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Rye Besan Tortilla Recipe

Rye Besan Tortillas

Tortillas are a great food to know how to make from scratch. It is healthy for both your grocery budget, as well as for you. Make your own with good quality wholesome ingredients and without the use of any additives or processed ingredients or packaging.

A friend gave me a plain flour tortilla recipe about a year ago. It is a great recipe that she had adapted from a Donna Hay recipe. We used it regularly for 6 months or more until I decided I would like to try it with some less refined flour. I also wanted to incorporate some spices into the mixture. I did not realise once I had that idea stuck in my mind just how many versions I would make!  The type of flour that you use has a huge impact on the texture of the resulting tortilla.

I began exploring different flours when my mum gave me a wide variety of different flours to try. She had collected them from a local woman at a Farmers Market.  The collection included  Besan flour (chick pea) and Maize flour.  While I loved the flavor of the maize flour tortillas, the chick pea (besan) flour had a much nicer texture.

Besan flour is also known as gabanzo bean, gram flour, or chick pea flour. It is high in folate, and has a high fibre, protein, thiamin (B1), and iron content. (Via the dietary information the on package). It is gluten free and the brand that I used is stone ground.

Making your own tortillas is an easy way to reduce the cost of a meal. It uses basic pantry ingredients. The cost is very little in comparison to a store purchased pack. Chickpea flour is generally available in health food stores and good delis.

While testing this recipe I also experimented with the use of coconut oil, ghee and finally returned to butter as the best to use for a consistent texture and dough.

This recipe is the one that we enjoy the most. I love the earthy, chick pea flavor and the texture that the rye lends these tortillas. They pair beautifully with tacos.

Rye Besan Tortilla Recipe
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Making your own rye and besan (chickpea) flour tortillas is healthy for your grocery budget, as well as for you. Perfect for tacos.
Cuisine: Mexican
Serves: 12
  • 1 and ½ cup of rye flour
  • 1 cup besan (chickpea) flour
  • ¼ teaspoon coriander seed
  • pinch cayenne pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon tumeric
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • 25 grams butter
  • ½ tablespoon salt
  • 160 ml warm water
  1. Add the flour and spices to a bowl
  2. Add the butter and use your finger tips to rub it through until there are no lumps of butter left
  3. Add the water (LEAVE 30 ml or more unused)
  4. Mix the ingredients together using a wooden spoon
  5. Use your hands once incorporated and knead the dough gently, add the extra water as needed and continue molding the dough into a smooth ball
  6. It will feel a little bit grainy due to the rye flour
  7. Once the dough is a nice texture divide the dough in half and then each piece in half again until there are about 12 pieces roughly the size of a golf ball
  8. Take each piece of dough and on a lightly floured board keep the round shape and flatten the dough with the palm of your hand. Use a rolling pin to roll each piece out to a thin round shape. Add flour as required to prevent the rolling pin sticking, or the dough sticking to the board
  9. Roll to a thickness that allows the dough to be picked up from the board and moved without breaking.
  10. Roll out all tortillas, separating each one with a small piece of baking paper so that they are all ready to cook
  11. Heat an iron skillet (or non stick if your prefer) to heat to a medium high heat
  12. Add a dob of coconut oil (or cooking oil of choice)
  13. Add the first tortilla and cook, once you start to see bubbles pop up from under the tortilla, flip and cook the other side - this is a couple of minutes each side
  14. Serve while warm
Cook time is for each tortilla
These tortillas are not as soft and pliable as store purchased ones. They will become stiff as they cool. They are best used/ stuffed with your choice of filling when they are warm, and just cooked.
Uses for left overs:
Left overs can be re-heated to soften them for 10-20 seconds in the microwave
Break left overs into pieces as you would corn chips and use them for dipping.
This is another recipe I am happy to make from scratch.  As with all items of this category, it takes a little more time and effort than cutting open a plastic bag from the Supermarket. I am happy to visit the supermarket less and spend the extra time making something with no additives, and with a clear understanding of the quality of the food I am serving my family.

Have you tried making your own tortillas?





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{ 2 comments… add one }
  • Sam Lewers August 19, 2014, 7:53 pm

    I love the look of these. I’ve been playing around with tortillas and all sorts of flatbreads lately. My favourite uses Masa Harina which is a type of corn flour – the flavour is great. I’m also seriously considering a tortilla press 🙂 Well, I’m off to try this combo. Thanks.

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