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QuestionHi Kurma,
Where can I buy chickpea flour from? My local asian grocery store stocks everything but this ingredient - which is a shame when kofta balls are eagerly desired.

Would plain flour make an OK substitute when desperate?

PS I love your TV show & so was delighted to find your book on the shelf at Sydney City Library - it's fantastic. Even my non-vegetarian boyfriend can't keep his nose out of it! I've now stumbled across your website & have enjoyed reading your discovery of Indian food, & early haunts in Sydney. Keep up the great work.

Lizzie M, Enmore, Sydney, Australia


AnswerHi Lizzie!
Thanks for your letter regarding chickpea flour - an ingredient with many names!

Indian-style chick pea flour is actually made from chana dal, a smaller darker skinned cousin (not being politically correct here!) of the chickpea, and not from actual chickpeas.

So sometimes there is some confusion due to the alternative names for chickpea flour. It is also called chana flour, chana dal flour, gram flour, dal flour, gram dal flour, pea flour and besan flour. You may find it at that same store under any of those names.

Otherwise any Indian store in Sydney will definitely have it, under any of the above name, but most commonly as besan flour (pronounced similar to ‘basin’, as in sink).

Actual chickpea flour (made from actual chickpeas) is popular in Italian cuisine and so is available from well-stocked Italian shops and goes by the name farina di ceci.

Plain flour would work as a substitute, in fact many flours would work, but they will certainly not yield the unique nutty depth of flavour that chick peas flour gives.

Glad you like the website and the book. If you visit the CLASSES section of this website site you will see my schedule of classes. I teach in Sydney twice a year.

Best wishes!

Kurma

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