These Spicy Gluten Free Vegan Chickpea Flour Sticks were a recent discovery for me, but an automatic hit! An easy-to- assemble appetizer made with simple ingredients – what could be better?
My daughter actually introduced the idea of this recipe to me just a few weeks ago. She was talking about some travelling that she had done this summer, and mentioned the “chickpea fries” that she had tried when she was in Vancouver. She described the ingredients to me, and how to make it, and I just knew I had to try it out! Making it with her made for a fun and relaxing morning, and at the end of it all, they tasted just fabulous.
What makes these Spicy Gluten Free Vegan Chickpea Flour Sticks so awesome? Let me count the ways for you…
1 – A wonderful finger food! I love serving good appetizers at a party, and these Spicy Gluten Free Vegan Chickpea Flour Sticks certainly fit the bill! Served with this Homemade Garlic Yogurt Sauce
(recipe for that coming soon!), these little treats will certainly be gone in an instant any time you have family or friends over!
2 – The ingredients! You only need six ingredients to make these delicious little sticks, five of which I’m sure you already have on hand: salt, pepper, red chili flakes, garlic, and olive oil. The sixth ingredient is chickpea flour, which you can find in the health or gluten free sections of your grocery store.
Did you know that chickpea flour is glutenfree? Basically, it is the result of grinding chickpeas, either roasted or raw. As far as the texture is concerned, it kind of resembles cornstarch but with clumps.
3 – The flexibility in taste! This recipe for these Chickpea Flour Sticks has a medium amount of spice, but you can add more or less red chili flakes to suit your needs. I personally have a pretty low tolerance for very spicy foods, so when I make these for myself, I use less red chili than I indicated below. But when I make them for my daughter, I add a little more. It’s all up to you!
4 – The flavor! You would think that a recipe that had so few ingredients would probably be on the “simple” side of the taste spectrum. But I have found that these Spicy Gluten Free Vegan Chickpea Flour Sticks pack a surprising punch! These appetizers have a complex, savory flavor that took me completely by surprise the first time I tasted them.
5 – The assembly! There is nothing to it! I will go into details a bit further down in the post, so I don’t want to repeat myself, but really, it couldn’t be a simpler appetizer to put together.
6 – Appropriateness for guests with different dietary restrictions! These Spicy Gluten Free Vegan Chickpea Flour Sticks can be enjoyed by individuals with different dietary restrictions, which makes it the perfect party food when entertaining lots of guests.
7 – The healthiness! Chickpea flour is a good source of protein, iron, and dietary fiber. And since I pan-fry my Spicy Gluten Free Vegan Chickpea Flour Sticks (rather than deep fry), the sticks stay as light and healthy as can be.
These little treats are perfect in so many ways, and are so easy to assemble as well. As promised, let me walk you through the process of making them.
As I mentioned, only 6 ingredients are needed to make these Spicy Gluten Free Vegan Chickpea Flour Sticks: salt, pepper, red chili flakes, garlic, olive oil, and chickpea flour. Oh, and you’ll need water too!
To begin with, bring the water to a rolling boil. Put the salt in the water. In the meantime, whisk the pepper, red chili flakes, and chickpea flour together. Mince the garlic and combine it with the dry ingredients.
When the water is boiling, slowly add the chickpea mixture into the water, and whisk continually. Don’t walk away from the mixture, even for a minute – just whisk! You will need to continue until the mixture has the consistency of polenta, or porridge, which will take about 5-7 minutes. Your arm may get a little tired doing this, but the end result is worth it. 🙂 Try your best to minimize the clumps in the mixture as you stir.
Once you have whisked everything together, quickly pour the resulting mixture into a baking pan lined with parchment paper. Place the mixture in the fridge until it sets, minimum 30 minutes. When the mixture has set, you are ready to start pan-frying!
Cut the now-set chickpea mixture into rectangles roughly 1 inch wide. If you wanted, you can also cut them 1/2 inch wide in order for them to resemble thin home fries.
Heat up one and a half tablespoons of olive oil in a non-stick pan on medium-high heat (If you recall, we used this same method to make these delicious Italian Potato Croquettes). Pan fry half the sticks, rotating them regularly so that all sides brown evenly. When all sides have taken on some color, you are done! Remove them from heat, set them aside, and continue pan-frying the remaining sticks.
Only about 20 minutes of active time and you have the perfect little appetizer, ready to be eaten 🙂
Origins of the recipe for Spicy Gluten free Vegan Chickpea Flour Sticks:
My daughter traveled a lot this summer, and though she told me all about her trip while it was happening, there were some details that only got mentioned months and months later. For example, I knew that she would often meet and befriend other travellers, and that often, she would cook together with her new friends at their hostels. Like mother, like daughter! When she brought these times up, I would ask her what she made for everyone else. It never really occurred to me to ask what others made for her. A real shame too, because I could have discovered these Spicy Gluten Free Vegan Chickpea Flour Sticks much sooner if I had!
It turns out that these Spicy Gluten Free Vegan Chickpea Flour Sticks are actually a well-known finger food from the south of France called panisse. And according to my daughter, it was indeed a young woman from Nice who originally showed her how to make these. The hostel where my daughter and this young woman were staying had a kitchen, free for use, and was stocked with some basic ingredients. The young woman decided to make them panisse because the only ingredient she was missing for it – the chickpea flour – was very easily obtained in Vancouver, where the two were staying. Apparently, the recipe was passed down from the woman’s grandmother. She didn’t really measure anything when she made the recipe, just threw things in pinches and dashes, but my daughter feels like the measurements we figured out together when we recreated the panisse make a similar end-product.
I did my own research on panisse while writing this post, and imagine my surprise when I found out that before it reached France, it actually originated from the region of Liguria, in north-west Italy! I had never heard of any such dish, but maybe that is unsurprising, given that me and my husband’s heritage is from the south of Italy. Like I always say, the culinary traditions of Italy are extremely diverse for such a small country!
These Spicy Gluten Free Vegan Chickpea Sticks are a rustic, flavorful, and healthy finger food you can serve as an appetizer at all your parties, or as a snack food during any events you have coming up! I recently made them for our New Year’s Eve celebrations, and will definitely be making them for the Super Bowl as well.
Spicy Gluten free Vegan Chickpea Flour Sticks
- 2 cups water
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup chickpea flour
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon red chili flakes
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- 3 tablespoons olive oil separated
Grease or line with parchment paper an 8 x 8 baking dish. Set aside.
In a medium pot, add salt to the water and bring to a boil.
In a large mixing bowl, add the spices and garlic to the chickpea flour and whisk together until no lumps are visible.
Once the water is boiling, reduce to a simmer and slowly add the chickpea flour.
Whisk CONTINUOUSLY for about 5-7 minutes. Mixture will become thick.
Pour the chickpea mixture in the greased or paper lined baking dish and spread evenly.
Place in refrigerator for a minimun of 30 minutes.
With a very sharp knife, cut in quarters. Then, cut lengthwise at 1-inch interval to obtain 16 sticks.
"Pan fry" half of the chickpea sticks in 1 1/2 tablespoons of olive oil until golden on all sides. Repeat with other half.
Transfer to dish and serve with favorite dipping sauce.
There is an inactive time of 30 minutes while the sticks firm up in the refrigerator.
1 serving=1 chickpea stick
You can also make smaller sticks -cut each portion again in half.
These chickpea sticks can also be baked in the oven.
Please keep in mind that the nutritional information provided below is just a rough estimate and variations can occur depending on the specific ingredients used.
Thanks for dropping by,
Ciao for now!
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