Bean flour, perhaps you’ve come across it while researching gluten-free baking, or heard your Pakistani friend talk about using it but you’ve been leery to try it out yourself. Garbanzo bean flour (a.k.a. gram flour, chana flour, besan, chickpea, or cici flour) should be a pantry staple. Unlike other bean flours, garbanzo bean flour does not have to be combined with other flours (although you can do it if you wish). Garbanzo flour is high in protein and gives a slightly “beany” flavor to baked goods. According to Bob’s Red Mill website, “bean flour provides protein, some carbs and a lot of fiber, as well as additional nutrients – and they can be substituted in many applications that use wheat and other traditional flours. An added benefit is bean flours can be eaten by people with celiac disease, whereas wheat products (as well as rye, barley, and to a lesser extent, oats) cause trouble.”
I like to use garbanzo bean flour for thickening sauces. I almost always use it when making bechamel sauce (great results) and have used it for thickening soups as well (Harira being one example). I’ve added it to my baking to get a protein boost and have used it to make my own hummus.
To make your own hummus follow this recipe:
3/4 cup of garbanzo bean flour
2 1/2 cups water
2-3 cloves of garlic, minced
1/4 cup broth of your choosing
1/4 cup Tahini (sesame paste)
Juice of 1 lemon (1/4 cup)
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground coriander
Salt and ground black pepper to taste
1/4 olive oil
1) Bring water to a boil over medium high heat
2) Whisk the flour into the boiling water. Cook for one minute, stirring constantly.
3) Turn heat down to medium low and cook for 5 more minutes.
4) Place in a bowl and let cool.
5) Puree the bean mixture with the garlic, broth, tahini, and the lemon juice until smooth.
6) Add the and spices, mix well.
7) Slowly pour the olive oil in the bowl while continuing to mix.
8) If the mixture is too stiff add some more broth until you get your desired consistency.
9) Cover the bowl and let sit at room temperature for at least an hour.
10) Taste to see if more lemon, salt, or pepper is needed.
Serve with bread (or use it as a substitute for mayonnaise).
Hummus Version 2
For a twist, (using the recipe above) leave out the tahini and add 1 teaspoon ground chili and 2 tablespoons chopped parsley to the paste. Serve, sprinkled with about 4 ounces ground beef, crumbled, that was cooked with a bit of salt, pepper and cinnamon.
Stay tuned for more recipes using this flour to come…
You don’t know beans about legume flours