The Best Besan For Your Pakodas
It took us several hours of compulsive pakoda munching to find for you the best besan brand for pakodas. After going through seven popular brands, the clear winner is…
It was raining and we had a big pile of pakodas in front of us. That’s when the idea struck! Which besan (बेसन) would make the crunchiest, tastiest pakodas? We needed answers! Our goal was set and so were our oil-filled woks. After testing seven easily available besan brands, and frying several batches of pakodas over two days, we found out that Rajdhani Besan emerged as our Top Pick as it had the tastiest and crispiest outcome. We also recommend Tata Sampann Besan and Aahar Besan.
Mishry Reviews – The Best Besan For Your Pakodas
Top Pick – Rajdhani Besan
Pakodas made using Rajdhani Besan were the crunchiest and coated evenly.
MRP – Rs 60/-
Net weight – 500 grams
*Price at the time of review
Why Rajdhani Besan is our Top Pick?
Dry inspection – Rajdhani besan was a pale yellow, had a mildly coarse texture, and the aroma was robust.
Making the besan batter – The batter made using Rajdhani besan was very easy to whip, and no lumps formed while adding water. The batter was very smooth. The potatoes coated evenly, and unlike some besan brands, the batter did not slip off the potatoes.
The outcome – The pakodas made using the Rajdhani Besan were very crunchy, and the besan flavor shined through.
Rajdhani besan is priced competitively.
Also Recommended – Tata Sampann Besan
Tata Sampann Fine Besan
Pakodas made using Tata Sampann were flavorful and were moderately crunchy.
MRP – Rs 64/-*
*Price at the time of review
Why we also recommend Tata Sampann Fine Besan
Tata Sampann Besan has a strong chana dal aroma and has a fine powdery texture. The Tata Sampann Besan coated well on the slices of potatoes. The besan flavor outshines the most in these pakodas, but these are not as crunchy as the pakodas made using Rajdhani.
Also Recommended – Ahaar Besan
Pakodas made using Ahaar Besan were tasty and the coating was almost ‘fluffy’.
MRP – Rs 62/-*
*Price at the time of review
Why we recommend Ahaar Besan
Ahaar besan had a strong besan aroma and fine texture during the dry tasting. The pakodas made using the Ahaar besan were tasty but not crunchy at all. The batter-coated very well on the slices of potatoes, and had turned very airy. While these are very tasty, they were not crunchy. However, this will be suitable to make pakodas for a Punjabi Kadhi or besan ki barfi.
Our Review Process
Chai, pakodas, rain, and some retro songs. The perfect rainy-day Indian snack, pakodas, deserve the best. Don’t they? Apart from a pool of chutneys and generous sprinkles of chaat masala, besan is a highly crucial element that reflects on the overall taste and crispiness of the pakodas. Read on to see how we chose the best for you!
Sangeeta Khanna & Her Book On Pakodas
For this review, we took the expert guidance of Sangeeta Khanna, who is widely respected for her knowledge about ingredients, recipes, cooking techniques, and all things food! She is also the author of a book on pakodas! Yes, for all the lovers of pakodas, Sangeeta’s book is a celebration of India’s love for this crunchy, mostly-batter-coated, anytime snack. And so it was only natural that we sought her advice to create a basic framework for the review that would help us gauge several brands in a methodical way. She recommended conducting a dry tasting of besan, before the frying sessions. Her recipe of Alu Katli Ke Pakode was used to conduct our taste test.
You might ask – Why did she suggest a recipe that is so simple and homely? Why not something fancier and exciting? Aloo pakode is one of the most loved and essential recipes in India. Potatoes are a versatile vegetable and can help the besan flavor to shine through. This recipe was deliberately used so that the besan flavor doesn’t drown in a sea of other intense flavors.
The original recipe from Sangeeta’s book contains rice flour – an ingredient that is typically added for added crunch. Because we wanted to check the inherent crunch of the besan, we decided against adding rice flour to the recipe, post consultation with her.
Who Is This Review For?
We dont know anyone who doesn’t like pakodas! Do you? You may not be a regular, and others may like to eat pakodas a bit more frequently, but the fact is, everyone loves a crunchy pakoda!
Besan or gram flour is a very healthy flour used to make the most sinfully yummy pakodas. Pakodas are vegetables coated in a spiced gram flour (besan) batter and deep-fried till golden and crispy. So if you love pakodas and the rustic taste of besan, this review is for you.
How We Picked The Brands
We picked seven popular and easily available besan brands that could be bought from any nearby grocery store or from online portals. There was no particular price range kept in mind. We included organic besan brands in this review as well because that aspect does not affect the outcome of the dish.
The Brands We Picked
The seven brands that we picked were –
|Brand Name||Price (500 grams)|
|Pro Nature (Organic)||Rs 124/-|
|Tata Sampann||Rs 64/-|
|24 Organic Mantra (Organic)||Rs 85/-|
To find the best besan for pakodas we set our parameters as the following.
1. Taste Of Besan (Raw/Pakodas) – This parameter included a dry tasting of the besan and taste of the besan in pakodas. We also wanted to check how closely does the chana-dal flavor reflects in the raw tasting and even after being fried.
2. Texture – The smoothness or coarseness of the dry besan was noted. The airiness of the batter and the ease with which the batter was whipped was marked as well. Some besan batters were airy while some were harder to mix into a batter no matter how vigorously they were mixed.
3. Coating Of The Potatoes – This parameter determined how well the besan coated the potatoes. While some potato slices were easy to coat, some batters kept ‘slipping off’.
4. Crispiness Of The Pakodas – The most crucial factor was the crispiness of the pakodas. As we did not use rice flour, this parameter was judged solely on the basis of the besan.
How We Reviewed
Our review team collected all seven brands of besan from their local market or from online platforms.
We divided our besan review process into three sections –
- Dry inspection and tasting
- Pakoda tasting – Round 1
- Pakoda tasting – Round 2
Dry Tasting-All seven brands were put in bowls for texture and color inspection. We tasted all the besans (raw) to see if they closely mimicked the taste of chana.
Batter And Pakoda Tasting – As our pakoda-loving team sat down to make a list of parameters and brands, we were also searching for a standardized pakoda recipe for the review. That’s where Sangeeta Khanna, author of the book Pakodas, came in. Our expert on pakodas suggested to try out a simple vegetable pakora recipe that would help the crunchiness shine through and gave us her recipe of Alu Katli Ka Pakoda (Aloo pakodas).
Seven besan batters were made using Sangeeta Khanna’s standardised Alu Katli Ka Pakoda recipe from her book Pakodas. We omitted the rice flour from the recipe because we ONLY wanted to check the crispiness that comes from the besan. Medium sized potatoes were peeled, and cut into uniform discs. We used cold water to make the batter as it garners crispier results.
The recipe suggests using peanut oil or mustard oil for deep frying the pakodas. Some members of our review team used peanut oil while some used mustard oil according to availability. Our pakoda tasting session was divided into two rounds.
Round 1 had all seven brands competing for crunchiness and taste.
After round one, we narrowed it down to three tastiest besan pakodas that were tasty, had a dominant besan flavor and a significant crunch. While Fortune besan had a lovely crunch and was the cheapest of all, the besan flavor was completely missing and that is why it did not qualify for Round 2 tasting.
Round 2 consisted of three brands – Rajdhani, Tata Sampann and Ahaar.
Once we had the top three – we took them through another extensive round of pakoda-frying.
Quick Comparison – Best Besan Review
|Brand||Price||Shelf Life||Texture||How Well Were They Coated||Crunch||Besan Flavor
|Ahaar||Rs 62/-||4 Months||Fine||Coated very well||Not crunchy||Strong|
|Fortune||Rs 55/-||5 Months||Fine||Coated well||Very Crunchy||Missing|
|Rajdhani||Rs 60/-||3 Months||Coarse||Coated well||Crunchiest||Strong|
|Patanjali||Rs 55/-||5 months||Fine||Coated unevenly||Crunchy||Mild|
|Pro Nature||Rs 124/-||–||Fine||Coated well||Crunchy||Very Mild|
|Tata Sampann||Rs 64/-||6 Months||Very fine||Coated well||Moderate crunch||Most flavorful pakodas|
|24 Organic Mantra||Rs 85/-||6 months||Fine||Coated well||Moderate crunch||Mild|
Results Of The Review
After munching on pakodas compulsively for several hours over two days, we found that pakodas made using our Top Pick – Rajdhani Besan were the crunchiest and had a lovely besan flavor across all batches of pakodas made. Tata Sampann pakodas had a nice crunch and taste. The pakodas made using Ahaar Besan were fluffy and tasty. While Rajdhani & Tata Sampann would be ideal for individual vegetable pakodas, Ahaar will be best suited for making pakodas for Punjabi Kadhi and soft cheelas.
Team That Worked On This Review
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* No part of this review is sponsored by any brand. All expenses were borne by us.