Is Besan Good for Diabetics? 15 Diabetes-Friendly Besan Recipes

Last Updated on September 4, 2020 by Dr Sharon Baisil MD

Besan, also known as – gram flour, is made from grounded chickpeas. It is a popular Kitchen ingredient and very often included in dishes. But is this flour healthy for people with diabetes?

Chickpeas are very low in Glycemic Index (GI); it is just 6. The flour made from these that is – Besan is also very low in GI. The glycemic index of Besan is 10, which is low and safe for diabetics’ consumption.

Compared to white flour variety, using Besan can be a healthier option. Snacks that are prepared using Besan are also said to fall under a low GI category of around 28 – 35.

Let us look at some Besan recipes which are safe for diabetics and do not cause any harmful spikes in blood sugar levels.

Veggie causing Diabetes

15 Diabetes-friendly recipes from Besan:  

1. Besan Chakli, Non-Fried, and Diabetes-friendly

Besan Chakli

Chakli is usually made from rice flour, and along with the deep-frying, the total GI of the dish may rise.
Making it with Besan is a great way to watch your diabetes diet and enjoy its goodness at the same time.

Here’s how to make it:


–         Besan (1 cup)


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–         Whole wheat flour (1/4 cup)

–         Sesame seeds (2 teaspoons)

–         Chili Powder (1/2 teaspoon)

–         Asafetida (1/4 teaspoon)

–         Turmeric powder (1/4 teaspoon)

–         Oil (2 teaspoons)

–         Curd (2 teaspoons)

–         Salt

Combine all the ingredients with the required amount of water to form into dough.

Use a chakli-press to make the swirls, or make the chakli swirls yourself around a 2 inch diameter.

Instead of deep-frying in oil, bake in a preheated oven at 180 for 30mins.

And there you have your diabetes-friendly Besan chakli!

2. Besan-Chilla


Another one of the famous and savored Indian snacks is the Besan-Chilla, which is a pancake variation with Besan and veggies.

Here’s how to make it:


–         Besan (1 cup)

–         Water (1 cup)

–         Sliced Onions (1/2)

–         Chili powder (1 teaspoon)

–         Ajwain (1 teaspoon)

–         Salt as per taste

–         Green chilies

–         Methi leaves (1/2 cup)

–         Oil (4 teaspoons)

Keep the oil aside and mix all the other ingredients to form a thick batter. Let it rest for 20mins.

Heat a pan and add some oil.

Pour the batter in the pan and spread it around to form a circular pancake-like shape.

Cook until the edges brown a little and then flip it over.

Cook both the sides well, and serve your Besan-Chilla.

3. Besan-Bhurji


This might seem a new recipe, but it is undoubtedly very healthy and doesn’t compromise on taste.

Here’s the recipe:


–         Besan (3/4 cup)

–         Masala Oats (1/2 cup)

–         Flaxseed powder (1 tablespoon)

–         Water (1/2 cup)

–         Curd (tablespoon)

–         Cumin seeds, red chili powder, Cumin powder (1 teaspoon)

–         1 Chopped onion

–         1 chopped capsicum

–         Sliced Mushrooms

–         Green chilies

–         Turmeric powder (1/4 teaspoon)

–         Chopped Coriander leaves

–         One teaspoon oil

–         Salt

Mix the batter ingredients to form a firm paste.

Heat the oil in a pan and sauté the vegetables with the cumin seeds.

Add the spice powders to the veggies.

Pour in the Besan batter and cook at low heat for 5mins.

When started to cook, mix the batter slowly.

Fry till the batter browns a little and takes the form of Bhurji.

Add the coriander leaves, and you’re done! 

4. Peanuts coated with Besan

Peanuts coated with Besan

This is a trendy peanut variation. It is diabetes-friendly, as peanuts are considered as a healthy diabetes snack.

Let’s see how it’s made:


–         Raw peanuts (2 cups)

–         Besan (100g)

–         Oil (2 tablespoons)

–         Black pepper

–         Salt

–         Coriander powder, chili powder, cumin seeds, turmeric, mango-powder, asafoetida (all ½ teaspoon)

–         Water (1 cup)

–         Baking soda (3 pinches)

Add all the spices with the Besan, baking powder, and one tablespoon of oil in a bowl and mix well.

Wash and dry the peanuts, and then add it to the Besan mix.

Add the water and remaining oil, and mix it all.

Cook in the microwave for 5mins, then take it out, stir the peanuts, microwave again for 2mins. Repeat this five times.

Serve your healthy and crunchy peanuts.

5. Besan Vegetable Pakoras

Besan Vegetable Pakoras

Making Pakoras with healthy veggies and Besan can be a light and diabetes-safe snack option. Here’s how:


–         Vegetables: 1 Chopped Onions, Capsicum, and cauliflower

–         Besan (100g)

–         One teaspoon – cumin powder, coriander powder, turmeric, garam masala

–         1 chopped green chili

–         Baking soda (½ teaspoon)

–         Water (100ml)

–         Oil

Mix the Besan with the powdered spices, baking soda, and water to form a thick paste-like consistency.

Heat oil in a pan and one by one add the vegetables coated in the Besan batter into the oil to fry.

Fry all the Pakoras for 3-4mins.

Drain the oil from the Pakoras, serve hot, with healthy a dip.

6. Besan tortillas

Besan tortillas

Instead of corn tortillas, make these Besan ones that are healthier and safe for diabetes too.


–         Besan (1 ½ cup)

–         Salt and pepper (1 teaspoon each)

–         Warm water (1 ¾ cup)

–         Oil (1 tablespoon)

–         Pinch of ground nutmeg

Mix all the ingredients to form a pancake-like batter.

Keep it aside for 15mins.

Heat a non-stick pan and pour the oil.

Add the batter in sections to make the tortillas and cook and flip each for 3-4mins.

Serve the healthy tortillas with a healthy dip or side.

7. Kothimbir vadi, oil-free variant

Kothimbir vadi, oil-free variant

This famous western Indian dish is a good one for people with diabetes too. Let us check out the recipe for it.


–         Oats powdered (1/4 cup)

–         Soya flour (2 tablespoons)

–         Besan (2 tablespoons)

–         Chopped coriander (1 cup)

–         Chopped green chili

–         Grated ginger

–         ¼ teaspoon of – cumin powder, coriander powder, red chili powder

–         Salt

–         Curd

–         Water (2 tablespoons)

Grind the oats and pour it into a bowl with the Besan and soy flour, and mix.

Add the spices, chili, and chopped coriander.

Add the curd and water, and knead into a dough, until non-sticky. Shape it into a cylinder.

Set up a steamer with a vessel containing water and a steaming basket stand.

Let the water heat and then put the cylindrical dough in the steaming basket and on the stand.

Cover and let it steam for 10mins.

Cool it, cut into smaller cylinders, and serve.

8. Oats and Besan Dosa

Oats and Besan Dosa

Including the goodness of oats and Besan makes this delicious Dosa variant without any trouble in your diabetic diet.


–         Oats (3/4 cup)

–         Besan (1/2 cup)

–         Finely chopped veggies – spinach, onion, chili, cilantro, carrots

–         Red chili powder (1 teaspoon)

–         Turmeric powder (1/4 teaspoon)

–         Garam masala (1/2 teaspoon)

–         Water

–         Oil

Mix the oats and Besan with the chopped veggies and spices in a bowl.

Add in water to mix well into a paste.

Heat a pan and add some oil. Add a spoon of the paste and let it cook.

Flip the dosa and cook both the sides well. Serve hot.

9. Besan sandwich-bread

Besan sandwich-bread

Making bread from Besan? How much healthier can it get? Here’s your recipe to homemade Besan bread:


–         Besan

–         Baking Soda

–         Club Soda or Seltzer water

–         Some sugar

–         A little bit of oil

Pour the dry ingredient for the bread into a bowl and whisk it well with the club soda/seltzer water.

Pour the batter into an oven-pan with lined parchment paper.

Bake at 375 for 45mins until risen, soft, and cooked.

Pair it with your healthy fillings or spreads and enjoy!

10. Besan eggless bread-omelet

Besan eggless bread-omelet

Looking for a vegetarian bread-omelet recipe? Here it is.


–         Besan (1 cup)

–         Plain flour (1/4 cup)

–         Baking powder (3/4 teaspoon)

–         Turmeric

–         Salt

–         Water (1 ¼ cup)

–         Two finely cut onions

–         Chopped green chili

–         Chopped coriander

–         Red chili powder (1/4 teaspoon)

–         Pepper (1/4 teaspoon)

–         Bread

–         Oil

Sieve the Besan, flour, salt, turmeric, and baking powder in a bowl and mix with the water.

Add in the chopped coriander and onions.

Heat a pan and add the oil. Pour in some of the batter spread and cook the base of the Besan Omelet.

Place the slice of bread, flip the omelet, and cook well on both sides.

Fold the omelet around the bread and serve hot!

11. Pithla/Bombay Chutney

Pithla-Bombay Chutney

Pithla is a native dish from Maharashtra. The use of Besan makes this a safe and healthy one for diabetics too.


–         Besan (2 tablespoons)

–         Water (2 cups)

–         Oil

–         One teaspoon of – mustard, urad dal, chana dal

–         Dried red chili (1)

–         Curry leaves

–         1 chopped ginger

–         1 green chili

–         One chopped onion and tomato

–         A pinch of Asafetida

–         Turmeric and salt (1/4 teaspoon)

–         Chopped coriander leaves

–         Lemon juice (1 tablespoon)

Mix the Besan with water and avoid any lumps.

Heat the oil in a pot, add the spices with the urad dal, chana dal, and curry leaves. Fry it for a while.

Add the chopped onions, ginger and chili, then sauté. Then add in the tomatoes.

Pour in the Besan mix and stir until combined.

Cover, cook and let it thicken—Add-in water as required.

Add the coriander leaves and lemon juice, mix well and serve as Bombay chutney. 

12. Dhokla


Dhokla is a very popular yet healthy snack item from Gujarat.


–         Besan (1 ½ cup)

–         Suji (3 tablespoons)

–         Ginger paste (1/2 teaspoon)

–         Chopped chilies

–         Turmeric (1/4 teaspoon)

–         Sugar (1 teaspoon)

–         Salt (1/2 teaspoon)

–         Lemon juice (1 tablespoon)

–         Oil (1 tablespoon)

–         Water (1 cup)

–         Fruit salt/eno (1/2 teaspoon)

–         ½ teaspoon – cumin and mustard seeds

–         Sesame (1 teaspoon)

–         Pinch of asafetida

–         Curry leaves

–         Grated coconut

–         Chopped coriander

Sieve the Besan and Suji in a bowl and add in the ginger paste, chilies, spices, asafetida, lemon juice, and some oil.

Add a cup of water to make a smooth paste. Pour in the eno/fruit salt.

Spread this mix in a tray and steam for 20 mins.

In another pan, fry the cumin and mustard with the curry leaves: add some water, lemon juice, salt, and sugar. Boil the syrup and pour it on the Dhokla.

Slice the Dhokla, garnish with coriander and grated coconut, and there you have it!

13. Gatte ki curry


To make this simple curry, follow these steps:


For Gatte:

– Besan (1 cup)

–         Coriander seeds (1/2 teaspoon)

–         Ajwain (1/4 teaspoon)

–         Turmeric powder (1/4 teaspoon)

–         Red chili powder (1/4 teaspoon)

–         Salt (1/4 teaspoon)

–         Pinch of asafetida

–         Ghee (2 tablespoons)

–         Curd (2 tablespoons)

–         Water (2 tablespoons)

For curry:

–         Oil (2 tablespoons)

–         Cumin (1 teaspoon)

–         Kasuri Methi (1 teaspoon)

–         1 Bay leaf

–         Chopped onions

–         Ginger paste (1 teaspoon)

–         Curd (1 cup)

–         Turmeric powder (1/4 teaspoon)

–         Red chili powder (1/4 teaspoon)

–         Salt

–         Garam Masala (1/4 teaspoon)

–         Chopped coriander

To make Gatte – Add in the Besan with all the mentioned ingredients and add in some water t knead into dough. Roll the dough into cylinders and boil them in water for 10mins. Cut the Gatte into small pieces.

To make curry – Heat the pot with oil and fry the onion and ginger paste.

Add all the spice eventually and pour in water and curd to make gravy.

Add in the Gatte and boil for 10mins more.

Add the Garam masala, coriander leaves and serve hot with Roti.

14. Baked sev

Baked sev

Another healthy baked snack variant with Besan is sev.


–          Besan (1 cup)

–         Turmeric (1/2 teaspoon)

–         Asafetida (1/2 teaspoon)

–         Salt (1/2 teaspoon)

–         Lemon juice (1 tablespoon)

–         Oil (1 tablespoon)

–         Water (2 tablespoons)

Add in the Besan with all the spices. Knead with the oil, lemon juice, and water into a soft dough.

Put the dough in your sev making mold.

Grease an oven pan and let the mold shape the dough into sev.

Bake this at 200 for 10mins. There you have your healthy baked sev.

15. Sugar-free Besan Ladoo

Sugar-free Besan Ladoo

Besan Ladoo is an all-time favorite, making them sugar-free is a good option for people with diabetes to enjoy this once in a while.


–         Besan (3/4 cup)

–         Suji (1/4 cup0

–         Ghee (3 tablespoons)

–         Cardamom powder (1/2 teaspoon)

–         Almonds and cashews chopped

–         Jaggery (125g)

–         Water (1 tablespoon)

Add the ghee in a pan and pour in the Besan and Suji and stir continuously until aromatic. (10mins)

Add in the chopped cashews and almonds and cardamom powder. Stir for two more minutes.

Melt the Jaggery with water and add in the Besan mix. Mix well and allow cooling.

Make medium-sized Ladoos and serve this sweet dish.

(Being a sweet dish, it can still be unsafe for diabetics. It can be had once in a while.)


Dr Sharon Baisil MD

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