26 April, 2011

Herbed Chickpea Pancakes

Chickpea flour is still new in my kitchen, but the fact that it is gluten free, grain free and has a higher protein content than regular grain flour makes me want to explore all possible ways of cooking with it.
I admit, I am still in the trial and error phase. Some disaster experiments included, but that's fine. Sometimes you have to learn things the hard way, right?
For instance, I got hold of a delicious sounding apple cake (yes, CAKE) made of chickpea flour. As a lover of quirky ingredients, that was something I had to try immediately. Well, the cake turned out more chickpea-y and not very apple-y. Nothing that you would want to have with your afternoon tea. After a little research I think I found out what went wrong: there is two types of chickpea flours out there. One is made of white European chickpeas, the other one (usually used in Indian cooking) is made of the brown chickpeas and is called besan. I used besan, a flour that already smells quite strongly of chickpeas when you open the package. I was a little in doubt that a couple of apples and some honey could override its strong flavor. As I suspected, they didn't and the savory chickpea taste remained in the cake. I can only conclude that the original recipe was to be used with the European white chickpea flour. I still have to find this particular chickpea flour in Dubai to get final confirmation.
For now, I can only confirm that besan flour goes very very very well with savory recipes. If you like chickpeas, you will  definitely like this: herbed chickpea pancakes. They are vegan, full of flavor, and very filling. I spiced the batter of my soon to be chickpea pancakes with fresh herbs, capers and black olives. Try and cook these pancakes as thin as possible. Then spread a generous dollop of refreshing herbed yogurt on top and eat them immediately. I have just one word for this: addictive.
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HERBED CHICKPEA PANCAKES 

1 cup chickpea flour (besan)
3 tablespoons olive oil + more for greasing
2/3 to 3/4 cup water
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary or thyme, chopped
1 tablespoon capers, drained and chopped
1 tablespoon black olives, pitted and chopped

Herbed Yogurt
1 cup full fat yogurt
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
3 tablespoons mixed fresh herbs (parsley, rosemary, thyme), finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
pepper to taste

Serves 4
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In a large bowl, sift together chickpea flour, salt and herbs. Add oil and water and mix until well combined. The batter should be runny, but not watery. Add chopped capers and olives.

Lightly grease a large frying pan over medium. Pour about 1/4 of the batter into the pan, and shake it so the batter spreads evenly and thinly to all sides. Turn heat down to low and cook until pancake is cooked through and solid, and just slightly browned underneath. Grease pan again and repeat with the remaining batter. Serve immediately with a dollop of herbed yogurt.

Herbed Yogurt
In a medium bowl, combine all ingredients. Stir until well combined and smooth. Ready to serve.

21 comments:

  1. I actually used besan flour to make the apple cake, I wonder if there are different besan flour out there as well since mine didn't turn out chickpea-y at all! Confusing :-D I still adore chickpea flour in both sweet and savoury dishes and these pancakes look gorgeous!

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  2. @ Maria
    I am determined to find out what went wrong with my chickpea flour cake. You'll be the first to know, I promise.

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  3. Another fun recipe to try! I cook off of your blog very frequently, love every one! I guess we all have a bomb now and then. Funny, my 'failures' are usually involving gluten free flours. Thanks for the tip on chickpea flour. I'll have to go to my outside refridgerator and see what kinds we have.

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  4. anja... as you mentioned, we use besan in so many dishes in indian cooking. its also used as a binder, to make vegetarian kofta (meatballs w/o meat) as batter for fritters/pakoda... and the pancake you've tried. try this version as well for a savoury pancake some chopped onion, chopped green chillies, chopped coriander, and finely chopped tomato, salt and pinch of bishop's weed. dont make the batter too runny, its should be like a thickish pancake batter. spread on pan, once it looks cooked on the top, flip and cook on low / medium heat for a couple more minutes. its yummy!!

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  5. oh i make chicpea flour pancakes all the time...love them...we serve them with this purple chutney called kokum! i didnt even realise there was a european brand of chickpea flour!

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  6. @ Sukaina
    I've got the suspicion that there is a "westernized" version of chickpea flour out there, other than those dead-cheap local besan flour packages that you get here in the supermarkets.

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  7. sounds lovely ! a western dish with asian ingredients ! super :) love it :D

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  8. Looks delicious and congrats for making it to the top 10 foodbuzz recipes ;)

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  9. I've used chickpea flour to make pakoras before but I am excited to try this too. I'm always looking for new vegan & gluten free recipes, so thanks!! PS I have some of that European chickpea flour as I live in Spain, they use it to make camarones which are little prawn pancake/fritters. I am intrigued about the apple cake now!;D

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  10. @foodblogandthedog
    It's the apple date cake on scandifoodie :)

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  11. this looks so good Anja - my mom makes something similar but I never tried! Now u have inspired me too

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  12. Ohmygoodness!!! I LOVE chickpea flour!!! I love making socca, but I will definitely have to try these pancakes. Plus, I am a huge fan of capers, so this is a must-try recipe. Thanks so much :)

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  13. Anja: I use Garbanzo\Fava bean flour from Bob's Red Mill to make many deserts that I got out of the Babycakes Baking Cookbook...great book BTW.
    I have found that in deserts it is more neutral and when cooked does not taste like beans. Much healthier for you as well.
    I love this idea though and will be trying it this weekend. Love the fact that it does not need to be flipped.
    All the best
    Paul of Food Living and Everything Else.

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  14. Anja, loved that you've used besan here! We use besan alot at home too - especially in a dish called kadee, where we cook the besan powder and add yogurt to it, to make it into a thin daal/soup-like dish that's eaten with rice. Can even make deep-fried besan coated spinach/paneer/pick-your-veggie pakodas, but that sort of defeats the healthy objective ;)
    Lovely post, gotta try my besan recipes with capers next time!

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  15. This sounds so yummy! I'm going to try it over the weekend....

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  16. These pancakes sound delicious! I still need to try chickpea flour :)! Congrats on the Top 9!

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  17. I made a double-batch of these this weekend, and am so looking forward to gobbling up the leftovers! They are so simple, yet so flavorful, and the herbed yogurt takes them over the top! Thanks for the introduction to this versatile little meal!

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  18. I have also been experimenting this year with chickpea flour. I've posted 2 recipes on my blog, both of Italian origin. Not bad at all if I do say so myself! Your pancakes look tasty!

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  19. Another yummy recipe! I agree about the chickpea flour... it is quite a strong flavor that is much better for a savory dish.
    So glad I found your blog!
    -E

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  20. One of the reasons why I like visiting your blog so much is because it has become a daily reference I can use in order to learn new nice stuff. It's like a curiosities box that surprises you over and over again.

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  21. I made these tonight for the first time, with a bit of cumin in the batter, and dill as the herb for the yogurt. Simple and delicious. My first batch came out too thick, so I added more water. Thinner pancakes were crisper and delicate, much more palatable. Thanks for the recipe. I'll try your carrot tahini soup next, and I look forward to browsing your blog for more ideas.

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