Sooji, Maida & Besan

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    Besan is a pulse flour made from a variety of ground chickpea known as Bengal gram. It is also called gram flour or chickpea flour and is mostly used in gravies, batters and as a binding agent for koftas, fritters, and savoury snacks. When mixed with yoghurt or water it becomes a paste that is popularly used as a beauty treatment for the face and body in the Indian subcontinent.

    Sooji, maida and besan

    India is a country of diverse cultures and the diversity of this country is best described by the popular Hindi proverb – “kos kos par badle pani, chaar kos par baani”, which essentially means that at every two miles the water changes and every four miles the language. This vast diversity of the nation has gastronomically blessed the country and one needs an entire lifetime to try all that Indian cuisine has to offer. Making a huge part of Indian cuisine are the staple food items - sooji, maida and besan. There is an enormous amount of food items that can be prepared with these three kitchen ingredients. Move from the north to the south of the country and one can easily find at least one food item that tantalises the taste buds made from either sooji, besan or maida. Talking specifically about sooji or semolina – the popular food items made from sooji across the country include suji halwa puri of the north, upmas, rava idlis and rava dosas of the south, rava thalipeeth of the west and the Bengali Mohan bhog and the jhal suji. Apart from the spectacular taste, there are also several health benefits to eating rava sooji. Sooji is great for diabetics and helps in controlling blood sugar levels, helps in weight loss, is a great source of energy, boosts body functions, prevents iron deficiency, provides antioxidants and prevents high cholesterol. Besan or Bengal gram flour is another indispensable part of Indian cuisine. There are an innumerable amount of things that can be prepared from besan, from the different kadhis and ladoos to chilas, dhoklas and Mysore paks to name a few. Besan flour is also used as a batter dip to dunk a variety of vegetables to prepare mouth-watering pakoras. Besan is also a regular feature in a variety of Indian sweets and snacks. Besides the splendid taste that besan or gram flour lends to Indian food, there also are several health benefits to eating it. Besan nutrition facts include – it is rich in fibre, iron, potassium, manganese, copper, zinc, phosphorus, magnesium, folate, Vitamin B – 6 and thiamine. You can buy besan flour at lower rates from the market only from bigbasket where the average besan price ranges between 70 to 80 Rs per kg depending upon the brand of the product. Another essential kitchen commodity is Maida. Maida flour has received a lot of bad press for being a refined flour and although maida nutrition might be pretty negligible, it is just one thing difficult to imagine life without owing to its widespread usage in various local and international food items. Maida has a higher starch content and is low in protein which makes it best for pie crusts, cookies, yeast bread, puff pastry, pizzas, cream puffs, burgers, biscuits and Danish pastry. Closer home maida is an irreplaceable part of naans, kachoris, paranthas, samosas, panipuri and momos to name a few popular food items. What makes maida so popular is its cheap price and when you buy it from bigbasket it gets further cheaper. Maida price on bigbasket is a mere 19 rupees for a 500gm pack. However, the maida prices depend on the brand and type of maida (organic or regular) being purchased. Apart from these three types of flours, you can also find several different types of flours on bigbasket like, ragi flour, cornflour, makai flour and rice flour besides the regular wheat flour.

    Nutritional facts about besan:

    Apart from being low in saturated fat, one cup of besan has 22 milligrams of protein, 11 grams of sugar, 7 grams of fat, 11 grams of fibre and 58 grams of carbohydrates. Besan is rich in minerals like calcium, magnesium, potassium, zinc, iron, phosphorus, manganese, selenium and copper. Although it may not be the best source of vitamins, besan still does have small amounts of vitamin A, niacin, pantothenic acid, vitamin K and folate in it. The best part about besan is that it is also gluten-free.

    Besan calories:

    There are 387 calories in 100 grams of besan, of which 16% is fat, 61% is carbs, and 24% is protein.

    Sooji calories:

    There are 360 calories in 100 grams of sooji or semolina. These calories are made up of 3% fat, 83% carbs and 14% protein.

    Sooji nutrition and health benefits:

    Rava or sooji has many health benefits. Firstly, it is made up of durum wheat, which means it contains amylose, a slowly digested starch present in besan that helps you feel full for longer so you can avoid overeating. It also contains phosphorus, zinc and magnesium, which are necessary minerals that help you maintain a good nervous system. Rava is also great for your bones too. Being a rich source of selenium, rava can help prevent infections and strengthen your immune system.

    What is sooji made of?

    Sooji or rava is granulated wheat, otherwise known as semolina, it is made from durum wheat.

    How to make sooji?

    1.Mix the sooji or rava with sufficient amount of milk until it becomes a paste. 2.Boil the rest of the milk in a pot. 3.Once the milk boils, add the sooji paste, vanilla essence and sugar. 4.Stir until it thickens, add dry fruits of your choice 5.Serve hot and enjoy.

    How to make besan flour?

    Besan is made from Bengal gram or chickpeas. The entire seed is roasted lightly and milled into a flour to make besan flour. Sooji or rava are different names given to granulated durum wheat. Commonly known as rava in south India, it is used to make a lot of halwas and sweet dishes. Besan, on the other hand, is made from ground chickpea known as Bengal gram. Both sooji and besan are quite healthy breakfast or snack options for those looking for variety while on a weight-conscious diet. Both rava and besan are rich in minerals like phosphorus, zinc, magnesium, calcium, and potassium that offer many health benefits, like lowering cholesterol, improving immunity, bone health and more. Both sooji and rava have slow digesting starches that keep you full for long and can thereby help you avoid overeating.