While flour is popularly made from wheat, flour is not limited to having gluten-based ingredients. Other ingredients can be used to create unique and versatile flour, such as besan flour.
If you want to try besan flour but never tried it before, you may be curious as to what besan flour is. I did the research, and here is what I found!
What Is Besan Flour?
Besan flour is a type of chickpea flour made from split brown chickpeas and besan flour may also be called gram flour or Indian besan flour. Besan flour is very similar to garbanzo flour, but they have slightly different textures because they are made from different types of chickpeas yet can be occasionally used as substitutes for each other.
Do you want to learn what is in besan flour, what besan flour tastes like, and what you can substitute for besan flour? Keep reading!
What Is In Besan Flour?
Typically, besan flour is made from split brown chickpeas or chana dal, which are specific types of chickpeas. Additionally, besan flour may also be called Indian besan flour or gram flour.
Moreover, it is common for the split brown chickpeas used to make besan flour to have the skin removed.
However, besan flour may also be created from a mixture of split peas and split chickpeas.
What Is Besan Flour Called In English?
Besan flour may be called chickpea flour since besan flour is made from a type of chickpea.
However, you must specify what type of chickpea flour if you want besan flour because besan flour is specifically made from split brown chickpeas.
What Does Besan Flour Taste Like?
Generally, besan flour has a neutral flavor profile with notes of slight nuttiness and bean-like tastes.
However, some people state that besan flour tastes very similar to garbanzo flour but besan flour has a slightly less bitter taste.
What Is Besan Flour Used For?
Since besan flour is less bitter than other types of chickpea flour such as garbanzo flour, besan flour is commonly used in recipes that do not get fully roasted or cooked and for recipes that require crispiness.
For instance, besan flour is excellent if you want to create thin pancakes or crepes like Chilla. You can also use besan flour as a thickener for soups, sauces, etc.
Moreover, besan flour may be used in recipes if you want flavorful flour without a lot of rise, such as cookies.
Additionally, many people opt for besan flour if they want a gluten-free alternative to wheat flour.
What Is The Difference Between Besan Flour And Garbanzo Flour?
While besan flour and garbanzo flour are both made from chickpeas, besan flour is made from split brown chickpeas while garbanzo flour is made from garbanzo beans or white chickpeas.
Since besan flour and garbanzo flour uses different types of chickpeas, they have different textures.
For instance, besan flour features smoother and finer textures that create more compact results whereas garbanzo flour has a fluffier, coarser, and lighter texture.
Due to the difference in texture, besan flour usually requires less water than garbanzo flour because besan flour is ground finer than garbanzo flour.
Additionally, most people will sell garbanzo flour as “white chickpea flour” or “chickpea flour” while most manufacturers will specifically state that it is besan flour.
However, besan flour and garbanzo flour have similar behaviors and flavors, so you may not notice much of a difference if you use one as a substitute for the other in certain recipes.
Does Besan Flour Have Gluten?
Besan flour does not have gluten because besan flour is made from split brown chickpeas, which are naturally gluten-free ingredients.
However, it is important to note that besan flour can be contaminated with gluten if the manufacturer is not careful.
Some manufacturers may produce their besan flour in factories that create gluten-containing products, which increases the likelihood of cross-contamination.
Therefore, it would be wise to check the ingredients list on the besan flour’s packaging to see if it says “may contain gluten.”
Is Besan Flour And Wheat Flour The Same?
Besan flour and wheat flour are not the same because they have different ingredients since besan flour is made from split brown chickpeas while wheat flour is made from different types of wheat.
Moreover, wheat flour often gives volume to certain recipes like bread since wheat flour is high in protein and gluten while besan flour does not contain any gluten.
Additionally, besan flour has a slightly different flavor profile from most types of wheat flour, but it will depend on the specific kind of wheat flour you are comparing besan flour to.
Plus, besan flour tends to be off-white or pale yellow while wheat flour can range from white to deep brown depending on the variation of wheat flour.
What Is The Substitute Of Besan Flour?
Typically, the best substitute for besan flour is regular chickpea flour or white garbanzo flour since they have very similar flavor profiles, so you will not notice a big difference in your dish.
Additionally, you can opt for other types of vegetable flour instead of besan flour, which includes soybean flour, fava bean flour, and lentil flour.
If you do want an alternative that has a strong and nutty flavor, buckwheat flour can make a good substitute for besan flour and despite the name, buckwheat flour does not contain wheat or gluten.
Read our related articles to find out what bao flour is, what banana flour is, and what barley flour is.
Besan flour is a type of chickpea flour created from chana dal or split brown chickpeas, which are a specific type of chickpea.
While besan flour is similar to garbanzo flour, they are made from different kinds of chickpeas and besan flour has a slightly less bitter flavor profile.
Typically, besan flour is used to create foods that need to be crispy or will not be fully cooked, but besan flour may also be a great alternative to flour if you want a gluten-free option.