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Experimenting with besan (chickpea flour)


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Home Cooking 29

Experimenting with besan (chickpea flour)

greygarious | Oct 14, 2008 12:52 PM

I like its flavor in pakoras and other Indian dishes, so I bought a small bag. The closest I'll come to a traditional use is in an ersatz Chicken Korma that I made, shortcutting ingredients to adapt to my pantry. Not wanting to waste ingredients, I'm going to fool around a little. I made a standard crepe recipe with egg and milk but subbed equal parts besan, white whole wheat flour, and AP flour for the usual amount of AP flour. The batter handled the same, taste was good, and there's more fiber. I've christened it a "crosa" (crepe/dosa),
I've also used besan rather than flour when a little thickening is needed for a pan sauce. I am wondering if it could be combined with cornmeal for a variant on polenta?

I haven't tried using it in baked goods - I imagine that it is not readily interchangeable with flour. Does anyone have some wisdom to share? And does it go rancid fast, like whole wheat flour (which I keep frozen)? I'm looking to use it in non-ethnic dishes. (I love many ethnic foods but generally in restaurants because I don't want to be buying lots more ingredients that I would readily use up.)

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