September 20, 2013

I love chickpea flour pancakes


One of my favorite quick meals has many different names, depending on its country of origin. I always thought of it as socca (France), until I saw it referred to as pudla (India). It's also known as farinata (Italy) and cecina (Tuscany). I'm sure there are other names as well. It may be cooked in a pan (non-stick or cast iron) on the stove, or baked in the oven. I've even cooked it in my wok, though I don't recommend that.

The ingredients are basically chickpea flour, water, oil and salt, the proportions of which vary somewhat, according to the recipe you are following. I've seen recipes with lots of oil, and some with none. The add-ins also vary a bit — herbs and spices can be added to flavor the pancake to your liking. I've posted about socca a few times, where I've linked to recipes and made suggestions for added veggies. Try here or here, if you want to see some examples.

I like to whisk the chickpea flour and water together at about 1:1, with maybe a teaspoon of olive oil to 1/2 cup each of the flour and water, and a pinch of salt. Sometimes I add a little baking powder if I want my pancake fluffier, but not usually. I may add turmeric, cumin,  coriander or other herbs or spices. And, I may have to adjust the batter proportions by adding a bit of water or some extra chickpea flour to get the right consistency — thin, but not too thin pancake batter. (Helpful, aren't I?)


For the pancake above, I cooked onion and mushrooms on a hot, oiled eight-inch cast iron griddle until softened, then stirred in spinach until it wilted slightly. This was covered with batter and cooked on medium to low heat until browned underneath and dry on top, then loosened and flipped to brown the other side. The batter is fairly thin and spreads, so start pouring in the center, and use as little as necessary to cover the veggies. 1/2-cup of flour to 1/2-cup of water  will yield two large, delicious pancakes for breakfast, lunch or dinner, as you wish. It will serve two to four people, depending on their hunger and capacity. (The cold leftovers are delicious, should they occur.)

Flipping the pancake in one piece depends on skill and luck, both of which I must have been in possession of the day I made the above socca. This is not always the case. Instead of incorporating the vegetables into the pancake, you can also wait until the pancake is cooked, and stuff cooked veggies inside like an omelet. Here's a great recipe to try from Wing It Vegan.

Have you tried this? Did you like it?

Don't forget to leave a comment on yesterday's RawSnacks post so you can be entered to win a four-pack of RawSnacks bars. You have until Sept. 30, 2013 to enter.

38 comments:

  1. I keep intending to make one of these things, as I see it all the time on blogs. It's somewhat similar to my favorite Sicilian street food called "panelle" - it's a chickpea flour patty lightly fried and served hot on a soft roll, eaten on the street and enjoyed thoroughly!

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    1. That sounds delicious. I made an Indian version that tastes wonderful. It's hard to go wrong with chickpeas.

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  2. I've been socking (tee hee) these kinds of recipes for months; thanks for pointing out that they're basically the same thing. I haven't tried them yet, but perhaps one could be on the agenda for the weekend.

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    1. They are easier to make than they sound. The only hard part might be flipping it over to cook the second side, but they taste just as good broken as whole. A little sprinkle of salt and pepper really brings out the flavor.

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  3. I was happy to read this post, because there are loads of chickpea flour ($1-$2) in Buenos Aires. I was contemplating to make socca, which was my partner's favorite dish. Then I really want to make crepes to have around in the kitchen. Thank you for sharing this post, I will bookmark this. I've to find flour...there isn't any in the kitchen.

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    1. Chickpea flour is such a universal product. I never realized how many cuisines have a version of the pancakes.

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  4. A chickpea pancake by any other name...I haven't had the pleasure of whipping these up, but you ARE very helpful with your hints. Delicious looking.

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    1. I think maybe I didn't like them the first time I tried them, but now I get cravings for them. Kind of like olives.

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  5. I love chickpea flour and chickpeas! This socca looks fantastic.

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    1. Chickpea flour is great — as long as you don't try to taste it raw. You just have to have faith that the seasonings are right. :)

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  6. I LOOOOOOVE chickpea flour pancakes too, no matter what you call them! And this one with onions and mushrooms looks so good :) Thanks for the reminder that I neeeeeeed to eat one of these ASAP.

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    1. You're welcome. Chickpea flour pancakes may be one of my favorite fast foods!

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  7. what a genius idea to just pour it over the top of some cooked veggies!!! I learned about this stuff in Italy, so I knew it as "cecina," or "torta di ceci," and it is baked in the oven with no veggies. I am quite smitten with your take on it though - I gotta try this!!! :)

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    1. I've tried baking it in the oven, but I like it better as a pancake, and since it's savory, might as well add veggies, right?

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  8. I've never tried this but would love to! It sounds easy enough to make and I bet the flavor is just awesome. I also love that it's quick. Thumbs up to that!

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    1. It might be an acquired taste, but it doesn't take long to acquire. :) It's high in protein, and so tasty — can't go wrong.

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  9. I have never tried chick pea flour, but I'm definitely interested in trying it, if only to make these pancakes! They look truly delicious!

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    1. Just so you know, chickpea flour tastes pretty bad uncooked, but transforms beautifully once it's made into a finished product. Don't taste it raw, and cook it well.

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  10. I love chickpea flour and this sounds fantastic!

    Courtney

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    1. Chickpea flour is wonderful, no question.

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  11. Ah yes, the magic of chickpea flour. It makes such quick, easy and tasty omelets/pancakes. Nice flipping skills! :)

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    1. Thank you. My flipping skills are intermittent, but I mean well.

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  12. I've never tried this kind of pancake before but now I totally want to. It looks awesome! :-)

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    1. It's more of a flatbread, maybe, and so good. Easy, too, if you don't count the flipping part. ;)

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  13. ohyes! Farinata and panelle are so versatile and vegan-friendly and just plain fun to play with. I love your version...thanks for sharing the recipe!

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    1. You're welcome. I love the stuff, no matter what it's called!

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  14. Replies
    1. Thank you! They are very versatile — you can change them up so many ways.

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  15. I love chickpea flour pancakes! They are so easy to make, affordable, versatile and delicious!

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  16. Delicious! I remember visiting France many moons ago and they sold socca all over town at outside open markets. It was like their jam!

    I'm just discovering how much I love chickpea flour and this seems like a good use for it. I'm definitely gonna bookmark this for later!

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    1. Is there anything chickpea flour can't do? ... Actually there is. It can't taste good raw.

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  17. I tried making these once and it was a bit of a disaster - it melded with the pan and woudl not be separated! I would love it give it another go though, chick pea flour can do no wrong!

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    1. They can be sticky. I use a well-seasoned cast iron griddle, which I oil, and I never have a problem.

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  18. i have never heard of chick pea flower pancakes, but they look and sound incredible!

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    1. They're a little unusual, but I love them.

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  19. we make the pudla/chilla different versions pretty much every week. My mom likes hers very thin, so she adds a good load of water and that takes ages to cook, more oil than i like. I make mine thicker with less water and a bit of flax, and smaller size. It needs almost no oil on a good pan( i have a pan just for pancakes and crepes) and always flips well!

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    1. The very thin ones get me upset with the cooking time, and I'm with you on the larger amounts of oil. I like to keep my oil minimal, and I might add some ground chia seed, nutritional yeast and spices. My cast iron griddle is pretty stick-free. I used to have a nice non-stick pan that we can no longer find — may have left in in the rental house.

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