Thursday, 23 March 2017

Chickpea chips:Better, easier, and healthier than French fries?

How many things are there that you should do before you die? Seriously? I may just have to try one of them then. Let me preface this by saying that I've never eaten a chip butty and, unless completely trolleyed and desperate for carbs, I probably never will.And if I do I will probably induce a coronary condition anyway so it would be a blessing if I did it now before I die.
In England a butty is another word for sandwich, usually reserved for combinations involving  bread and butter and breakfast meat. Sarnie also means sandwich, though I'm not sure of the difference between a sarnie and a butty. It's like how Eskimo´s supposedly have hundreds of words for snow - the British have a lot of different ways to say 'stuff between bread.
To cut along story short I have found a solution to curb the international high cholesterol sandwich...and here´s one for you political ideologist fish and chipocrites.Its a chickpea chip butty or as the Italians call it Panelle in a bread roll.The french call it panisse and lose the bread,while the Indians call it Gathya. Panisses are perfect snack food, excellent served with rosé or alongside meat dishes, like they do in Provence. Fried to a crisp, they’re so good.
Panisse,or could they be chips?
Indian savoury chickpea chips- Gathya
French fries are indisputably a wonderful food. But their reputation as the zenith of deep-fried foods seems to go unquestioned.They no longer for me hold the title of the most interesting deep-fried potato dish.That title belongs to chickpea fries: crispy-on-the-outside, moist-on-the-inside little batons made from chickpea flour and whatever other flavourings you care to add to them, Rosemary, parmesan, cumin?  With a smooth, dense, and custard-like interior, I think chickpea fries are far more satisfying than the starchy potato version. (They’re also higher in protein and fibre, if you’re concerned about such things when you eat fried foods.)
Chickpea fries are arguably easier to make than French fries, as well. They take a little extra time, but the technique itself is child’s play compared to the endless, fiddly peeling and julienning required for French fries. You make a quick stiff batter on the stovetop, let it cool and set in a pan, cut it into sticks (which takes about a minute), and fry away. If you’re planning on serving them at a cocktail or dinner party (obviously, they have a canape connotation too), you can do everything except for the frying a day or two in advance.
There are various kinds of chickpea flour available, depending on where in the world you live. I used a brand from from my local health food store, but the Italian varieties seem to be much finer, which I think is what they must use in the south of France so they have an even, crispy shell that gives way to a creamy, soft centre. Much like a twice fried potato chip.
The resultant chips evenly turn a light golden colour in the oil. They look like they could have been purchased from the golden arches themselves. It’s uncanny. Dare I say it: this is better than a chip. And I didn’t have to peel a thing. Much like its brother,the potato, the chickpea chip plays a great supporting role. It’s the sort of chip that could stand alone, but it still lets the burger be the main event. If you’re not already in possession of a chickpea flour, I say go forth now and purchase one.
What do you like to dip your chips into? Any recommendations about sauce? Just ketchup? mayo? or perhaps aioli? Yoghurt mint dipping sauce perhaps? Chip omelette anyone?
Chickpea Fries  
Serves 10 to 12

You can flavour the chips with cumin, rosemary, chopped black olives or parmesan, and if you want a more intense flavour cook the mixture in chicken stock instead of water

4 cups water
2 cups chickpea flour
1 tablespoon kosher salt
2 cups vegetable oil
Place the water in a large saucepan with the salt and bring to a boil.  Pour the chickpea flour in a steady stream into the water and whisk vigorously until all of the water is absorbed and there are no lumps, about 2-3 minutes. Continue cooking until you have a thick porridge like consistency and the mass is pulling away from the sides of the pan. You are looking for the consistency of polenta. Take the pot off the heat. There should be plenty of salt but now is the time to taste and make sure. These fries are all about the salt.
Oil a ceramic dish or roasting pan or alternatively line a baking sheet with a silpat or wax paper. Pour the chickpea mixture onto the baking sheet and spread evenly. Set aside to firm for about 30 minutes or overnight.
When the mixture is set take a knife and gently cut the mixture into rectangular pieces. Use your judgement as to the size. You can make fat chips or thin fries.
In a deep fat fryer turn the heat to medium high. Once the oil is hot enough (you will get a nice sizzle) add some fries (about 8 at a time) and cook until they are golden brown and crispy on the outside. Take them out and place on a paper towel lined plate. Transfer to dish and serve immediately.

3 comments:

  1. Not dissimilar to an onion bhaji without the onions (and an onion bhaji are no bad thing).

    Have you tried spicing them at all?

    ReplyDelete