Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a medium sauce pot, bring the water to a simmer. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the chickpea flour, salt, black pepper, cumin, turmeric, smoked paprika, garlic powder, and cayenne pepper (optional). Once the water comes to a simmer, slowly add the dry mixture to the water, whisking thoroughly. Continue to whisk the mixture for about 5 minutes, or until the dough has thickened considerably. Stir in the chopped parsley and remove from heat. Transfer the dough to the baking sheet lined with parchment and spread into a even layer for 10x7 inch rectangle. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge to chill for at least an hour or until the mixture is cooled and set (you can also do this the day before and keep it in the fridge).
Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
Remove and cut into 3 1/2-4 inch pieces. You might want to trim the edges first before cutting, for more even pieces. Place back on the baking sheet with new parchment paper. Drizzle on olive oil and toss to coat all. Evenly space apart and place in the oven for 25-30 minutes or until golden and crispy. Remove and let cool.
To make the sauce, in a small bowl, stir together the tahini, water, and lemon juice. Drizzle on the tahini sauce or serve alongside the fries in a bowl. Sprinkle the fries with salt flakes and a pinch of smoked paprika. Enjoy!
Makes: 4 servings
Total time: about 2 1/2 hours (including chill time)
3 cups water
1 1/2 cups chickpea flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika + more for garnish
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
optional 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1-2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 teaspoon salt flakes
3 spoonfuls tahini
1 spoonful water
1/2 lemon, juiced
Let’s go back 8 years when my friends and I first went to a local vegan restaurant. On the menu were chickpea fries. Intrigued, we ordered them and instantly returned to the restaurant, to the menu, for those fries. They were earthy and spicy and served with an aioli of sorts. I never thought to make them, maybe because I was unsure of the ingredients and I don't normally like to deep fry. So when the thought emerged that I might set out to make these crispy fries, I intended to do so with a healthy twist (and without sacrificing flavor).
I attempted this recipe FOUR times before I was finally happy with the result. The dough is made from chickpea flour and water. It’s thickened on the stove for 5 minutes. This is not for the faint of wrist, for a sturdy whisk and hand is needed! My first attempt was to bake these fries at 350 degrees in the oven. It did little to make them “crispy,” and instead they became dry and brittle. Disappointing. The second attempt was test out pan frying these fries. Oily but good indeed. This was still not what I intended, because I still thought there was a way to bake these fries to achieve a similar result. The final attempt was turning up the heat to 425 and baking the fries until crispy and golden. The result was a crisp, hearty, spiced fry that when dipped into a tahini sauce creates for an earthy and cooled experience.
The spices are up to you, but I like to add cumin, turmeric, smoked paprika, and garlic powder. Fresh parsley adds color and brightness. The tahini sauce, a mixture of water, tahini, and lemon, is substantial, creamy, and balances out the hot, spiced fry. (The fries are not spicy, I mean they are spiced, as in full of spices!).
If you can think of place I’d like to be, it might be wedged between a chickpea and some tahini sauce. In fact, if you too are a fan of chickpeas (although this recipe uses flour not the beans), this may be your next go-to dish! I devoured this quickly myself because they are that good. They’re straightforward and make for the perfect party gift or snack. Make the dough part the night before and bake them 30 minutes you're ready to serve. I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I do!