Chickpea flour, also known as gram flour and garbanzo-bean flour, is an extremely versatile ingredient made from – you guessed it – chickpeas. A household staple around the world, it is used in South Asian countries to create popular street food such as pakoras, serves as the base of dishes like socca (similar to a flatbread or crepe) throughout Mediterranean regions, and appears in Sicily in the form of panelle (chickpea fritters).
This healthier twist on traditional French fries replaces potatoes with a pulse that is high in protein and fiber and calls for shallow-frying, as opposed to deep-frying, which creates a dense and nutty texture that is quite different from what you’re used to. Pair them with a zesty za’atar-yogurt dip and you’ll be hooked. Did we mention they’re also gluten free?
- 4 cups water
- 2 cups chickpea flour
- 2 tbsp fresh oregano, chopped
- 2 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
- 1 tsp granulated garlic
- ½ tsp togarashi
- 1½ tsp sea salt
- ¼ cup sunflower oil
- 1 cup yogurt
- 2 tbsp tahini
- 1 garlic clove, finely minced
- Juice of half a lemon
- 4 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
- 1 tbsp za’atar
- 1 tsp sea salt
- A drizzle of olive oil
Boil water in a saucepan. Once it is boiling, turn the heat to low and add in the chickpea flour, whisking aggressively. Add in the oregano, parsley, granulated garlic, togarashi, and sea salt. Once it starts thickening (about two minutes), switch to a wooden spoon and continue to mix. Let the mixture cook for about six to eight minutes until very thick.
Transfer the chickpea-flour mixture to a greased shallow pan and spread evenly using a spatula. Let it sit for 45 minutes until very firm – it should transform into a solid mass.
After 45 minutes, flip the chickpea-flour mass onto a board and cut into thick, fry-shaped strips.
Heat the oil in a skillet on medium-high heat and fry the chickpea fries in small batches (avoid crowding the pan) until golden brown on all sides.
Let the fries drain on paper towels and sprinkle them generously with sea salt to finish.
For the za’atar-yogurt dip, mix together the yogurt, tahini, garlic, lemon juice, parsley, za’atar, and sea salt in a bowl until combined. Drizzle with olive oil to finish.
Noreen Wasti is the creator of Noni’s Place, a food and lifestyle website.