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Nov 7, 2012 05:53 PM

Where to get yellow bean powder?

I have a burmese salad recipe (an adaptation of Burmese Superstar's Rainbow Salad) I've been dying to try and it calls for "yellow bean powder." My local asian markets don't seem to have it. Does this go by another name? Is there a source for it online? I saw a vegetarian version of the salad that uses split yellow chickpeas (chana dal), coarsely ground. Is this the same as bean powder?

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  1. Hopefully you will get a real answer instead of my half-answer. But fyi - chickpeas are different from chana dal. Indian stores will have chickpea flour, which is called besan flour. It is yellow-ish. In case that happens to be what the burmese use as well ... ?

    1 Reply
    1. re: RBofSF

      There are at least a couple of major strains of "chickpea" including the smaller, darker Indian varieties that are, indeed, used to make chana dal and besan. South Asians eat the larger, whiter/Mediterreanean variety too, but call them "Kabuli" or white chana to distinguish them from the others. They don't use the latter for besan, though.

    2. I got curious and googled around a bit, and found a few references supporting the idea that it is indeed another name for besan. One newspaper recipe specifically refers to it as besan ( ) and a couple of other sites mention that Burmese "yellow beans" are the same as "Indian dhal" which is vague, but not contradictory.

      1. Thanks! I know the local asian or indian market will have chana dal and besan flour. For those interested, here is the recipe I'm trying, which was published in the SF Examiner:

        Serves 2-4 People

        For the salad
        ½ green papaya, julienned
        1 cup cabbage, julienned
        ¼ cup Cilantro, chopped
        ¼ Carrot, julienned
        ½ Tomato, diced
        3 tsp dried shrimp, ground
        1 medium size Onion, julienned (½ keep raw, ½ to be fried)
        1 cup blanched vermicelli
        ½ small potato, cooked and diced
        3 lightly blanched string beans (soaked in cold water for crisp), diced
        2 cup canola oil
        2 tsp yellow bean powder*
        ¼ pkg firm tofu
        2 tsp crushed red chili flakes
        4 cloves garlic, sliced

        For the dressing
        4 Tbs garlic & onion oil
        2 tsp tamarind paste
        1/3 cup hot water
        3 tsp fish sauce
        1/3 tsp salt
        1 tsp sugar

        -Heat skillet. Roast yellow bean powder until golden. Remove.

        -Wipe skillet with paper towel. Add 2 tsp canola oil and heat. Pan fry firm tofu until golden. Remove tofu and dice.

        -Wipe skillet with paper towel. Add 2 tsp canola oil and heat. Add crushed red chili flakes and cook until aromatic.

        -Wipe skillet with paper towel. Heat remaining oil for frying. Fry garlic until golden. Remove. Using same oil fry onion until golden. Remove onion and RESERVE OIL for dressing.

        -Combine tamarind paste and hot water in a bowl. Add garlic & onion oil, fish sauce, salt, and sugar to make dressing. Mix well.

        -Drizzle dressing over salad ingredients as needed and toss.

        1. Found an authoritative source: Yellow Bean Powder is Chickpea Flour (Indian Besan Flour), according to "Burma: Rivers of Flavor" by Naomi Duguid, published in September.

          1. Here's the result - super fresh. I cooked some toor dal and coarsely ground it instead of the yellow bean powder (the local market only had HUGE bags of the besan flour). I also used ribbons of cucumber instead of green papaya, which isn't available here. I added the red chili flakes without toasting them first, more tofu than the recipe called for, and used precut cabbage/carrot slaw to save some time.