So good i wonder why i am not making it more often.
I told you already about pakoras and here i go again with fritters. Though the procedure is a bit different here because the chickpea flour has to be cooked before making the fritters.
In Italy the recipes with chickpea flour are localized mainly in Sicily and Liguria, that i know.
Does Portofino ring a bell with you? Near by you get Farinata. In Palermo instead you find Panelle. They are almost same. Today i made Panelle, maybe not the classic recipe but my version of chickpea fritters.
Chickpea/garbanzo flour, called besan here, is also a staple ingredient in Indian cuisine.
- Chickpea flour - 200 g
- Water - 600 g
- Pinch of salt
- Freshly ground pepper
- Pinch of Soda Bicarbonate [Baking Soda]
- Minced parsley or fennel seeds [optional]
- Extra virgin olive oil
Make a fluid batter with chickpea flour, stirring in water while whisking to break lumps. Then add salt, pepper and soda bicarbonate. I always make the batter several hours before cooking and i keep it out of the fridge.
- Place the batter in a large nonstick pan on low heat and go on whisking and stirring until it gets thick and without lumps (not so easy). It may takes ten to fifteen minutes. Towards the end add the minced parsley o fennel seeds.
- Spread it on a dish or on a clean marble/wood surface, as thin as possible [though mine was rather thick] and let it cool. Spreading thin was not easy, but anyway the thickness is also good. As alternative you can pour the batter into a square wet tupperware, wet because it will be easier to unmold when cool and firm.
- Cut into very thin squares [the traditional Panelle shape] and deep fry both sides until golden brown. I actually do shallow fry in hot extra virgin olive oil and i am happy with the result.
- Place the fritters into white soft bread with a squeeze of lemon, i mean make a sandwich because this is the best way [the only way] to appreciate the taste.
I can't say these are traditional Panelle, but for sure i am going to make them more often. I don't even drain the excess oil on paper towels, somehow they need to be greasy to taste better with the bread.