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Substitute for Gram or Besan Flour

by Lauren Corona

Flour made from chickpeas can go by many names, including gram flour, besan flour, garbanzo bean flour and cici flour. It's a common ingredient in Indian, Middle Eastern and even French cuisine, where it gives a complex, nutty taste to dishes. A variety of flours can be used to replace gram flour in a recipe, with varying results.

Potential Substitutions

To get the most similar flavor and and texture to gram flour, use a different legume flour. Contenders include lentil, fava bean, dal or soybean flour. Another substitute that will give you a rich and nutty taste is buckwheat flour. These flours tend to work best in savory applications. As long as you're not avoiding gluten, all purpose flour will generally give you similar results from a textural perspective. However, it tastes very different, so it's not ideal in any recipes where gram flour is the star. You could also try one of several gluten-free grain flours, such as brown rice, millet, corn or quinoa flour.

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