COVID-19 Lockdown: Try These Healthy, Tasty Besan Recipes

Besan has more protein than wheat flour. and is gluten free.

Published
Recipes
4 min read
Besan is a really healthy food option.
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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.

Besan Sheera

Have the Besan Shera warm for a better taste
Have the Besan Shera warm for a better taste
(Photo: iStockPhoto)

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

Replace your basic roti with a besan roti!
Replace your basic roti with a besan roti!
(Photo: iStockPhoto)

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.

Besan Barfi

Besan Barfi is a tasty and healthy sweet option.
Besan Barfi is a tasty and healthy sweet option.
(Photo: iStockPhoto)

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.

Besan Aloo

This tasty snack is super easy to cook.
This tasty snack is super easy to cook.
(Photo: iStockPhoto)

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

Love spicy food? Try this Rajasthani mirchi vada.
Love spicy food? Try this Rajasthani mirchi vada.
(Photo: iStockPhoto)

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.

Maharashtrian Pitla

Maharashtrian Pitla is a tasty and healthy option and can be prepared quickly.
Maharashtrian Pitla is a tasty and healthy option and can be prepared quickly.
(Photo: iStockPhoto)

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)

Zunka is a lot like Maharashtrian Pitla, just drier.
Zunka is a lot like Maharashtrian Pitla, just drier.
(Photo: iStockPhoto)

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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