You may have eaten panelle served as “chickpea fries,” and that’s not a bad name for them. You make a thick porridge of chickpea flour, spread it evenly into a pan and let it cool. As with thick polenta (which this resembles), you can then cut the paste into any shape you like — diamonds, squares or French fries, and fry until golden. They are not only among the easiest things to fry (there’s very little spattering), but they’re also gorgeous, and better than “real” fries in just about every regard.
Vegetable or olive oil for greasing
cup chickpea flour
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
tablespoons olive oil
lemon, cut into wedges
- Grease an 8-by-8 baking dish or a
quarter sheet pan with some oil.
Bring 2 cups water to a boil in a small
saucepan. Put the chickpea flour in
a large bowl. When the water comes to
a boil, gradually add it to the bowl with
the chickpea flour, whisking constantly to
prevent lumps. Scrape the mixture into
the saucepan you used to boil the water,
sprinkle with salt and pepper and bring
to a boil. Reduce to a gentle simmer, stir
in 2 tablespoons of olive oil and cook
for just a minute.
- Scoop the chickpea mixture onto the
sheet pan and spread it into an even
layer. Let it cool, and cover loosely with
parchment or plastic. Refrigerate for
at least 30 minutes, or up to 24 hours.
- Put at least 1/4 inch oil in a large skillet
over medium heat; heat to 250. Cut
the chickpea mixture into French fries,
about 3 inches long; blot any excess
moisture with a paper towel. Working in
batches, gently drop them into the hot
oil. Cook, rotating them occasionally until
they’re golden all over, 3 to 4 minutes.
Drain fries on paper towels and immediately
sprinkle with salt and lots of pepper. Serve
hot, with lemon wedges.
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