Gram flour
Gram flour AvL.jpg
Nutritional value per 100 g (3.5 oz)
Energy1,619 kJ (387 kcal)
57 g
Sugars10 g
Dietary fiber10 g
6 g
22 g
Niacin (B3)
1 mg
Folate (B9)
437 μg
45 mg
4 mg
166 mg
318 mg
846 mg
8 μg
64 mg
2 mg
Other constituentsQuantity
Water10 g
Percentages are roughly approximated using US recommendations for adults.
Source: USDA FoodData Central

Gram flour or besan is a pulse flour made from a variety of ground chickpea called Bengal gram or kaala chana. It is a staple ingredient in the cuisine of the Indian subcontinent, including in Indian, Bangladeshi, Burmese, Nepali, Pakistani, Sri Lankan and Caribbean cuisines.


Gram flour contains a high proportion of carbohydrates,[1] higher fiber relative to other flours, no gluten,[2] and a higher proportion of protein than other flours.[1]


South Asia and the Caribbean

Gram flour is in popular use in the Indian subcontinent and the Caribbean, where it is used to make the following:

In Andhra Pradesh, it is used in a curry with gram flour cakes called Senaga Pindi Kura (Telugu: శెనగ పిండి కూర) and is eaten with Chapati or Puri, mostly during winter for breakfast.[3] Chila (or chilla), a pancake made with gram flour batter, is a popular street food in India.

Southeast and East Asia

Gram flour, which is called pe hmont (ပဲမှုန့်, lit. 'bean flour') in Burmese, is commonly used in Burmese cuisine. Roasted gram flour is commonly added to season Burmese salads, and is the principal ingredient of Burmese tofu.[4] Roasted gram flour is also used to thicken several noodle soup dishes, including mohinga and ohn no khao swè.[5][4]

Gram flour is also used to make jidou liangfen, a Yunnanese dish similar to Burmese tofu salad.

Southern Europe

Along the coast of the Ligurian Sea, flour made from garbanzo beans, which are a different variety of chickpea closely related to Bengal gram, is used to make a thin pancake that is baked in the oven. This popular street food is called farinata in Italian cuisine, fainâ in Genoa, and is known as socca or cade in French cuisine. It is used to make panelle, a fritter in Sicilian cuisine. In Spanish cuisine, gram flour is an ingredient for tortillitas de camarones. Also in Cyprus and Greece, it is used as a garnishing ingredient for the funeral ritual food Koliva, blessed and eaten during Orthodox Memorial services. In the cuisine of Antakya in Turkey, it is used in the preparation of hummus.

North Africa

Popular in Algeria and East of Morocco , they make a dish called karan from gram flour and eggs, which is baked in the oven. A similar famous dish is prepared in Algeria called Garantita or Karantita (originated from the Spanish term Calentica, which means hot).[6]

Other uses of Besan Gram Flour

Gram flour or besan is widely used in most Indian cuisine items like sweets but it is sometimes heavy on the stomach if you consume more quantity of besan, therefore, you must avoid overeating sweets or items in which besan is added otherwise your stomach may get upset. Here are a few different dishes with the usage of besan.

1. Pakoras

Gram Flour is mostly used to make pakoras also known as bhajia in many places. It is an evening snack that people enjoy with tea in India. Gram flour is mixed with potatoes or onion or sometimes a few vegetables are also added to make crispy snacks. These pakoras are also called aloo pakoras (potatoes), paneer pakoras, palak pakoras (spinach), and so on.

2 Besan ladoo

Gram Flour ladoo is a very popular sweet eaten in India and is usually prepared at festivals and special occasions like weddings. In this sweet dish, besan is mixed with sugar after you saute it in ghee or saturated fat and mould it into the shape of balls to look like ladoo. Everyone enjoys besan laddoos and they just don't stop at having one as it is very delicious.

3. Bikaneri Bhujia from Besan

This is a very famous namkeen or snack that is taken with tea in the evening or coffee or sometimes you sprinkle it on poha and Dahi Bhalla type dishes and the name "bikaneri bhujia" is derived from a town in Bikaner that is located in Rajasthan. Here besan is mixed with salt, black pepper, and red chilli powder, and the dough is made and then it is passed through a sieve moving to deep-fry in oil until it looks crisp and light yellow in colour. Once you begin on these, you find it very difficult to stop yourself from consuming them.

4. Punjabi Kadhi From Besan

Kadhi is a famous dish that is eaten with roti or rice and can be prepared using Gram flour. Kadhi is a gravy that is prepared in different states of India in a different styles. Besan and yoghurt are added together to make Kadhi, People add Pakoras in Kadhi also that are prepared with besan and put into the cooked gravy.

5. Other dishes made of Besan

The list of items prepared with besan does not end here. You should know that gram flour is used to prepare a few more items like Dhoklas, besan halwa, Chilla and boondi etc.

Besan for face, skin, and hair care

You can use Gram flour or besan or chickpea flour with a few ingredients for beauty purposes. It is said that besan or gram flour is really good for skin, especially your face, and also you can use it as a body scrub, or a face pack. Besan is too good for your hair and is used to keep your scalp clean and adds shine, length and volume to your rough and dull hair.

1. As a body pack and scrub

You need to add turmeric powder to Besan and add water or Gulab Jal to make a paste or smooth mixture. Then you have to wet your body and apply besan and turmeric mixture to your entire body and leave it for 10-15 minutes when the paste is dry on your body, then you slowly scrub it with your hands and wash it completely with lukewarm water. Do not use a gel or soap. This pack will give you a fine glow.

2. As a face pack

Besan is called a good face cleanser and the best cure for pimples, blackheads, scars and spots. A besan face mask can reduce oil on your face and tighten the pores. It also can remove a suntan or sunburn from your face. You have to Combine it with a pinch of turmeric and a spoon of lemon juice, to apply it to your face. You need to keep it for rest for about 20 minutes and then wash your mask. Avoid to wipe your face roughly with water. Use this pack twice a week and get clear, shining and acne-free skin.

3. As a hair mask

A besan hair mask can be used weekly and it will give shine and increase the volume of your dull hair. Combine it with olive oil and make a soft paste with water. Apply it on your hair and leave it to rest for 30-40 minutes. Wash it with water and avoid using shampoo on the same day.

See also


  1. ^ a b "Chickpea flour (besan)". Nutrition Data: Nutrition Facts and Calorie Counter. Retrieved 2007-09-29.
  2. ^ "Is it Gluten-Free: Gram Flour". Beyond Celiac. Archived from the original on 2007-10-03. Retrieved 2007-09-29.
  3. ^ "Senagapindi Kura (Onion curry with Besan)". Archived from the original on January 6, 2014. Retrieved January 6, 2014.
  4. ^ a b Aye, MiMi (2019-06-13). Mandalay: Recipes and Tales from a Burmese Kitchen. Bloomsbury Publishing. ISBN 978-1-4729-5948-5.
  5. ^ "Coconut Noodles Recipe". NYT Cooking. Retrieved 2021-09-22.
  6. ^ Duclos, J. (1992). Le Pataouète. Dictionnaire de la langue populaire d'Algérie et d'Afrique du Nord (in French). Éd. Gandini. p. 50. ISBN 2906431117.