I have to admit to a love of chickpeas and, through that, excitement at the various ways that the flour made from chickpeas is used.
Chickpea Flour/ Besan / Gram Flour
Chickpea flour is also called gram flour or besan. It is a wonderful thing, stabilising yoghurt for curries, coating vegetables for frying, making lovely flatbreads, even for making eggless pasta! Its use is endless.
It is also used by cuisines from France through to India (from Socca in France to Farinata in Italy to pudla in India), and probably beyond that as well. It is a versatile cooking medium, even lending itself to batters for deep frying vegetables and other snacks. In India its use is ubiquitous, and Italy seems to have a wonderful understanding of its properties too. It was a surprise to me to find the extent of the use of chickpea flour in Italy. Lucullian is one of my favourite sources for the ways in which Italians use it.
One of the things that she has posted is Farinata. It is made with a simple dough of chickpea flour and water, topped with tomatoes, onions and olives, and baked. Some people like it cooked until it is crisp. I like to make it a little thicker and leave the centre a little soft. It is delicious.
A Pomarolo to use with the Farinata
In a fit of inspiration, I combined the farinata concept with the pomarolo and made a wonderful chickpea flour based “pizza”. I hope you like it.
Chickpea Flour Farinata “Pizza”
Source : inspired by Lucullian
Prep time: 35 mins including resting time for batter
Cooking time: 25 mins
Serves: 4 – 6 people, depending how you use it
1 cup chickpea flour / gram flour / besan
1.25 cups water
0.5 tspn salt
large pinch black pepper
3 Tblspn virgin olive oil
3 – 4 Tblspns pomarolo – Italian tomato pizza sauce
3 tomatoes, diced
1 small onion, chopped finely
dried mixed herbs
Beat the flour, water, pepper and salt together until they are well mixed and there are no lumps in the batter. Cover, and leave to rest for at least 30 minutes.
Heat the oven to 225C.
Mix the diced tomatoes and onions.
Choose an oven-proof pan with sides at least several cm tall. For example, a glass pie dish is perfect. Add the olive oil, and then pour in the batter.
Drizzle the pomarolo lightly over the batter and then top lightly with the mixed tomatoes and onions. Sprinkle with the mixed herbs, place in the oven and cook for 20 -25 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool a little before slicing.