COVID-19 Lockdown: Try These Healthy, Tasty Besan Recipes
Besan has more protein than wheat flour. and is gluten free.
I hope you all have stocked up on besan during this lockdown! This super fine flour is amazingly versatile and is brilliant for your health. Made with chana atta, besan has a lot of soluble fibre that not only reduces blood cholesterol levels but is also absorbed slowly into the bloodstream and as a result the blood sugar levels rise slowly.
It has more protein than wheat flour (for example a single besan cheela can give you about 10 gms protein), and has high satiety value - keeps you full for long.
Plus it is gluten free. You can always make kadhi or chela to pakoras with besan, but why not experiment with it a little during the lockdown so that you can eat it more often. Your health will thank you immensely.
In a pan on low flame heat 1/2 tbsp ghee and add a pinch of turmeric powder. Now add 1 1/2 tbsp besan (gram flour) and stir for 2-3 minutes. Add a few slivered almonds and continue to stir for another 3-4 minutes or till the gram flour is roasted well (deep yellow) and a strong aroma wafts from the pan. Now add 1 cup warm milk and 1 tbsp sugar and stir well. Boil the mix, add a pinch of crushed pepper and let it boil for another 2 minutes. It will be thick drinkable consistency. Have it warm.
Besan Ki Roti
Mix 400 gram Gram flour (besan), 200 gram whole wheat flour, 2 tbsp thinly chopped onions, 1chopped green chilli, few fresh coriander and mint leaves, 1 tsp Red chilli powder, 1/2 tsp turmeric powder, few fresh curry leaves and knead the dough with water. Cook the rotis in desi ghee.
Cook 1 cup besan, 1/2 cup ghee, 1 cup milk, and 1/2 cup sugar in a deep pan. Keep stirring constantly over medium heat so that no lumps form and do this till the mixture begins to leave the sides. Then add a pinch of cardamom powder and finely sliced almonds/cashews/pistachio (optional) and or seeds (any -watermelon, pumpkin, sunflower). Then transfer the mixture on a thali or a shallow pan that has been greased with ghee. When it is cool cut into squares.
Dry roast 4 tbsp of besan and keep aside. Heat 1 tbsp oil in the pan. Add boiled and cooled 2 large potatoes and bell peppers. Add chilli powder, jeera powder, haldi and salt to taste. Sprinkle a little water, cover the pan. After 5 minutes add the roasted besan and 1/2 tsp of amchoor. Mix well to ensure that besan coats the veggies well and cook on low for 5 minutes.
Rajasthani Mirchi Vada
Slit 4 long and thick green chillies, stuff them with salted mashed boiled potatoes, dip these in a thick besan batter (3 tbsp besan mixed with water to make a thick batter) and fry them crisp.
Heat 1 tbsp oil, add a pinch of mustard seeds, let them splutter then add 1/2 chopped onion, 1 chopped green chilly, some shredded ginger, and saute for 3-4 minutes. In a bowl 1/2 cup mix besan with some 2 cups buttermilk or just water. Add this mix to the pan. Add a pinch of turmeric, salt to taste and stir till it thickens a bit. Pair with rice. It's perfect for days when you don’t have any vegetables at home or just need a change.
Zunka (Dry Pitla)
Wash, dry, remove seeds and dice. Chop one onion, and In a kadhai heat 1 tbsp oil , add mustard seeds, hing, zeera add 2 cloves chopped garlic, 2 chillies and 1 chopped onion and sauté for 3 minutes. Then add a pinch of turmeric, chilli powder and salt to taste. Now add 1 cup besan and fry till it turns golden in colour. Then add 1 cup water, a little at a time and keep adding water and stirring for about 10 minutes till the besan is cooked. Sprinkle chopped coriander on top. Goes well with baker or bajra roti.
(Kavita is a nutritionist, weight management consultant and health writer based in Delhi. She is the author of Don't Diet! 50 Habits of Thin People (Jaico) and Ultimate Grandmother Hacks: 50 Kickass Traditional Habits for a Fitter You (Rupa))
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