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Gram Flour is known as Besan in India and is considered a staple ingredient in many Indian. It is made from finely grounded, dried chickpeas. Some varieties are made from dried roasted chickpeas, which give the flour a wonderfully rich and nutty taste. It comes exclusively from garbanzo beans. Besan is used as westerners might use eggs to bind ingredients together. It is used as a coating for many deep-fries of vegetables. Many Indian curries are most authentic when they include besan to thicken the curry sauce that coats meats, fish and/or vegetables. Besan is used as a thickener in soups and sauces of all types.
When compared to standard white flour, nutritionally besan is superior that standard white flour. A cup of besan has 20.6 grams of protein, as compared to the 16 grams in whole wheat flour and the 12 grams in wheat/white flour. It is lower in carbohydrates and calories than is wheat flour of any type. Besan is not a low carb food by any means, containing more fat than does wheat flour, about six grams per cup.