Chickpea flour is made from dried chickpeas (garbanzo beans) and also is known as garbanzo flour, gram flour, and besan.
Chickpea flour can be found in Asian and Middle Eastern markets, but you can make your own at home from dried chickpeas.
It's easy to do. All you need is a food processor and coffee/spice blender.
You can roast your chickpeas lightly and cool them completely before grinding them to yield gram flour or besan, but for many recipes that step is unnecessary.
Making chickpea flour is easy to do and takes about 10 minutes. All you need is a food processor and coffee/spice blender.
What You'll Need
- Any quantity dried chickpeas
- Food processor
- Sifter or sieve
- Coffee/spice grinder
How to Make It
- Place dried chickpeas in a food processor (work in batches if you are making a large quantity). Cover, and process on high speed for 2 or 3 minutes until a powdery flour forms. Cover the top of the feed tube so that chickpea flour doesn't waft out while the machine is running.
- Sift the mixture into a bowl to separate the fine flour from the hard bits of chickpeas which did not grind.
- Use a spice grinder to process the remaining bits of chickpeas to a fine, powdery flour. Do this in batches of 1 or 2 tablespoons at a time.
- When all of the chickpeas have been ground to flour, sift again to remove and discard any remaining pieces of chickpeas which did not process.
- Proceed with using the chickpea flour in a recipe. Store any leftovers in an airtight container and keep it in a cool, dry place.
Recipes Using Chickpea Flour
- Ligurian Chickpea Pancakes Recipe: This is an Italian pancake or flatbread made with chickpea flour that is sliced and sold on the streets of Italy.
- Moroccan Chickpea Flour-Egg Tart Recipe: Known as kalinti, it is a flan- or quiche-like dish made from chickpea flour and eggs. It's popular in the north of Morocco, where it's sold by the slice as a street food and is very similar to Italian farinata (above).
More Than Just a Flour
Chickpeas as a vegetable have a high protein and fiber content and are known to help lower cholesterol making them perfect for those wishing to replace red meat in their diet. Additionally, they are touted to be a beauty aid, benefiting everything from the skin and hair to internal organs.