Besan flour–otherwise known as chickpea flour, gram flour or garbanzo bean flour–has become a coveted staple in my household. Almost every single day I make a quick meal using this versatile flour. Somehow, though, I missed the buzz about chickpea fries that seemed to be happening a couple of years ago… from folks like Mark Bittman, Martha Stewart, and even Oprah. Where have I been? I’m not sure either, but I promise I am never going back to that isolated place. Not after getting a taste of these crispy gems.
I admit, I’m not big on fried foods… really much at all. I have to eat fried stuff in extreme moderation because it jives badly with all the nutritious stuff (like raw veggies!) that my belly loves the most. But, if I ever have the craving for a few greasy french fries… I’ll probably reach for my bag of besan rather than my basket of potatoes.
These guys brings back memories of restaurant fries from my childhood: flavorful and crunchy with no need for dipping sauce. However, they do pair nicely with a blend of spicy mustard, a little Vegenaise and chili garlic sauce. Very nicely.
They are slightly more involved than your average fry, though. First you have to cook the batter and let it chill in the fridge until it firms up, almost like polenta. But after that, it’s smooth sailing. That is, if you’re not terrified of hot grease. In which case, it may be a tad more difficult for ya.
It’s great to make the batter and have it chilling in the fridge the night before so that you’ll have them ready to fry up the next day.