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Chickpea "Fries"

  • SERVINGS: 6
  • VEGETARIAN

French fry-shaped fritters made from a chickpea flour dough are popular on both sides of the Mediterranean. In Provence they're called panisses. You wouldn't find garlic in the traditional recipe but Steven Raichlen likes the way it flavors the dough. Chickpea flour has a wonderful flavor that is simultaneously toasty, nutty and earthy. It's available at Indian grocery stores (where it's called besan) and health food stores. The dough needs to chill overnight.

  1. 2 cups chickpea flour (about 1/2 pound)
  2. 2 tablespoons minced parsley
  3. 1 garlic clove, minced
  4. 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  5. Salt
  6. 2 1/3 cups water
  7. Vegetable oil, for frying
  1. In a heavy medium saucepan, combine the chickpea flour with the parsley, garlic, pepper and 1 teaspoon of salt. Whisk in the water in a thin stream until a smooth paste forms. Boil the mixture over moderately high heat, whisking constantly, until very thick, about 5 minutes. Beat with a wooden spoon until smooth.
  2. Scrape the dough into a 12-by-7 1/2 -inch baking dish and smooth the surface. Let cool to room temperature. Press a piece of plastic wrap directly on the dough and refrigerate for at least 6 hours or overnight.
  3. In a medium skillet, heat 2 inches of oil to 350°. Unmold the chickpea dough onto a cutting board. Cut it in half lengthwise, then slice crosswise into 1/2 -inch-wide sticks.Fry the chickpea sticks in 2 batches until golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the fries to paper towels to drain. Sprinkle with salt and serve at once.
Serve With Spiced Lamb Steaks