A really nice snack to have when you are hot or tired or jet lagged, made with chickpea flour. It takes about 30 mins including cooling time.
Chickpea flour, also called besan or gram flour, is an essential ingredient in the kitchen, especially for Indian cooking. It makes a great batter, thickener, thin fritter or pan cake style pudla/cheela, and other goodies.
This dish is similar to the Panisse of France and Panelle of Italy. These are cooked either in traditional “chip” shapes, or in thin, round or rectangular shapes. Panelle are Sicilian fritters or fries made from chickpea flour and other ingredients. They are a popular street food in Palermo and are often eaten in a bread roll, like a sandwich, with a little salt and some freshly ground pepper. They are of Arabic origin, like many Sicilian dishes.
Panisse originate in Provence and are crispy on the outside and custard-like on the inside. In Nice, they’re made in a round saucer shape, the result of the local tradition of using coffee saucers as molds for the batter. In Marseille, panisses are most often in long stick form, resembling thick-cut French fries.
These chips are utterly irresistible – they are best eaten hot, when they are crunchy and tender at the same time. So make sure you don’t wait too long before eating them!
Similar Recipes include Herb and Walnut Fritters, Chickpea Flour Socca, Farinata and Pudla, Pudla with Green Coriander and Mung Sprouts, Crispy Battered Onion Rings, Farinata with Tomatoes and Onion, and Gram Flour Vada.
Chickpea Fries/Fingers with Tomato Salsa
Beat 1.5 cups water with 1 cup of besan/chickpea flour and whisk until lumps are removed.
Place over low heat in a saucepan and continue to whisk until the mixture is very thick and begins to pull away from the edges of the pan. This may take 10 minutes or more, depending on your heat level. But if you have the heat too high, lumps will form. As it thickens, stir this custard like mixture more rapidly to avoid sticking or lumps.
When it is quite thick, stir in 1/2 tspn salt, some black pepper and any chopped green herbs – parsley, basil and/ or green coriander.
Working quickly, spread the mixture 5mm thick onto a thali or baking tray lined with baking paper and smooth the surface. Allow to cool.
While it it cooling, make your favourite tomato salsa, or chop several ripe and juicy tomatoes into small pieces. Season with salt, a pinch of sugar, 1/2 a crushed clove of garlic, 1 or 2 chopped red or green chillies, chopped green coriander and a glug of good extra virgin olive oil.
Cut the cooled chickpea batter into finger sized pieces and shallow fry (or deep fry) in hot oil on both sides until crispy and golden. Drain on absorbent paper, sprinkle with salt and serve with tomato salsa.
Chickpea flour “custard” spread to cool