtrian breakfast, made with a mix of flours, aromatic fenugreek leaves and a touch of spice powders. It has a rustic and homely texture and a really inspiring flavour. It is nutritious and filling – a good way to kick-start your day. The best part is kanda thalipeeth Maharashtrian Breakfast is that it has a well-balanced flavour on its own and needs just a cup of curds for serving. To make the methi millet flat bread more exciting, serve it with accompaniments like the Sukhi Lehsun Chutney and Dry Peanut Chutney Powder. Also try other authentic Maharashtrian recipes. Tips for methi thalipeeth. 1. The dough should be soft and but not very loose and sticky. 2. The dough should be used immediately and not kept for too long, else it might release water and then rolling would be very difficult. 3. We recommend the use of thick plastic sheet so rolling is easy. 4. Make 3 holes on the rolled circle with the index finger. This helps the oil to reach till the centre of the thalipeeth and allows it to cook well. 5. Make sure you serve the thalipeeth till it is slightly crisp, so that you get a nice aroma, flavour and texture. Enjoy methi thalipeeth recipe | jowar methi thalipeeth | methi millet flat bread | kanda thalipeeth Maharashtrian Breakfast | with step by step photos.
 by Tarla Dalal
Gram flour dumplings flavoured with dry spices, steamed and then dunked into a yoghurt based curry is a traditional Rajasthani speciality. Enjoy this dish either with puris or steamed rice.
Gattas or "gatte" are gram flour dumplings that are spiced up with dry masalas and then steamed and cut into small bite sized pieces. They are used to make a wide variety of dishes like Gatte ki Subzi , Gatte ka Pulao etc. This dish is made using a yoghurt based gravy and dry masalas to create a mouth-watering recipe that will complement both rice and parathas .
non fried besan chakli recipe | besan murukku | baked besan chakli | besan chakli - Indian snack for diabetes | with 16 amazing images. non fried besan chakli recipe | besan murukku | baked besan chakli | besan chakli - Indian snack for diabetes is a fat free version of the famous Indian snack – chakli. Learn how to make besan murukku. To make non fried besan chakli, combine all the ingredients in a deep bowl, mix well and knead into a soft dough using enough water. Put the mixture into a chakli press and press out round swirls of the dough onto a greased baking tray, working closely from the centre to the outside of the swirls to make approximately 50 mm. (1½") diameter swirl. You will get about 25 chaklis. Bake them in a pre-heated oven at 180°C (360°F) for 30 minutes. Cool and store in an air-tight container. Chaklis, the popular Indian snack, is usually deep-fried and contains loads of calories and if made in a South Indian style it makes use of high glycemic index ingredient – rice flour too. This simple and delicious baked besan chakli is a real treat for diabetics, heart and weight watchers. These besan murukku is made with a combination of besan and wheat flour and 1 tsp of oil to near perfection by baking them in an oven. We have chosen besan as it is low in glycemic index which assists in controlling blood sugar levels. Further besan is also a good source of protein. This helps to add a satiety value and thus a far superior snack option for weight watchers than fried maida and sugar based snacks. Munch on besan chakli - Indian snack for diabetes at anytime of the day when hunger strikes. Tips for non fried besan chakli. 1. Remember the dough has to be soft but not sticky. Prefer to add water gradually. 2. While baking, it is better to keep the tray in the middle rack of the oven so they bake uniformly and the chances of burning are less. 3. Before storing, ensure to cool completely. Else there are chances of chaklis turning soggy. Enjoy non fried besan chakli recipe | besan murukku | baked besan chakli | besan chakli - Indian snack for diabetes | with step by step photos.
 by Tarla Dalal
besan chilla recipe | Rajasthani besan cheela | healthy gram flour veg omelette | with amazing 19 amazing images. This besan chilla recipe also called Rajasthani besan cheela is a tasty Indian pancake made of besan (gram flour), spices and herbs. Chilla or Cheela are popular Indian crepes. They have a texture similar to a soft dosa. Besan cheela or besan chilla is prepared with gram flour, spices and sometimes with a dash of vegetables. healthy gram flour veg omelette makes for a quick and easy breakfast or evening snack. You can relish them as it is with pudina chutney and sweet chutney or stuff it between bread slices to make a wholesome Besan Chila Sandwich. The Rajasthani besan cheela is very convenient and easy to make as the batter does not require any soaking, grinding or fermentation. Just mix together besan and a couple of readily-available spice powders, and you are ready to cook the pancakes. Gujarati besan cheela is made with basic and minimum of ingredients and is also a protein rich dish! We have combined besan with turmeric powder, chili powder, asafoetida, coriander and water. We have made a batter out of it. Make sure to add water in batches as adding water in one go might make it lumpy. To make besan chilla nutritious, add vegetables of your choice like grated cabbage, carrot or finely chopped capsicum, onion, tomatoes. Ensure the veggies are tiny so, you can spread the chilla easily without tearing. Further, pour a ladle of chilla batter on a non-stick tava, make sure the flame is low. Spread it in circular motion, making it look like a dosa. Cook from both the sides till golden brown and crisp. Make sure to cook the besan chilla on medium flame, if cooked on a high flame it will get the desired colour but will be raw from inside. Serve with green chutney and with grated cheese and paneer if serving to kids!! See why we call is it healthy gram flour veg omelette? Besan has more good fat than whole wheat flour and also higher protein content. Rich in complex carbohydrates and with a low glycemic index, besan is good for diabetics too. If you are diabetic, watch the oil quantity and at most have only one chilla. Enjoy besan chilla recipe | Rajasthani besan cheela | healthy gram flour veg omelette | with detailed step by step recipe photos and video below.
 by Tarla Dalal
This simple combination of radish and low fat curds needs only steamed rice to complete your meal. You can adjust the consistency of the kadhi by varying the amount of water and besan. The radish koftas are steamed and not deep fried in the kadhi. It is also a good way to add vegetables in your diet to provide vitamin A and iron. The curd and besan combination makes the kadhi a rich source of protein and calcium too.
 by Tarla Dalal
besan paratha recipe | masala besan paratha | besan ke parathe | zero oil besan paratha | with 54 amazing images. besan paratha recipe | masala besan paratha | besan ke parathe | zero oil besan paratha is a satiating Indian meal when paired with a bowl of curd. Learn how to make masala besan paratha. To make besan paratha, combine all the ingredients in a deep bowl and knead into a dough using approx. ½ cup of warm water. Cover and keep aside for 20 minutes. Keep aside. Knead the dough well and divide the dough into 6 equal portions. Keep aside. Roll a portion of the dough into a 75 mm. (3") diameter cylindrical paratha using a little whole wheat flour for rolling. Brush with a little oil and seal up the paratha in a flat ball. Roll it up tightly and again from one end to the other end to form a swiss roll and seal the open end tightly at the bottom in the centre. Again roll the dough into a 150 mm. (6") diameter circle using a little whole wheat flour for rolling. Heat a non-stick tava (griddle) and cook the paratha on it, using little oil, till it turns golden brown in colour from both the sides. Repeat steps 2 to 6 to make 5 more parathas. Serve immediately. Besan has a rich and appetising aroma and is often used for binding or to make sweets. However, we have innovatively used roasted besan along with taste givers like ginger-green chilli paste to make besan ke paratha. The addition of mint and coriander gives the masala besan paratha a flavourful boost. A bowl of dahi and aam ka achar is a true wholesome desi meal. Health conscious can reach out for zero oil bean paratha. This simple yet tasty paratha is loaded with fibre and vitamin B complex. You just need to make sure that you serve this fat free paratha immediately on preparation, while it is still fluffy and soft, as it tends to get dry upon cooling. Serve with fatless maa ki dal or rajma saagwala or just plain low fat curds. Tips for besan paratha. 1. Use warm water to knead the dough. This helps to make parathas soft. 2. Also oil your hands to knead the dough for smoothening after 20 minutes of resting time as besan tends to stick to your hands. 3. Use enough wheat flour for rolling as besan tends to stick while rolling too. Enjoy besan paratha recipe | masala besan paratha | besan ke parathe | zero oil besan paratha | with step by step images.
 by Tarla Dalal
It is surprising how two contrasting items – traditonal chila and whole wheat bread slices – work well in harmony to create a satiating sandwich! While you are sure to have had chila before, you would never have thought of using it as the stuffing for a sandwich! Interestingly, the rustic flavour of besan, the crunch of veggies like tomatoes and onions, and mild spice powders used to flavour the chila act as a nice filling for the sandwich, somewhat like the patties in a burger! While chila by itself might dry up when packed for tiffin, the Besan Chila Sandwich remains moist and flavourful for at least four hours, so it can be comfortably packed in the snack box. Pack some Banana Pepper Wafers in another tiffin for a crunchy bite.
 by Tarla Dalal
You would never have imagined that leftover rice can be cooked up into such an exciting snack! Add some coriander and green chillies for pep, a few flours for binding, and there you have a quick-fix batter to make tasty Rice and Besan Pancakes. The batter made using 2 cups of leftover rice can make around 14 pancakes, made in two batches. Before preparing the second batch, you might have to add a tablespoon or two of water to bring the batter back to dropping consistency, as the rice tends to soak up the water and thicken the batter a bit. You can serve these pancakes with green chutney, or make it all the more exciting by topping with an assortment of colourful chutneys.
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Besan Is Good For You
 on 15 Jun 18 06:26 PM

I love all dishes made with besan. all tarla madam dishes mentioned in this article is my favourite, actually favourite at my home also. Very often we have kaman dhokla, mixed flour dosas by adding besan, kandvi, pitla, chakli in our breakfast, lunch or dinner. Our all family enjoys them.