Is Gram Flour Gluten-Free?
Gram flour is a fine, pale yellow flour that is made from ground up dry split chickpeas. It has a nutty flavour and is commonly used in Indian cuisine and savoury recipes. But if you’d like to know if gram is flour gluten-free, just keep reading to find out!
What is gram flour?
If you’re a fan of Indian food, you’ve likely come across gram flour before. It’s the main ingredient in pakoras and bhajis, and is often used in flatbreads too. It’s a flour made from grinding down dried and roasted chana dal.
Gram flour is high in protein and rich in minerals. It’s a great source of fibre too, with 11g of fibre per 100g of gram flour. Compare that with white flour, which has 2.7g fibre per 100g, you can see that gram flour can be considered a healthier alternative.
The glycemic load of gram flour is much lower than wheat flour too, meaning it could be a better alternative for diabetics.
Is gram flour the same as chickpea flour?
They are similar but not quite the same! Chickpea flour is made by crushing up dried white chickpeas (the type you’ll most commonly find tinned on supermarket shelves). Chickpea flour is also known as garbanzo flour to those in the US.
Gram flour is made from yellow split pea or Chana dal, which is a smaller, brown type of chickpea lentil. Other names for this flour are Besan and gram dal flour.
Gram flour is also sometimes mixed with white chickpea flour, which is why the two often get confused. The flours taste similar and can usually be used interchangeably, but are not the exact same thing.
Is gram flour gluten-free?
Yes. Gram flour is naturally gluten-free. It can be used in many gluten-free recipes and I have listed some of my favourite ones near the end of this post. You can use even use it to make gluten-free desserts!
Gram flour doesn’t have any other gluten-containing ingredients added to it so it is safe to enjoy on a gluten-free diet. Make sure to double check the packaging in case there may be a risk of cross contamination.
Is it vegan?
Yes. Gram flour is suitable for vegetarians and vegans. It does not contain any non-vegan ingredients but anyone with milk or egg allergies should be sure to check the labels in case of a cross contamination risk.
How to make gram flour from scratch
If you’re unable to find gram flour in your local stores or wish to eliminate any possibility of cross contamination, you may wish to make it yourself. It’s very easy to do!
All you need to do is dry roast some Chana dal over the stove then allow it to cool. Place it into a food processor or powerful blender and pulse until you have a fine flour.
Once pulsed, sieve the flour to get rid of any large lumps that may be leftover. Then just pop it into an airtight jar or container and store it in a cool, dry place such as a kitchen cupboard.
Gluten-Free recipes using chickpea and gram flour
Now that we know gram flour is gluten-free, what can we use it for? Although pakoras and bhajis are delicious, there are other things you can make with gram flour. Try one of these delicious vegan and gluten-free recipes below!
- Baked green pea fritters
- Zucchini fritters
- Crispy baked tofu nuggets
- Vegan ‘egg’ fried rice
- Cauliflower pakoras
- French toast
- Gingerbread cake
So to sum it all up, yes, ram flour is gluten-free. It can be enjoyed in a variety of gluten-free dishes, both sweet and savoury. It is a healthier alternative to white flour, with more protein, fibre and minerals, and a lower glycemic load. Although it is not the exact same thing as chickpea flour, the two can often be used interchangeably in recipe.