If you've browsed the varieties of flours at the grocery store lately, you've likely come across chickpea flour. With its pale yellow hue, it's a unique ingredient that is entering more and more kitchens these days. What is it and how can you use it?
What Is Chickpea Flour?
Chickpea flour, also known as gram or garbanzo bean flour, is simply ground raw chickpeas. Because it is solely made of chickpeas, it's naturally gluten-free and also rich in protein, fiber, and other vitamins and minerals. It's a staple ingredient in South Asia and Southern Europe, but has recently gained popularity worldwide as a gluten-free flour.
How to Use Chickpea Flour
There are a number of traditional dishes that call for chickpea flour. In Nice, it's used to make a thin pancake called socca, which is also made in Liguria, Italy, but called farinata. In India, it's used in countless dishes like crepes called pudla and a fudge-like sweet called Mysore pak. Beyond these classic uses, chickpea flour can be used as part of a gluten-free flour mix for baked goods, as a binder for veggie burgers and fritters, and as a thickener for soups.