Chickpea flour is very commonly used in Indian cooking…It’s flour made from dried chickpeas (garbanzo beans). Also known as garbanzo flour, gram flour and besan, chickpea flour is a staple of Indian, Pakistani and Bangladesh cuisines.
Chickpea flour can be found in Asian and Middle Eastern markets,and it’s used to make yummy vegetable fitters called pakoras…my favourite Indian snack!
I stumbled upon these babies on one of my favourite food sites, food52.com. They are amazing because they really go global with their recipes… and imagine, I’ve been eating ‘besan” coated goodies for years and never once did I think of making simple French Fries like these!! Thank you justforlicks.com.
Imagine salty, airy choux-like pastry… this is like that… they’re not the potato consistency you’d expect at all… they’re super light, and slightly crispy, not crunchy …
When you combine the chickpea flour and hot water, I suggest you turn off the heat and whisk with a balloon whisk for a minute or so just to incorporate the flour into the water properly. Then what I did was, take a stick blender and then blend until all the lumps disappear… it’ll be a polenta-like consistency. That’s when you pour it out onto your oven paper and let it set… I left mine for about 45 minutes.
So this cool, fragrant yoghurt sauce is also just perfect with these fries… it’s like a cross between a “raita” and “tzatziki” but it just has mint and garlic only, which is refreshing and just right…
And listen if you don’t have sumac ( you know I just LOVE that stuff).. then don’t worry.. some lemon rind is good… even some cayene pepper… lemon pepper… anything you have around, just try it!
Chickpea Pillow Fries…
- 4 cups water
- 2 cups chickpea flour
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 1 teaspoon cumin (optional)
- 2 cups vegetable oil
- Sumac, for dusting
- Yogurt Mint Dipping Sauce
- 2/3 cups yogurt (thin — not Greek style)
- 1 clove garlic, small and chopped fine
- 1 1/2 tablespoon mint, chopped fine
- salt to taste
- Place the water in a pot with the salt and bring to a boil. Add the cumin to the chickpea flour. Pour into the water, turn off the heat and whisk vigorously until all of the water is absorbed and there are no lumps, about a minute. Blend with a stick blender now for about 2-3 minutes. You are looking for the consistency of polenta. Taste for salt.
- Line a baking sheet with a silpat or wax paper. Pour the chickpea mixture onto the baking sheet and spread evenly. Set aside to firm for about 30 -45 minutes.
- After thirty minutes, take a knife and gently cut the mixture into rectangular pieces. Use your judgement as to the size.
- Add the vegetable oil to a deep pan. Turn the heat to medium high. Once the oil is hot enough (you will get a nice sizzle) add some fries (about 8 at a time) and cook until they are golden brown and crispy on the outside. Take them out and place on a paper towel lined plate. Sprinkle lightly with sumac. Transfer to dish and serve immediately.
- Combine all the ingredients for the yoghurt sauce and serve!