Spicy Chickpea Pancakes (with green salad)

DSC05945I eat this a lot.  Really.  When I am working, it is a rare week that I don’t eat  this at least once.  It is very easy, cheap, healthful and delicious.  The recipe for Chick-Pea Crepes with Ginger and Hot Chilies is from Classic Indian Vegetarian Cooking by Julie Sahni.  My friend Gayathri was impressed that I owned it, since according to her it is the cookbook that Indian parents give their American born children when they leave home so that they will be able to feed themselves properly.  Until just now I have not looked at the original recipe in years.  I would usually have changed a recipe over time, but I make this one pretty much as it was written.  Its a really great cookbook, full of information about the different regional cuisines of India and as far as I can tell quite authentic.  Possibly the most macho moment of my life involved cooking an eggplant stuffed with spicy coconut in a tamarind sauce from this book for my dear friend Alex.  The recipe had so many chili peppers that it hurt me physically to prepare it, but we proceeded to eat with poker faced bravado and tears streaming down our faces.  I feel this experience bonded to me Alex for life.  This recipe is not like that!  Its only a little bit spicy and you can adjust the amount of chili to your taste.  This recipe calls for chick-pea (otherwise known as garbanzo bean) flour.  Bob’s Red Mill makes a garbanzo bean flour which can be found in many grocery stores these days.  You can also find it in Indian markets where it will be called besan flour.  The oil in the batter must be sesame oil.  This recipe has so few ingredients that the flavour of the sesame is really important.


Spicy Chickpea Pancakes

  • 1 cup chick pea flour
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 Tablespoon finely chopped fresh ginger (or to taste)
  • 2 green chilies, finely chopped (I remove the seeds but if you like heat, leave them in)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 Tablespoons sesame oil (it has to be sesame oil!!!!!!!)
  • Extra oil for frying (half mild oil and half sesame is good)
  • spinach or other salad greens
  • any or all of the following- diced red bell pepper, sliced cucumber, diced avacado, shredded carrot
  • dressing (sesame oil, rice vinager, agave or honey, salt)
  • Chutney (I like sweet mango chutney)
  1. Combine the chick pea flour and water in a medium bowl and whisk until all of the lumps are out
  2. Start a large frying pan warming up with enough frying oil to generously coat the entire bottom of the pan.
  3. Add the ginger, chilies, salt and sesame oil to the batter.  Stir to combine.
  4. When the oil is hot scoop 1/4 cup of the batter into the frying pan.  The batter is quite runny so let it spread out before you add the next one.  My frying pan can hold about three pancakes.
  5. When the pancakes start to form a few holes around the edges, flip them and let them cook for one minute more on the second side.  DSC05932DSC05937This recipe makes 6 pancakes.  You may need to add a bit more oil at the very end.
  6. I make the salad while the pancakes are cooking.  I serve the pancakes on top of the salad with chutney.

17 Comments Add yours

  1. Katherine & Alex says:

    We made these immediately upon seeing this post, remembering how yummy they are. And Alex was excited to see that he’d made the cut and appeared on your blog.

    1. well OBVIOUSLY! This is all about trying to find a way to continue to cook with distantly located family, and that is what Alex is.

  2. Glenda Berry says:

    Wheat free pancakes! I love this!

  3. These are so good…
    Erin, I don’t know if you ever ate these, but I have fond childhood memories of eating chicken mcnuggets with sweet sauce. I realized one day that this dish really has that same flavour combo going for it. (the deep fried and the sweet) Chickpea pancakes are way better, but they satisfy that same flavour combo.

    1. Ya these totally qualify as healthy junk food. Crispy, salty, sweet. You know chick pea flour is the kind of flour that is used to bread Pakora before they are deep fried…and Pakora is totally the junk food nugget of Indian Cuisine (as least as it is available to us on this continent).

  4. Silvi says:

    I cooked some dried scarlet runner beans from my garden today. First time doing this. They’re big and yummy.

    And I just happened to have some leftover chickpea pancakes with mango chutney… which I used with these beans to make a burrito/crepe kind of thing… YUM

    1. Oh!

      I wish you would send me some of those beans!


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