Request Line! Chickpea Fries

Hallelujah! I finally fried something and it actually *wasn’t* a total disaster. My dear friend Leslie sent me a link to a blog post about chickpea fries, which I thought sounded fantastic. Central Market actually had chickpea flour (I can’t imagine that’s an easy find in your average grocery store), so I decided to go for it.

The post was more of a discussion of chickpea fries rather than step-by-step instructions on how to make them. Luckily, there were a few detailed user posts that helped me get started.

The first step was a lot like making polenta. I combined 2 cups of water, 1 cup of chickpea flour, and 1 teaspoon of salt in a medium saucepan and whisked it together over medium heat. It was pretty liquid at first, but when it thickened, it thickened quickly. I just kept whisking periodically until it was thick and smooth (about 5 minutes).

I sprayed a 9-inch square baking dish with cooking spray and lined it with wax paper. (The cooking spray helps the paper stick to the dish.) I scraped the chickpea mixture into the dish and smoothed the top with a spatula. I covered the dish and refrigerated it until the chickpea mixture was firm (1 hour).

Next, I turned the firm chickpea mixture out onto a cutting board and cut it into “blocks” that were about 1/2-inch by 2 1/2-inches thick. I heated about 1/2 cup of canola oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat and fried the chickpea mixture in 2 batches for about 6 minutes per batch. (I turned the fries at the 3-minute mark.) I removed them from the skillet with a slotted spoon, drained them for a few minutes on a paper towel-lined plate, and seasoned with salt and pepper to serve.

So, I feel blessed and cursed. These were SO deliciously addictive. They had a thin, crisp layer on the outside and a warm, custardy, just-salty-enough inside… Mmm, mmm, mmm. The curse is that I have at least enough chickpea flour for 5 more batches… Or is that another blessing? šŸ™‚

The bag of chickpea flour has a yummy-looking recipe for hummus, so that may be my next project. Thanks for introducing me to a great recipe and a fun new ingredient, Leslie!

TIPS: Initially, I actually tried frying the chickpea fries over medium heat, but they weren’t coloring the way I wanted them to. Using medium-high heat gave me the results I wanted.

Also, you can probably tell by the picture that I made the equivalent of steak fries (pretty thick). They really did turn out wonderfully, but I may spread the mixture out on a baking sheet next time to experiment with thinner fries. The chickpea mixture isn’t as firm as potatoes, though, so I’ll want to keep a decent amount of thickness to keep them from falling apart in the skillet.

Recipe link: Chickpea Fries


2 Responses to “Request Line! Chickpea Fries”

  1. 1 Leslie July 29, 2008 at 8:07 pm

    Yay! They look delicious, and gluten-free, no? I can’t wait to taste some for myself!

  2. 2 jfochek July 29, 2008 at 8:24 pm

    They ARE gluten-free! I can’t believe we’ll be able to make them together – in the same kitchen! – in less than two months.

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