Chickpea fries are one of those fun foods you always order in a restaurant, but rarely think to make at home. But why not? They are easy to make and fun to eat. I serve them with a marinara sauce, but I know they are traditionally eaten with a romesco. We don’t make these too often, but when we are out of rice, or potatoes, or bread, we can always rely on chickpea fries for a fun side!
If you don’t like the flavor of chickpeas, feel free to substitute in cornmeal (which is used for polenta). I actually like polenta fries more because cornmeal is grittier than chickpea flour, but chickpea flour creates a creamier texture. A touch of lemon zest really brings out the other flavors, so make sure not to skip that ingredient. It is unexpected and delightful and brings these chickpea flours from good to great.
+/- 2 cups of water
1/2 tbs olive oil
1 cup chickpea flour (I used Lucini’s Chickpea Frittata Mix which I received as a sample months ago and love)
zest from 1 lemon
1 tbs chopped fresh rosemary
lots of black pepper (I used about 1/2 tbs- I like a lot in my chick pea fries)
kosher salt, to taste
Canola oil, for frying
Put 2 cups of water and the olive oil in a medium stainless steel pot over medium heat. Add the chickpea flour slowly while whisking, taking care not to let the mixture get lumpy. When you have added all the chickpea flour continue whisking now and again until the mixture thickens. Do not overmix. If needed, add a tablespoon or two of water. When the mixture has become thick and bubbly remove it from the heat and stir in the lemon zest, rosemary, and black pepper. Pour into a greased baking sheet and spread into an even rectangular shape. Place in fridge at least 2 hours, but preferably overnight. When ready to eat, heat 1/2 inch of canola oil over medium heat in a stainless steel pot. While that is heating, remove the chick pea mixture from the fridge and slice into fry shapes. When the oil is hot enough, place a few fry shapes in it and fry until crispy, flipping the fries halfway through. Total fry time for each batch should be no more than 2 minutes. Do not overcrowd the pot because it brings the oil temperature down, resulting in soggy fries. Remove with a slotted spoon and place on paper towels. Sprinkle with kosher sea salt. Repeat with remaining fry shapes until done. Enjoy alone or with your favorite sauce!
Special Note for a Friend: After doing some research, I learned that your fries will fall apart in the oil if they are too liquidy. You need to cook the chick pea and water mixture until it becomes really thick and stiff. Some recipes call for more water than others, but in general it is about a 2:1 ratio of water to chick pea flour. Some times you may need to add a bit more water than others based on the size of your pot, how hot the heat is, etc. Use your eye and your hand to determine when the mixture has thickened enough.
P.S. This recipe is both gluten free and vegan. Enjoy!