Chickpea flour is one of my favourite ingredients because it’s so convenient for quick, filling meals that don’t require many other ingredients. A while back, one of my favourite simple one-serving meals was a kind of mini quiche made from chickpea batter with herbs and cubed vegetables. I made this a couple times a week, until one time I took the batter out of the oven too early so the inside was still undercooked. After one bite of raw chickpea flour I was done with those quiches for a while. I don’t know how something so delicious can taste so vile with only a few minutes’ difference in cooking time. Anyway, since then I’ve switched to thinner pancakes for a while. There’s definitely no raw chickpea flavour in these!
I like to have these pancakes for lunch (the ones in the picture are rolled up with hummus and carrot spread) but they also make a good side dish with a curry. They taste best fresh from the pan when the edges are still crispy, but you can also eat them cold or briefly reheat them in a frying pan.
Chickpea flour pancakes with cumin and fresh coriander (makes 6 pancakes)
1 tablespoon olive oil (plus more to cook the pancakes, if needed)
2 teaspoons whole cumin seeds
1 cup chickpea flour
½ teaspoon turmeric
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup water
¼ cup finely chopped fresh coriander/cilantro
Toast the cumin seeds in the olive oil in a (preferably non-stick) frying pan over low heat until the seeds become fragrant and slightly darker in colour. This step brings out the cumin flavour while also ensuring that the pan is hot enough by the time you start cooking the pancakes. Meanwhile, make the batter (but keep an eye on the cumin so that it doesn’t burn — take the pan off the heat in time).
In a bowl or large measuring cup, mix together the chickpea flour, salt, and turmeric. Add the water, a little at a time, and stir to form a smooth batter. The cumin seeds should be ready by now; pour them into the batter along with the oil and stir to combine. Finally, stir in the fresh coriander/cilantro.
Make sure the frying pan is coated with a thin layer of olive oil — add a little extra if necessary — and return the pan to medium heat. Scoop about ¼ cup of batter into the middle of the frying pan and tilt the pan to spread it out. Wait until the pancake is completely dry on top and you can easily slide a spatula underneath (1-2 minutes), then flip it. Cook the pancake for at least another minute on the other side (longer if you want crispy pancakes) and repeat this for the rest of the batter. Add extra olive oil to the pan inbetween pancakes if necessary (I like to use a spray bottle).
Roasted carrot spread
Here I was thinking I was making up my own spread recipe until I went to write down the ingredients and realised I had almost exactly made the Curried Carrot Dip from Veganomicon but with roasted carrots instead of boiled ones. In case you’re still curious, this was my version:
Preheat the oven to 200 °C (400 °F). Place three sliced carrots (about 230 g), one thickly sliced red onion, and three unpeeled cloves of garlic in an oven dish and mix with olive oil, curry powder, and salt. Cover the dish with aluminium foil and place in the oven for 30 minutes. Remove the foil and sprinkle the vegetables with a large handful (about 1/4 cup?) of sunflower seeds. Return the dish to the oven for about 10 minutes, until the vegetables are soft and the sunflower seeds are slightly toasted.
Let everything cool for a bit, remove the skins from the garlic, add a tablespoon of lemon juice and puree everything in a food processor or blender to form a spread that’s more or less smooth. Add salt, pepper, and/or lemon juice to taste.