Pulses such as lentils and chickpeas are experiencing a revival. You’re also more likely to come across chickpea flour on shop shelves. It has been a common ingredient in other countries for some time and is now becoming increasingly popular here, too.
If you enjoy Indian food, then you’ll be familiar with chickpea flour – whether you realize it or not. Chickpea flour – also known as gram flour – is used to make traditional Indian pakoras, which are spiced vegetable fritters. The batter is made simply by whisking together water, salt, baking powder (as desired) and chickpea flour. Slices of vegetables are then dipped in the batter and deep-fried. Chickpea flour is also commonly used in Italian cuisine – to make “farinata”, for example. This is a type of thick, savoury pancake made from chickpea flour. It is believed to originate from Genoa, where there are even restaurants specializing in this delicacy. Farinata are also popular in Tuscany and further south. There’s also a similar dish in the south of France known as “socca”. It’s no coincidence that chickpea flour is used in warm countries. Originally from Anatolia, the chickpea made its way across the Mediterranean as well as eastwards to Asia. Chickpea growing is just beginning to gain ground here in Switzerland. Thanks to global warming, these pulses are able to thrive here better than before. The great thing about chickpea flour is that it’s gluten-free. Plus it’s high in protein – just like pulses. Chickpea flour is now even being sold by major retailers. As a result, we’ll be able to use it more often.