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Home Glossary Plant Derivatives Bengal Gram - Sada Chana

Bengal Gram - Sada Chana

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Chana dal flour. Used in many sweet and savory dishes.

Mature chickpeas can be eaten in salads, cooked in stews, ground into a flour called gram flour (also known as besan, and used in Indian cuisine), ground and shaped in balls and fried as falafel, stirred into a batter and baked to make farinata, cooked and ground into a paste called hummus, or roasted, spiced and eaten as a snack (e.g. leblebi). In India, where they are referred to as "chana," chickpeas provide a major source of protein in a predominantly vegetarian culture. Chick pea flour is used as a batter to coat various vegetables and meats before frying. The popular dish is mirchi bajji or mirapakaya bajji telugu. Chickpea flour is also used to make "Burmese tofu," a food originating with the Shan people of Burma. Unripe chickpeas are often picked out of the pod and eaten as a raw snack in many parts of India, and the plants are eaten there as a green vegetable in salads.

Gram flour, also known as chana flour or besan is a staple ingredient in Indian cuisine. It consists of ground chana dal also known as Bengal grams in some localities, and it is used in various foods such as sweets and bombay mix. Besan is typically confused with chickpea flour. As stated above, besan is ground chana (NOT chickpea) dal.Chickpeas are larger and light brown in color and are used in making items like falafel. Chana are smaller and dark brown in color. Culinary quality of these two are very different.

Vegetables deep-fried in gram flour batter are known as pakoras. When onions are fried they are known as onion bhajis.

Gram flour contains carbohydrates and hence may not be suitable for low-carbohydrate diets, but it is suitable for gluten-free diets.

The chickpea, chick pea, garbanzo bean, ceci bean, bengal gram, Senegalu telugu,chana or channa (Cicer arietinum) is an edible legume (English "pulse") of the family Fabaceae, subfamily Faboideae.

The plant is 20 to 50 cm high and has small feathery leaves on both sides of the stem. One seedpod contains two or three peas. The flowers are white- or reddish-blue. Chickpeas need a subtropical or tropical climate and more than 400 mm annual rain. They can be grown in a temperate climate, but yields will be much lower.

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