Oct 15, 2013

Sicilian chickpea "panelle"

From the streets of Sicily to my home at the Baltic Sea.

Recipe adapted from Giallo Zafferano
time: 20 min preparation + 20 min inactive + 20 min frying

  • 250 g (1/2 lb) dry chickpeas or chickpea flour
  • 750 ml (3 1/4 cups) cold water
  • 5 g (1/2 - 3/4  teaspoon) salt
  • pepper to taste
  • 5 g (2 Tablespoons) finely chopped parsley
1/2 l (2 cups) oil for frying

  1. Stick (with cold butter, f.ex) three pieces of parchment paper on three baking sheets (to prevent from sliding later). 
  2. Using a good blander, blend chickpeas to flour. Sift all the flour into a medium/large pot with cold water. With a bubble whisk, mix all well till smooth. Put the pot on medium heat and bring slowly to a slow boil. Add salt and pepper. Keep whisking rather vigorously, lower the heat to medium/low and cook for 10 minutes. Add parsley. Cover the mix with a wrapping foil to prevent from cooling. 
  3. Spread the mix evenly and thinly on the papers. It should be about 2-3 mm (less than 1/8 inch) thin. Let cool and firm up for about 15 min. Cut out 10x10 cm (4x4 inch) squares or circles. 
  4. On a large skillet, heat oil on medium/high. Place 2 or three panelles at the time and fry for 2-3 min on each side till golden. Remove from oil to a platter lined with a paper towel.
  • very nice, chickpeas are tasty and rich;
  • if your rise the temperature too high during initial cooking, you'll get clumps;
  • if you get clumps, use a blander;
  • you hand might get tired from whisking;
  • spread the mix when hot-hot; when it cools, a film gets formed on top;
  • it's better to put more mix on the baking sheet to begin with than keep adding it in patches;
  • spread the mix as thin as you can so the panelle are crunchy and light at the end;
  • they come off the parchment paper very easily and shouldn't break;
  • a lot of work but mostly my worrying if I was doing it right;
  • good when warm or cold;
  • in Sicily, they eat it in a hamburger bun.

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