If you have gram flour (garbanzo bean flour, chickpea flour), this easy recipe is just what you needed to surprise your guests. It takes close to no time to prepare, and the results are amazing. The original recipe, panelle de ceci, is traditional street food in Italy, particularly in Palermo.
I usually enjoy sharing easy recipes with you. Although this one only needs 4 basic ingredients, the process of actually getting it done is more complex. The bulk of it is as hard as cooking the perfect polenta: no lumps, perfect consistency. Get it right, and you will love it!
After you cook the “fake polenta” as I like to call the mixture, you have to spread it on a working surface, and wait for it to cool off. Use what you have. In my case, two pizza plates sufficed.
- 4 cups cold water
- 2 cups gram flour
- 1 tbs natural salt
- pinch of pepper
- 3 tbs fresh parsley, chopped finely (optional)
- canola oil for frying
- Pour the gram flour into a large pot, then slowly pour the cold water, mixing well with a whisk, until all the water is absorbed and there are no lumps.
- When the flour and water are blended to form a cream, add salt and bring to a boil over medium heat: the mixture should cook for at least 15 minutes. You have to mix it well, almost continuously, just like you cook polenta, to prevent the mixture to stick on the bottom, or to get too lumpy in the process. When the mixture begins to separate from the sides of the pot, it is ready.
- Mix in the pepper and the chopped parsley and adjust, if necessary, with salt.
- Spread the mixture on a cutting board using a spatula, bring it to a height of 5 mm, and let it cool completely.
- When cool, cut into fries, and fry in canola oil. Serve hot, with a spicy dip of your choice.