Panisse (Chickpea Fries)

published Sep 16, 2021
Panisse Recipe

Panisse, aka chickpea flour fries, are a popular street snack from the south of France. They have lightly crisp exteriors with custardy centers and pair well with a creamy sauce.

Serves4 to 6

Makes22 to 24 fries

Prep10 minutes

Cook40 minutes

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Panisse plated.
Credit: Photo: Kristin Teig | Food Stylist: Catrine Kelty

Panisse, aka chickpea flour fries, are a popular street snack from the south of France. They have lightly crisp exteriors and custardy centers, and they’re perfect for dipping into your favorite creamy sauce.

You can find many variations of chickpea flour snacks throughout the Mediterranean — like panisse’s crispy cousin, socca — most of which are naturally gluten-free. I always make freshly-fried panisse for my gluten-free guests, and the dish never fails to impress. Here’s how to do it.

Credit: Photo: Kristin Teig | Food Stylist: Catrine Kelty

Making Panisse Batter

Panisse comes together with just four ingredients: chickpea flour, salt, water, and olive oil. Although it requires some planning (the batter needs time to cool before frying), the actual prep work takes very little effort.

You’ll start by bringing a large pot of water to a boil. Sift the chickpea flour into a medium bowl, then whisk in salt. Generously grease an 8×8-inch or 9×9-inch square cake pan. You can also use a round cake pan — just know the panisse won’t be totally uniform.

Slowly whisk the flour into the boiling water (be careful, as it will bubble and splatter), and cook until it resembles a glossy, sticky cake batter with some small lumps. Immediately pour into the prepared pan and smooth the top. Don’t worry about the lumps — they’ll hydrate as the mixture cools, leaving you with creamy interiors. Let the mixture rest until cool, about 90 minutes at room temperature. If you’re in a hurry, let cool on the counter for 15 minutes, then transfer to the fridge for 30 minutes. This is also a great place to stop if you’re making these the day before. Press plastic wrap directly onto the surface of the batter, then chill until you’re ready to cook.

Learn more about chickpea flour: C Is for Chickpea Flour

Frying and Serving Panisse

When you’re ready to cook, invert the baking dish and cut the slab into thin strips that resemble fries. Heat olive oil in a large skillet, then cook the panisse until lightly crisp and browned on the outside, about 5 minutes total. Panisse are best served right away, but you can keep them warm in a 200°F oven while you finish cooking the remaining fries.

I always season panisse with flaky salt or kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, and serve with lemon wedges, fresh herbs, or a dipping sauce. My family loves Sriracha mayo with panisse, and David Lebovitz said he ate them with harissa mayo in Marseilles. I also think it would be fun to swirl some herb sauce into the batter just before you pour it into the pan to set. However you eat it, you’re sure to enjoy.

Panisse Recipe

Panisse, aka chickpea flour fries, are a popular street snack from the south of France. They have lightly crisp exteriors with custardy centers and pair well with a creamy sauce.

Prep time 10 minutes

Cook time 40 minutes

Makes 22 to 24 fries

Serves 4 to 6

Nutritional Info

Ingredients

  • 4 cups

    water

  • 2 cups

    chickpea flour (garbanzo bean flour)

  • 1 teaspoon

    kosher salt, plus more as needed

  • 1 1/2 cups

    olive oil, plus more for the pan

  • Optional garnishes: Flaky salt, freshly ground black pepper

  • Serving options: Lemon wedges

Instructions

  1. Bring 4 cups water to a boil in a large saucepan over high heat. Meanwhile, sift 2 cups chickpea flour into a medium bowl and whisk in 1 teaspoon kosher salt. Generously coat an 8- or 9-inch square or round baking pan with olive oil.

  2. While whisking constantly, slowly pour the chickpea flour mixture into the boiling water. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook (be careful, it may bubble and splatter!), whisking constantly and reducing the heat if needed, until the mixture looks like a glossy, sticky cake batter with some small lumps, about 20 minutes. Taste and season with more kosher salt as needed.

  3. Pour the mixture into the baking dish and immediately smooth the top with an offset spatula. Let cool completely, about 90 minutes. (Alternatively, let cool on the counter for 15 minutes, lightly cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 30 minutes to speed up the cooling process.)

  4. When you are ready to fry, invert the baking dish onto a cutting board to remove the slab from the pan. Cut the slab in half. Cut each piece crosswise into 3/4-inch-thick pieces (you can also cut them thinner or thicker if desired).

  5. Heat 1 1/2 cups olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat until 350ºF. Working in batches of 5 or 6, add the panisse to the oil and fry, flipping once, until golden-brown all over, about 2 1/2 minutes per side. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate. Sprinkle with kosher salt, flaky salt, or freshly ground black pepper. Enjoy with Sriracha mayo or harissa mayo, with a lemon wedge for squeezing, or your favorite dipping sauce.

Recipe Notes

Storage: Leftovers can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 4 days.