The nutritious, delicious, and gluten-free chickpea flour is a cornerstone for many recipes. Its taste and flavor lend themselves well to most taste buds. Also known as besan, garbanzo flour, or gram flour, it is a popular ingredient in several cuisines.
Though it’s gaining ground in the USA, it’s not that popular yet. There’s a chance you might not have it at hand and may want to look at some chickpea flour substitutes to go ahead with your recipe.
Well, here are some options that can fulfill the gap of chickpea flour in several dishes.
Best Substitutes For Chickpea Flour
1. Spelt Flour
Spelt flour looks like conventional wheat flour, in fact, this ancient flour is a variety of wheat. What makes it a good replacement for chickpea flour is the fact that its taste has nutty undertones.
It’s a good choice where flavor is concerned, but it requires additional work to actually be useful for baking and cooking. Spelt flour has trouble in baked goods where flour has to rise, so it’s not a good candidate for breads or cake and pastry recipes. However, it works quite well with muffins and cookies.
The way to get the most out of spelt flour in baking is to mix it with other flours for a better flavor and performance. It works pretty well for recipes that don’t require baking.
2. Millet Flour
Millet is another ancient grain and a staple for several across the globe. It’s a gluten-free flour, yet remarkably similar to wheat flour. It can work as a decent alternative to chickpea flour in most cases.
Although like spelt flour, it has trouble with baking and is prone to crumble if too little or too much water is present. It is better to mix it with other flours for proper use in baking.
3. Quinoa Flour
Quinoa is one of the most celebrated flours of the modern world, thanks to its nutritious profile. It’s a hit with the health-conscious and is getting more attention from people. That said, this is only a somewhat-acceptable replacement for chickpea flour.
You might have to limit the scope to cooked dishes (no baking here), and still add other flours for better stability. Quinoa’s distinctive taste is quite different from chickpea, so use this option with careful consideration.
4. Buckwheat Flour
Just to clear any confusion springing from its name, buckwheat flour is not even close to being wheat flour. This is a gluten-free flour popular in several recipes, the famous Japanese soba noodles being one of them.
It is more absorbent than chickpea flour and has fewer calories. This one too is best used for cooked dishes rather than for baking.
5. Cassava Flour
Another healthy flour, cassava does a decent job of replacing chickpea flour. Made from ground cassava root, cassava flour is nutritious and has a good taste. It can replace chickpea flour in many recipes, though there are challenges for baking as this flour doesn’t rise. It is a good idea to mix it with other flours and expect a slight change in the end results for baked goods.
6. Wheat Flour
The famous and common wheat flour is perhaps the easiest and most accessible choice for a substitute in this case. It works for cooking, baking, and can replace chickpea flour in most recipes.
Wheat flour is very versatile and used in countless recipes around the globe. It is rich in nutrients and is easy to work with as a cooking ingredient. This could very well be your first choice as an alternative unless you must absolutely pick something gluten-free.
7. Almond Flour
Almond flour is an excellent option. It brings a nutty taste that works well with the flavor of the substitute. Plus, the almond flavor itself is a pretty desirable option for many recipes. The flour is gluten-free, nutritious, and easy to work with. The only downside here would be its cost.
This flour works well for cooking, baking, and other culinary uses. It has an excellent aroma and brings great taste to any recipe. The flour is naturally sweeter and has fewer carbs than chickpea flour.
8. Arrowroot Powder
Going with arrowroot powder is a somewhat unusual choice. After all, its primary role is as a thickener, rather than as a conventional flour. And its mild flavor plays into that pretty well. Still, it can work as a decent replacement in many scenarios.
It has a texture similar to chickpea flour, but use it with caution. It’s best to do a trial with a smaller amount first, rather than choosing to use it as a spur of the moment replacement.
9. Brown Rice Flour
The nutrition-rich brown rice flour is a good choice where some changes to the texture are acceptable. This flour also includes the bran and germ of the rice. Besides bringing in benefits to nutrition, these also bring some changes to the taste and texture of the flour and the recipes that use it.
In most cases, this flour will work without any problem with most recipes that call for chickpea flour. However, it tends to be chewier and has a distinct flavor of its own. It works well for baking. You can expect the cake to come out soft and somewhat chewy.
10. Fava Bean Flour
Fava bean flour is another common ingredient that can stand-in for chickpea flour in some recipes. It has a nice flavor and texture, so the flour is often used for several baked goods. The flour is versatile and can work with pretty much any type of recipe or dish. It’s nutritious, flavorful, and gluten-free.
While it presents a good flavor, fava bean flour alone cannot replace chickpea flour in most baked recipes. You will have to add other flours along with the fava bean flour for baked recipes. These will help with raising the flour, prevent crumbling, and make a more structured dish.
11. Oat Flour
Made from rolled oats, this flour is a popular and readily available option. Oat flour is nutritious, easy to use, and shows pretty good results for most recipes. It works great for cooking, baking, and even as a binder. Don’t have any oat flour? Grab your regular oatmeal and run it through a food processor (grinder) until you get the flour.
12. DIY Chickpea Flour
Here’s a simple and quick way of going about this whole problem – make your own chickpea flour. It’s rather easy to accomplish and with the unique taste of chickpeas, it might be better to use the original in many cases, especially simpler recipes.
If you can get your hands on dried chickpeas, toss them into a grinder and let it work its magic. Once you have the mix at a flour-like consistency, it’s time to stop.
Most home grinders can’t accomplish making flour in one go. Empty the contents of the grinder into a sieve and let the flour through. You’ll have some chunks left in the sieve. Put them back into the grinder and run it for a second time.
Usually, two passes through a grinder should do the trick, but don’t shy away from using a third if necessary.
This homemade flour can be coarser than commercially available flour, and that’s okay. Most recipes won’t be affected by it. Plus, you’ll be able to use this flour directly with your recipe and enjoy its unique, nutty taste.
Getting On With The Right Flour Substitutes
It can be troublesome to replace a flour that’s so versatile and has a unique flavor. Finding chickpea flour substitutes will require you to make some allowances for flavor because its nutty undertones are hard to come by with most recipes.
Using conventional wheat flour is a good choice, considering its easy availability. You can also consider oat flour if you’d like something nutritious and gluten-free. Need more options? This article lists several choices that can fit most requirements and preferences.