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Old 08-03-2011, 03:31 PM   #1
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Question What is Bengal Gram?

OK, so this question is totally Snip's fault. She posted that really good looking recipe for Bobotie ala Odette except I wasn't sure what Garam Masala was. So I opened up the (usually) trusty Google search page and looked it up. This led me to some really interesting information about Garam Masala and Curry and ate up way more of my time than I really should have allowed. In one of the articles I was reading the author mentioned Bengal Gram but didn't explain what it was. Thinking it must be another spice type thing I opened up another (usually) trusty Google search page and looked up Bengal Gram. This is where it got annoying.

"Bengal gram are chickpeas." "Bengal gram are lentils." "Chickpeas are lentils." "No they're not, they're legumes." "Lentils are legumes, chickpeas are legumes but chickpeas aren't lentils and Bengal gram are chickpeas no they're not they're lentils." "Only some chickpeas are lentils." Make up your flipping mind, the internet!

So now I'm asking my trusty DC friends, what is Bengal gram? The internet can't seem to come to an agreement and I figure you guys probably know better than it anyway.

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Old 08-03-2011, 03:40 PM   #2
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Look here. Scroll down
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Old 08-03-2011, 03:51 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by purple.alien.giraffe View Post
OK, so this question is totally Snip's fault. She posted that really good looking recipe for Bobotie ala Odette except I wasn't sure what Garam Masala was. So I opened up the (usually) trusty Google search page and looked it up. This led me to some really interesting information about Garam Masala and Curry and ate up way more of my time than I really should have allowed. In one of the articles I was reading the author mentioned Bengal Gram but didn't explain what it was. Thinking it must be another spice type thing I opened up another (usually) trusty Google search page and looked up Bengal Gram. This is where it got annoying.

"Bengal gram are chickpeas." "Bengal gram are lentils." "Chickpeas are lentils." "No they're not, they're legumes." "Lentils are legumes, chickpeas are legumes but chickpeas aren't lentils and Bengal gram are chickpeas no they're not they're lentils." "Only some chickpeas are lentils." Make up your flipping mind, the internet!

So now I'm asking my trusty DC friends, what is Bengal gram? The internet can't seem to come to an agreement and I figure you guys probably know better than it anyway.
So sorry! Bengal Gram are chickpeas and the flour is called gramflour :)
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Old 08-03-2011, 04:01 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by purple.alien.giraffe View Post
OK, so this question is totally Snip's fault. She posted that really good looking recipe for Bobotie ala Odette except I wasn't sure what Garam Masala was. So I opened up the (usually) trusty Google search page and looked it up. This led me to some really interesting information about Garam Masala and Curry and ate up way more of my time than I really should have allowed. In one of the articles I was reading the author mentioned Bengal Gram but didn't explain what it was. Thinking it must be another spice type thing I opened up another (usually) trusty Google search page and looked up Bengal Gram. This is where it got annoying.

"Bengal gram are chickpeas." "Bengal gram are lentils." "Chickpeas are lentils." "No they're not, they're legumes." "Lentils are legumes, chickpeas are legumes but chickpeas aren't lentils and Bengal gram are chickpeas no they're not they're lentils." "Only some chickpeas are lentils." Make up your flipping mind, the internet!

So now I'm asking my trusty DC friends, what is Bengal gram? The internet can't seem to come to an agreement and I figure you guys probably know better than it anyway.
Ha ha ha..... so glad you did my next google project for me , pag. I'm still working on all the noodle dishes. Phew.......
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Old 08-03-2011, 04:18 PM   #5
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See, I knew you guys were more awesome than a Google search. Thanks!
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Old 08-06-2011, 03:52 AM   #6
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Cook's Thesaurus is incomplete:

Two variants of chickpea (Cicer arietinum):
* Desi is the Indian variant with small, darker seeds and a rough coat. Bengal gram or kala chana is cultivated mostly in the Indian subcontinent, Ethiopia, Iran, and Mexico.
* Kabuli is the European variant with lighter coloured, larger seeds and a smoother coat. Safed chana, ceci or garbanzo beans are mainly grown around the Mediterranean, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Chile. They are an introduced species to the Indian subcontinent.

Desi Chana is used to make Besan. Desi Chana is slightly roasted before milling it into Besan. It is also called chana flour, chana dal flour, gram flour, dal flour, gram dal flour, pea flour and besan flour. It is favoured in Indian cooking.
Kabuli Chana is milled to make Chickpea flour, garbanzo flour or ceci flour. This Chickpea flour is not Besan. It is used in European cooking.

The Lentil is Lens culinaris: it is commonly red-orange, green, brown and black.

Vigna mungo [urad dal] or black gram is incorrectly named "black lentil" while White Lentil is just the skinned urad dal.
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Old 08-06-2011, 08:25 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by auzzi View Post
Cook's Thesaurus is incomplete:

Two variants of chickpea (Cicer arietinum):
* Desi is the Indian variant with small, darker seeds and a rough coat. Bengal gram or kala chana is cultivated mostly in the Indian subcontinent, Ethiopia, Iran, and Mexico.
* Kabuli is the European variant with lighter coloured, larger seeds and a smoother coat. Safed chana, ceci or garbanzo beans are mainly grown around the Mediterranean, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Chile. They are an introduced species to the Indian subcontinent.

Desi Chana is used to make Besan. Desi Chana is slightly roasted before milling it into Besan. It is also called chana flour, chana dal flour, gram flour, dal flour, gram dal flour, pea flour and besan flour. It is favoured in Indian cooking.
Kabuli Chana is milled to make Chickpea flour, garbanzo flour or ceci flour. This Chickpea flour is not Besan. It is used in European cooking.

The Lentil is Lens culinaris: it is commonly red-orange, green, brown and black.

Vigna mungo [urad dal] or black gram is incorrectly named "black lentil" while White Lentil is just the skinned urad dal.
Cool. Thanks for the extra info. Google, psh. Who needs Google?
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Old 08-06-2011, 10:20 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by auzzi View Post
Cook's Thesaurus is incomplete:

Two variants of chickpea (Cicer arietinum):
* Desi is the Indian variant with small, darker seeds and a rough coat. Bengal gram or kala chana is cultivated mostly in the Indian subcontinent, Ethiopia, Iran, and Mexico...

black chickpeas = kala channa = Bengal gram Notes: These are more rust-colored than black, and have a nutty flavor. Look for them in Indian markets. Substitutes: chickpeas

...but still correct.
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