Chickpea fritters

Chickpea fritters

By
From
Sicily
Serves
6-8

If you wander around any market in Sicily you will see panelle, meaning ‘little breads’, for sale. These chickpea fritters are often served in a bun – so it will be pane e panelle. Panelle are made from pouring chickpea (gram) flour into boiling water with salt and sometimes herbs. They are cooked in vats of bubbling oil for just a few minutes. Tipping them onto a marble slab (not wood as it is absorbent) means they cool quickly on the cold surface.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
300g chickpea flour
1 teaspoon salt
900ml water
15g parsley or celery leaves
or 2 teaspoons fennel seeds, lightly crushed
seed oil, for deep-frying

Method

  1. Brush a standard shallow oven tray with a tablespoon of the olive oil and set aside. Brush the remaining olive oil over a piece of baking parchment the same size as the tray and set aside. Put the flour, salt and water into a saucepan and whisk together well. Put the pan on to the heat and bring to the boil, whisking continuously. When the mixture starts to thicken and splutter remove from the heat and add the parsley or fennel seeds. Pour the mixture on to the baking tray and cover with the oily side of the baking parchment. Press it down all over so that you have an even layer of chickpea batter around 5 mm thick.
  2. Remove the parchment and set the tray aside to cool and the mixture to set for 30–40 minutes. Cut the cooled mixture into squares approximately 5 x 5 cm for traditional panelle. Heat the oil in a large saucepan or a deep-fat fryer to 175°C or hot enough to brown a small piece of bread instantly. Fry the fritters for about 5 minutes or until golden brown on all sides. Drain on kitchen paper and sprinkle with a little salt before serving while still warm.
Tags:
Italy
Italian
Sicily
Sicilian
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