chickpea chips

OK these may not be entirely healthy (deep-frying anything is usually a bad idea), but if you’re craving something crispy, hot, salty and satisfying, then these are slightly healthier than deep fried potatoes and require no peeling!

Gram flour is also known as besan, or chickpea flour, and can be found in most big supermarkets in the “World Foods” aisle.  If you’re lucky enough to live near an Asian supermarket you’re sure to find it there.

Mix one mugful of gram flour with two mugs of cold water in a saucepan. Stir it over a low heat until it turns into a kind of thick custardy paste (a bit like polenta).  Pour it into a 7 inch square cake tin lined with greaseproof paper, and level it off. You’re looking to get the paste to a thickness of about 1cm.  Leave the mixture to cool to room temperature and cut it into chip shapes – experiment with different thicknesses.  When we did this, there was a 50/50 split between those who liked the fat chips and those who liked the thinner fries.

Heat some neutral tasting oil (sunflower, rapeseed or groundnut) in a deep pan so that the oil is about 5cm deep and there’s at least double that of empty space in the pan above the surface of the oil.  Deep frying is dangerous so you need to minimise the effects of hot oil splashing around.  Carefully lower a few of the chickpea chips into the hot oil – if it bubbles vigorously then it’s the right temperature.  Fry the chips until they take on a golden brown tinge. Don’t overload the pan as this will lower the oil temperature and the chips will absorb more oil.  It’s better to do this in a few batches.  Use a slotted spoon to fish out the cooked chips and drain them really well on kitchen paper. A sprinkle of salt and pepper is really all you need, but you could gild the lily by offering a spicy dip on the side!

These chips, made as above, are vegan. Gram flour is normally gluten-free, and has a higher proportion of protein than other flours.

The link below has nothing to do with gram flour or chips but will feed your soul.

GNU Terry Pratchett

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