Last Updated : Aug 04,2020
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Also Known as
Bengal gram flour, Chana dal flour
What is Besan, Chana Dal flour, Bengal Gram Flour?Besan is gluten-free flour used in the preparation of several sweet and savoury snacks including the world-famous laddoo! The super-fine flour prepared from pure chana dal, has an earthy aroma and binding nature that makes it a key ingredient in the batter used for preparing onion pakodas, traditional potato and vegetable bhajiyas, and some sweet dishes. It is also used in many desserts and battered dishes all over the world.
It is prepared from pure chana dal and is blended only till it is coarse. This is used mainly in Indian cuisine especially in making sweets. It is readily available in all stores and looks just like besan but the texture is different.
How to Select Besan
• Choose yellow-coloured flour that is clean and free from insects.
• Purchase coarsely or finely ground besan, as desired.
• Check the label and buy the freshest stock as it imbibes a rancid smell over time.
Culinary Uses of Besan
• It is a versatile, gluten-free flour that is rich in protein.
• It is used for making onion, potato or banana fritters, which are sliced vegetables, dipped in a besan-based batter and deep-fried to a beautiful golden brown. They are known by names like pakoda and bhajiya, and loved by almost all Indians. They are made at home too, but far more popular at street side vendors! These fritters are a great accompaniment to tea.
• It is the base for other savoury snacks like dhokla, bonda, and sev, and used in making sweets like laddoo and Mysore pak.
• It forms the base for vegetarian omelettes.
• Besan is also blended into koftas and it is an important ingredient in kadhi, a yogurt-based soup that is frequently made in north Indian homes.
• Besan pancake is a quick and easy snack, made with a batter of besan perked up with spices of your choice, and finely diced green chillies, onions, tomatoes and optionally ginger too.
• Besan is used as a thickener in soups and sauces of all types, and may be used as egg is used in western cuisine to bind ingredients together.
• In other cuisines, the versatile flour is sometimes used in batters, soups, desserts and some bread too.
How to Store Besan
• Store in a clean, dry and airtight container away from moisture, sunlight and infestation.
• If you wish to store for more than a month, it is better to store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
• But it always advisable to buy small, fresh lots as and when required.
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.
2. More Protein
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.
3. Good Fats
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.
Click here to know more about the 10 Health Benefits of Besan.
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.
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)
0.39 mg of Vitamin B6, Pyridoxine = 19.50% of RDA (about 2 mg)
4.59 grams of Fibre = 18.36% of RDA (about 25 grams)
99.3 mg of Phosphorus (P) = 16.55% of RDA (about 600 mg)
39.0 mg of Magnesium (Mg) = 11.14% of RDA (about 350 mg)
0.14 mg of Vitamin B1, Thiamine = 10.76% of RDA (about 1.2 to 1.5 mg)
1.59 mg of Iron (Fe) = 7.57% of RDA (about 21 mg)
0.72 mg of Vitamin B3, Niacin = 6.0% of RDA (about 12 mg)
0.51 mg of Zinc (Zn) = 4.63% of RDA (about 10 to 12 mg)
216.0 mg of Potassium (K) = 4.59% of RDA (about 4,700 mg)
0.05 mg of Vitamin B2, Riboflavin = 4.54% of RDA (about 1.1 mg)
16.8 mg of Calcium (Ca) = 2.80% of RDA (about 600 mg)
21.96 mg of Sodium (Na) = 1.15% of RDA (about 1902 mg).
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