Ingredient Spotlight: Bengal Gram

One of the main ingredients you’ll see listed on the back of our Rice Lentil Chips is bengal gram. Although you may have never heard of it, it’s what helps our chips to be nutrition-packed and filled with authentic Indian flavor. Keep reading to learn about its many forms, and why it’s so awesome!

Gram flour, Bengal gram, Chana Dal and Chickpeas… What’s the difference? 

Also known as besan or chickpea flour, gram flour is a gluten-free pulse flour made from hulled, split and ground Bengal gram. The term pulse refers to the dried seeds of the legume family, some examples being dried peas, edible beans, lentils and chickpeas. Bengal gram is a variety of the chickpea family that looks like a smaller and darker garbanzo bean. When hulled and split, this results in a yellow split lentil called chana dal. The chana dal is ground to create gram flour, and both forms are commonly used in Indian cuisines. 

Benefits of using gram flour

Gram flour is a low-fat protein source, contains high amounts of complex carbohydrates like fiber and resistant starch, and is quite nutrient dense with vitamins and minerals such as iron, potassium, folate and other B vitamins. It is a great and healthy alternative to wheat flour, especially for people with gluten-intolerance or celiac disease. 

Additional Fun Facts!

  1. When gram flour is mixed with an equal proportion of water, it can be used as an egg replacement in vegan cooking.
  2. Gram flour has 25% fewer calories than white flour. 
  3. Gram flour is quite easy to make yourself. Check out these instructions on how to make gram flour!
  4. Besan can be combined with other ingredients to create skincare products that lighten skin, fight acne, and fade acne scarring.