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scott123

Understanding Besan

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Besan is also called gram flour or chickpea flour.  It is made from chickpeas and is used in many different ways in the Indian kitchen.

Indians buy split chickpeas or Bengal gram and take these to the mill to be ground into besan or gram flour.

Yes. Chick pea flour=besan=gram flour. It's true!

Which of the beans below is used for making Besan?

chanadal.jpg

1. Channa dal

garbanzo.jpg

2. Chickpeas

Besan is made from #2 correct? Is channa dal made into flour and, if so, what is the flour called?

Are yellow split peas ground into flour? And the name of that?

Is channa dal soft enough to be ground into a flour with a food processor or is something sturdier required? Will a blender do a better job?

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Besan is made from #1, chana dal. Chana dal is the split and skinned version of kala chana and in English as Bengal gram. Small dark brown chickpeas.

Though I do believe the chickpea flour sold in health food stores and the Middle East may be made from #2, garbanzos. The one for Indian cooking should be made from chana dal.

I don't think that American yellow split peas are ground into flour for sale, but It could certainly be used for all sorts of things the way that we use urad flour, moong flour etc.

I would not reccomend grinding chana dal into flour in a food proccessor or blender...too rough. Just buy it ready made.

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While we're on the subject, is besan made from plain chana dal or roasted chana dal (the kind used in chutneys in the south)?

Suman

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Besan is made from #1, chana dal. Chana dal is the split and skinned version of kala chana and in English as Bengal gram. Small dark brown chickpeas.

Though I do believe the chickpea flour sold in health food stores and the Middle East may be made from #2, garbanzos. The one for Indian cooking should be made from chana dal.

So what you're telling me is that if I buy besan/gram flour from my local Indian grocer, you are absolute certain that it will be made from chana dal (aka split kala chana) and not what I call chickpeas (aka garbanzos).

I've heard chickpeas (garbanzos) referred to as kabuli chana. Are these never ground into flour?

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good link here

i buy two kinds-'channa flour' and' kala channa flour'.the former is besan but i find it much lighter and less gluey with added liquid than i recall indian besan to be.also far less earthy smelling.makes wonderful mysore pak though!i suspect this could well be made with garbanzo flour or perhaps the local growing conditions make for that kind of variation.i've examined it minutely for traces of brown outer skin-nothing conclusive.the kala channa flour is channa dal ground with the outer brown skin included and makes a nice addition to rotis.it also seems a little more viscous when water is added to it.

i guess what i'm saying is that i can't be sure that the 'besan' you buy at an indian grocery store in north america is made from channa dal for certain but that traditionally it would be. :blink:

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Edward is correct on this. If you look thru many Indian cookbooks they will mention that garbanzo beans are used to make besan.. I think that might be the case here.. not sure. Traditionally though what Edward has said holds true.

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