Saturday, 5 January 2013

Bolo Besan Ki Jai!!

So.. Lets talk about besan. Besan is the powder form of unroasted chick- peas. Besan has been part of a woman's beauty kit for ever. It even finds mention in Charaka and Sushruta samhita. It is known for its exfoliating and bleaching qualities. Since it is grainy in texture,it can be used as an effective scrub, at the same time, it is so gentle that it can be used everyday. Only be careful that you don't scrub too hard on your face.

It is safe enough to be used on a infant's skin as well. I fact It is a very effective hair-removing agent! I did not know this when I had my first daughter. But when I had my second, the massage lady told me that if we rub besan on a baby's body, all excess body hair will be gone forever! It actually worked. My younger has very little visible body hair whereas my older one has quite a bit on her upper back! 

The recipe is quite simple! Mix equal quantities, about 3 tablespoons of besan and regular whole-wheat flour. Knead it with some smoked(and cooled) mustard oil to the consistency of puri/quiche making dough. Roll it into a couple of fingers. Rub these 'fingers' on the infant's arms, legs and back. Doing this about three or four times is enough. do this once a week for a month. Guaranteed, almost no waxing/shaving hassles when they grow up! But make sure you don't do this on kids more than a year old. The hair roots become stronger and it will hurt the kid.

Besan has been used for times immemorial as ubtan for would-be brides, and with good reason. It exfoliates the skin, removing dead cells, encouraging cell renewal, bleaching body and facial hair and skin, removing tan. So in a couple of weeks she is glowing from head to toe!!

Shahnaz Hussain Treatments:
  1. Besan can be added to your regular face packs to remove a tan and to cleanse and tighten the skin.
  2. Mix it with yogurt, lemon juice and a pinch of turmeric. Apply on the skin and wash it off after half an hour.
  3. Mix ground almonds with gram flour, milk and lemon juice. Apply it on the face and wash off after 20 to 30 minutes. It helps to remove tan and lighten skin colour.
  4. A besan pack helps to reduce oiliness. It can be mixed with milk or yogurt and applied, washing it off after 20 minutes.
  5. For pimple prone skin, mix besan with sandalwood paste, turmeric and milk into a paste. Apply on the face and wash it off after 20 minutes.
  6. To discourage facial hair, mix gram flour with water into a paste and apply on the area. Wash it off when it dries.
  7. For dark arms and neck: Apply til oil daily and massage it on the skin. Mix besan, curd, lemon juice and a little turmeric and apply at least three times a week. Wash it off after half an hour. Then apply til oil and massage it into the skin, as recommended.
  8.  For smooth and fairer skin, mix gram flour with dried and ground orange peels and cream of milk. Apply on the face and neck. After 15 minutes, rub gently on the skin with circular motions. Wash off with water.

Health Benefits of Besan

Nutritional Facts:

One cup--92g--of chickpea flour provides 356 calories, including 52 calories from fat. A 1-cup serving of chickpea flour also contains 6g of total fat, 1g of saturated fat and no trans fat. With 53.2g of total carbohydrate, a cup of chickpea flour provides 18 percent of your recommended daily value--DV--of carbohydrate and 40 percent of the recommended DV of dietary fiber, as well as 41 percent of the recommended DV of protein. When you eat a 1-cup serving of chickpea flour, you'll also be getting vitamin A, vitamin K and several B-complex vitamins, including thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid and a full day's supply of folate. Chickpea flour provides 25 percent of the DV for iron, 74 percent of the recommended DV for manganese, and various amounts of other trace elements and minerals, including calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, zinc, copper and selenium.

Control Diabetes: Due to the low glycemic index of Besan, it is a great food for diabetics. Use it in your rotis, parathas as a replacement for flour.

Improve Heart Health: Besan has a high soluble fiber content and is beneficial for heart health. It is also endorsed by the Heart Care Foundation.
Weight Loss: Due to lower glycemic index, and calorie count, besan is often used as a low calorie food for those trying to lose weight. 
Reduced Allergies: Since besan does not contain gluten, it is a great substitute to wheat and gluten containing grains, for those people that are allergic to gluten.
Besan has high nutritive value, and has plenty more health benefits. Beyond dhokla, khandvi, there are many healthy recipes using besan- even besan brownies and chutney!
Search the net for healthy cooking with besan.