Gram flour is also known as 'Besan', 'ChickPea Flour' or 'Chick Pea Flour'. It has a slightly nutty flavor and earthy aroma. The high-protein content makes it ideal for the large vegetarian population in India. Used widely as a thickener in curries, it also is used to make fritters called pakoras and onion bhajis. Kadhi, a North-Indian soup, combines besan with yogurt and cooked spices. It is also mixed with milk as a cleansing face wash.
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 flavorful, while the raw variety has a slightly bitter taste.
In the form of a paste with water or yogurt, it is also popular as a facial exfoliant in the Indian Subcontinent. When mixed with an equal proportion of water, it can be used as an egg replacer in vegan cooking.
Gram flour contains a high proportion of carbohydrates, no gluten, and a higher proportion of protein than other flours.
In Andhra Pradesh chickpea flour is used in a curry made of cakes of gram flour popularly called Senaga Pindi Kura (Telugu:శెనగపిండికూర) and is had with Chapati or Puri, mostly during winter for breakfast. Chila (or chilla), a pancake made with gram flour batter, is a popular street food in India.
Also called besan or gram flour, chickpea flour is naturally gluten free, and if there's one food trend we think everyone can agree is here to stay, it's gluten-free eating. It's also high in protein, iron and fiber.
Get Your Fiber With Gram Flour
Gram flour is a good source of fiber. A 1/2-cup serving contains 5 grams of fiber. Getting more fiber in your diet may reduce your risk of heart disease and diabetes. Fiber in foods like gram flour are also more satiating, which may help you eat less and make it easier for you to lose weight or maintain a healthy weight. Women need 21 to 25 grams of fiber a day, and men 30 to 38 grams. Add gram flour to soups as a thickener, use it in place of some of your usual flour in baked goods such as bread or pancakes or as the flour coating for fish or chicken to up the fiber in your diet.
Rich in Iron, Zinc and Folate
As a ground chickpea, gram flour is rich in nutrients found in both vegetables and protein foods such a poultry. A 1/2-cup serving of the flour meets 12 percent of the daily value for iron, 9 percent of the daily value for zinc and 50 percent of the daily value for folate. Iron is important for the production of red blood cells. Zinc keeps your immune system strong and helps you fight off infections. It is also important for repairing wounds. Women need adequate intakes of folate to prevent neural tube defects in their children.
Some of the popular dishes made using gram flour:
Benefits of Gram flour for using on skin
1. To remove tan:
Mix 4 teaspoon of besan, 1 teaspoon of lemon, 1 teaspoon of yogurt and a pinch of turmeric to form a smooth paste. Apply it all over your face and neck. Wash it off with cool water after it dries. It makes your skin smooth and radiant. Repeat this procedure daily for best results.
2. Skin lightening:
Besan used along with lemon is a very popular home remedy for skin lightening. Mix 4 teaspoon of besan, 1 teaspoon of raw milk and 1 teaspoon of lemon to from a smooth paste. Apply it all over your face and gently scrub in circular motions. Wash it off with cool water after it dries.
3. Reduce oiliness:
If you have oily and greasy skin, try this face pack for immediate results. Mix gram flour along with yogurt or raw milk and apply it on your face. Wash it off after 20 minutes. This pack also removes the dirt and makeup residues from your face.
4. Fight pimples:
To fight off pimples naturally, try the anti-pimples besan face mask. Mix 2 teaspoon of gram flour, 2 teaspoon of sandalwood powder, 1 teaspoon of milk and a pinch of turmeric powder to make a paste. Apply it all over the face. Wash off with cool water after it dries.
5. Dark arms and neck:
Majority of Indian women havedark neckand arms. This is due to excessive tanning because of prolonged exposure to sunlight. Mix besan, yoghurt, lemon juice and a pinch of turmeric powder to form a paste. Apply it on your face and leave it for 20 minutes. Rinse off with cool water and repeat this procedure thrice a week for best results. Massage your arms and neck with sesame oil after using this pack.
6. Instant fairness:
Mix 4 teaspoon of gram flour, 1 teaspoon of ground orange peel and ½ teaspoon of malai. Apply it all over the face and neck. Massage your face gently in circular motion. Keep it for 15 minutes and wash off with cool water. This pack gives you an instant glow. It makes skin smooth and soft.
7. Body scrub:
As much as we have mostly heard only of face packs, gram flour for skin is equally beneficial. Indulge in a homemade body scrub which is free from all harsh chemicals found in soaps/body wash. Mix 3 teaspoon of besan, 1 teaspoon of grounded oats and 2 teaspoon of corn flour along with little raw milk. Apply the mixture on your body and gently scrub. This is an excellent body scrub which removes dead cells, excess sebum and dirt quite effectively. It gives you a clean and smooth skin.
8. Unwanted facial hair:
Besan has been used to remove unwanted facial hair since a long time. Mix fenugreek powder with besan and prepare a paste. Apply it over your facial hair. Wash off when it dries. You can also prepare a face pack by mixing besan, lemon juice, malai and sandalwood powder. Apply it on areas with unwanted hair and wash off when it dries.
Benefits of Gram Flour for Hair
9. For healthy hair:
Do you know that besan can be used to maintain healthy and shiny hair? Prepare a hair pack by mixing 1 egg white, 2 teaspoon of besan, 1 teaspoon curd and ½ teaspoon of lemon juice. Mix it well and apply the pack all over the hair concentrating on the tips. Allow it to dry and wash off with cool water.
10. For long hair:
Use this simple home remedy for long and strong hair. Make a nourishing hair pack by mixing gram flour, almond powder, curd and a teaspoon of olive oil. If you have dry and damaged hair, add 1-2 capsules of vitamin E oil. Apply it and rinse with cold water after it dries. Repeat it twice a week.
How to Use Besan Gram Flour?
This ingredient also is known to eliminate bad odour as it detoxifies the skin. You could try few of these homemade remedies for your skin.
a. For acne scars: Mix besan, pinch of turmeric powder and 2 table spoon of fresh milk to create a smooth paste and apply evenly on the face and neck area. After 20-25 minutes, wash off with lukewarm water to achieve glowing skin.
b. For dry flaky skin: Mix 2-3 drops of fresh lemon juice with 1 tablespoon besan, 1 teaspoon milk cream or olive oil and half teaspoon honey to form a paste. Apply it all over the face and rinse it thoroughly with water when it dries naturally.
c. For oily skin: Beat one egg white and add 2 tablespoons of besan to make it into a mask. Apply this mask for 15 minutes and wash it off with cold water.
d. For Blemish free skin: A simple recipe
Ingredients: 50gms chana dal, 10gms fenugreek seeds, 2-3 pieces of turmeric.
Method: Grind it into powder and store it in a container.
Application:Use this powder in little quantity with some milk cream and wash the face regularly instead of soap.
Besan: Tips for storage
·Store the besan in an airtight container and keep it in a cool place.
·Do not use wet spoon to take the besan as it leads to the formation of lumps.
·Include besan in your regular beauty regime for healthy skin and hair.