Gram flour

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Not to be confused with graham flour.
Gram flour
Gram flour AvL.jpg
Nutritional value per 100 g (3.5 oz)
Energy 1,619 kJ (387 kcal)
57 g
Sugars 10 g
Dietary fiber 10 g
6 g
22 g
Niacin (B3)
1 mg
Folate (B9)
437 μg
Trace minerals
45 mg
4 mg
166 mg
318 mg
846 mg
64 mg
2 mg
Other constituents
Water 10 g
Percentages are roughly approximated using US recommendations for adults.
Source: USDA Nutrient Database

Gram flour, also known as garbanzo bean flour, chickpea flour, or besan, is a pulse flour made from ground chickpeas. Used in many countries, it is a staple ingredient in Indian, Pakistani, Nepali and Bangladeshi cuisines. Gram flour can be made from either raw chickpeas or roasted chickpeas. The roasted variety is more flavourful, while the raw variety has a slightly bitter taste.[1] In the form of a paste with water or yogurt, it is also popular as a facial exfoliant in the Indian subcontinent.[2] When mixed with an equal proportion of water, it can be used as an egg replacer in vegan cooking.[3]

Gram flour contains a high proportion of carbohydrates,[4] no gluten,[5] and a higher proportion of protein than other flours.[4]

Traditional importance[edit]

Traditionally, gram flour has been used as a face and body mask ingredient, often used as a beauty treatment for Indian brides. Before a bride’s wedding day, she may be gently slathered with a paste made from gram flour, turmeric and other ingredients.


South Asia[edit]

It is most popular in the cuisine of South Asia, where the flour is used to make the following:

In Andhra Pradesh chickpea flour is used in a curry made of cakes of gram flour popularly called Senaga Pindi Kura (Telugu: శెనగ పిండి కూర) and is had with Chapati or Puri, mostly during winter for breakfast.[6] Chila (or chilla), a pancake made with gram flour batter, is a popular street food in India.

Southeast and East Asia[edit]

Southern Europe[edit]

Along the coast of the Ligurian Sea chickpea flour is used to make a thin pancake which 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.

See also[edit]

  • Oralu kallu, a type of grinding machine using stone to produce flour in some parts of India


  1. ^ Marks, Gil (2010). Encyclopedia of Jewish Food. Hoboken, N.J.: Wiley. pp. 121–122. ISBN 0470391308. 
  2. ^ "What is gram flour?". Retrieved 2007-09-29. 
  3. ^ The Vegan Society. "Egg Substitutes". Retrieved 2009-12-31. 
  4. ^ a b "Chickpea flour (besan)". Nutrition Data: Nutrition Facts and Calorie Counter. Retrieved 2007-09-29. 
  5. ^ "Grains and Flours Glossary: Besan". Celiac Sprue Association. Retrieved 2007-09-29. 
  6. ^