Chickpea flour, also called gram flour, or besan, or garbanzo flour, is a wonderful product. It is gluten free, high in protein, iron and vitamins, and perfect for vegetarians. I payed $3.50 for a kg bag in the Indian store, and 1 kg goes a long way. My main reason for buying it was to make fritters, like onion bhaji, while the only Italian dish based on chickpea flour I am familiar with is Farinata, a kind of savoury pancake, so my repertoire was a little limited. Then the other day I was making some spicy marinated tofu, and I always have leftover marinade when I do this, so I thought of 'scooping it up' with a few veggies and the chickpea flour as a binder.
Broccolini flower fritters
I started with plain yogurt to which I added a little squeeze of garlic, some freshly grated ginger, a little lemon juice, salt, cayenne pepper, paprika, ground cumin, ground coriander... (well, use whatever takes you fancy really). Then I added a chopped red onion and, not having much more in the veggie garden, I picked up the broccolini that had gone into flower. I chopped them, and then added enough chickpea flour to get a paste that I could spoon into a frying pan with hot oil. Well, that went down a treat, I guess that you can fry any leftover veggie that way.
Photos and Recipes by Alessandra Zecchini ©