Chickpea flour (aka gram flour) is such a useful store-cupboard ingredient. Have you tried it yet? In Indian cuisine it is used to make savoury pancakes called dosas and to the make the batter for deep fried onion bhajis. At home we love to use it to make nutritious, delicious, protein-rich fritters all year round. Fritters are a great lunch option with a simple salad and a dip, or you can use them as sandwich fillers or burger alternatives. You can really make them your own with different vegetables and herbs/spices. Here’s one of our favourites, carrot and coriander.
natural yogurt, lime wedges and salad leaves to serve
Start with the batter. In a mixing bowl, whisk together the chickpea flour, seasoning and water into a smooth batter.
Grate the carrots and add them to the batter along with the coriander leaves. Stir well to coat the veggies in the batter.
Heat a frying pan to medium with the vegetable oil. Make sure your pan is not too hot, chickpea flour batter can taste a little bitter if it is not cooked through so you want to cook it slowly so it’s not burned on the outside and raw in the middle.
Dollop the batter into the pan in four even scoops. Fry the fritters for 5 minutes or so on each side or until they are golden brown on the outside and firmed up and hot inside.
Then serve with salad, natural yoghurt and a good squeeze of lime.
Another recipe inspired by Ukrainian chef Olia Hercules, is this delicious, veg-forward breakfast. I LOVE having lots of vegetables for breakfast. Sautéed mushrooms, kale, and tomatoes on toast is probably my favourite. So when I re-visited ‘Summer Kitchens’, one of Olia’s brilliant books, and saw this puffed broccoli omelette I knew I had to make a plant based twist.
We have just added chickpea flour to our grocery section. It’s one of my favourite pantry ingredients, so useful for making fritters, socca bread, bhajis, vegan tortillas or quiches and egg free omelettes. To make it puffy, I just used bread soda activated with some apple cider vinegar. The results were delicious and I’ll be recreating this veggie breakfast over and over again using different seasonal vegetables. Of course it would be wonderful with our purple sprouting broccoli and I’m going to use leeks next time for sure! Don’t forget to tag us in your re-creations, we love to see the spin you put on our recipes.
Ingredients (serves 2)
1/2 mug of gram flour
1/2 mug of water
1 tsp vinegar
1 tbsp olive oil
black pepper to taste
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
sliced broccoli to cover frying pan
1 tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
Start with the batter. The longer the chickpea flour has to re-hydrate, the better texture – you could even make the batter the night before and leave it covered overnight at room temperature to lightly ferment. Whisk together the flour, water, vinegar, salt and pepper. Wait to add the baking soda just before frying.
In a frying pan which has a lid, fry the broccoli with the olive oil, salt and pepper until just starting to take on some colour. Then spread the broccoli evenly over the base of the pan and turn the heat down to medium.
Add the baking soda to the chickpea flour batter and whisk it in – the batter should immediately start to fluff up. Quickly pour it over the broccoli and put the lid on the frying pan. This will ensure a crispy bottom and a fluffy, steamed top to your omelette.
After 3-5 minutes or so, the batter should be cooked through. You can test it by touching the top of the omelette, your finger should come off dry without batter.
Slice it into wedges and serve warm. It’s delicious with some juicy sliced tomatoes alongside too.
Dal and fritters are staples in our house. The dal is especially useful to have in your repertoire for those days when you are low on fresh veg just before your next veg box arrives. And of course bulking out a dal with whatever seasonal veg you have is always a good idea. I like to make it with a tin of coconut some days, usually in winter when the weather calls for something rich and creamy, and with a tin of tomato on other days when I want it lighter and tangy (as in the recipe illustration from my book above).
My fritters are not dissimilar to onion bhajis. Here with curry spices in the gram flour batter they go particularly well with the dal and you can add whatever shredded veg you have around – cauliflower, squash, carrot etc. Fritters also make great sandwich fillers or burger patty alternatives and of course they don’t have to be curry flavoured, add whatever herbs and spices you like to make them your own. I love courgette fritters with fresh herbs in the summer, squash chilli and sage in autumn, celeriac, preserved lemon and parsley…the possibilities are endless.
As always, let us know in the comments or over on our community Facebook group if you make this recipe. We love to see our recipes leave the screen. Don’t forget to share this blog with your friends and family.
Dice the onion or leek and soften it in a large pan on a medium high heat with the oil.
Add the cumin and mustard seeds and stir to toast them until fragrant. Then add the ground turmeric, ginger and fenugreek and stir to briefly toast for just a few seconds.
Add the mug of red lentils and the diced swede and stir to coat them in the spices. Then add the tin of coconut milk and two tins of water to the pan.
Season with salt and pepper and add the curry leaves (if you have them – buy online or at specialist Asian shops) and chilli flakes or chopped green finger chilli to infuse while the lentils and swede cook.
Bring the pot up to boil then turn down the heat and simmer, stirring often, until the lentils and swede are cooked through.
Meanwhile get the fritter mix ready. Whisk the gram flour, spices and water together into a smooth batter. Then grate the parsnips and add them to the batter. Stir well to coat all the grated parsnip with the batter.
Heat a frying pan with a generous slick of vegetable oil. Turn the heat to medium-high and fry whatever sized dollops of the fritter mix in the pan. Cook on both sides until golden brown on the outside and cooked through. It’s better to cook them slowly if they are large so that they don’t end up burnt on the outside and raw in the middle. Raw gram flour batter can be a little bitter.
Stir chopped and rinsed kale through the dal about 10 minutes before serving. Serve the dal and fritters in bowls with Indian chutneys and optional rice, popadoms etc.