Chickpea Fries or Panisses

Chickpeas have not really been on my radar, apart from them being one of the main constituents of Hummus, and how we all like Hummus. And there again, Hummus is not something I eat on a daily basis, or even that often but good for snacks ( when little ones are visiting) good for picnics, but I have to admit that it is something I usually buy.

However, we ventured out for dinner the other night , we seem to have become hermits, but out we went and we have a plethora of restaurants all within walking distance. We chose JIKONI which is basically an alternative Indian restaurant. Will we rush back, probably not, the menu was extremely limited ( just me being fussy as I don’t like huge menus either), but we were a party of four and there were just four items listed as starters and four as main courses. One of our starters was Chickpea fries which have completely changed my mind about chickpeas!

Panisses ( Fr), Panizzie( It), have been around for thousands of years but originally from Liguria, and then wandered across to the south of France particularly in Marseilles and Nice.

They are made with Chickpea flour, which of course not flour in the traditional sense. Indians use chickpea flour which is called Gram Flour. It is gluten free and used to make flatbreads, pakoras, BHAJI and in curry. Plain chickpea fries are a bit bland but can be spiced up by adding spices of your choice.

  • 250 grms chickpea flour ( gram flour)
  • 750 mls water
  • Good pinch garlic powder
  • Pinch of salt
  • Tsp caraway seeds or cumin seeds
  • And other ingredients according to taste :-
  • Harissa powder, English mustard, Garam Masala
  • Beat together in a large saucepan all of the ingredients and beat until smooth.
  • Put on the stove top and bring to the boil, stirring, once boiling turn the heat down, stir until the mixture comes away from the edge of the pan.
  • Remove from the heat and tip into large greased baking trays, smooth out, so that the mixture is about 2cm thick.
  • Leave to cool
  • Once cool and cut into chunky chips.
  • Heat some oil and either deep fry or shallow fry the chips and when golden brown, place onto scrunched up kitchen paper to drain.
  • Use at once maybe with some peri-peri mayonnaise or sriracha.
  • They can be reheated ( if you have leftovers!) in the oven.

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