Panisse recipe – David Lebovitz


Means again in 2008, most likely earlier than a few of you have been born, I posted a recipe for Panisses, chickpea flour fritters. They weren’t so well-known outdoors of the south of France, and even in Paris, folks don’t actually know what they’re. So it was enjoyable introducing these Mediterranean specialties to a wider viewers, even when some readers have been scratching their heads as to tips on how to get the primary ingredient; chickpea flour.

These days, with gluten-free baking extra standard, chickpea flour is straightforward to get and a recent trip to Marseille, the place they’re offered at seaside stands (just like the one above), prompted me to make them at residence once more, and replace the recipe with extra ideas I picked up.

Making the batter for panisses is much like making polenta, and simply as straightforward. I don’t know if there’s any “official” form they’re purported to be. Within the south of France, they often trend the panisse combination into thick logs with molds, then slice them into rounds (or half-rounds) for frying. In Jacques Médecin’s iconic e-book, Cuisine Niçoise, he requires the cook dinner to grease a dozen small saucers and use these to mould the panisse combination, which is later reduce into baton-like shapes, that are extra irregular (however kinda enjoyable) because of the round saucers.

My sous-tasse (saucer) sport isn’t as sturdy as his – I solely have three, and I don’t suppose the darkish blue one counts – so I take advantage of a 9-inch (23cm) sq. cake pan, which does the job properly. In the event you do go to Good or Marseille, you may nonetheless generally discover them offered in disks with the signature round marks of the indentations of saucers in retailers, able to fry. To be genuine, they need to solely be product of chickpea flour (like their cousin, socca), though I horrified a Niçoise good friend once I informed her one packet I noticed at an épicerie (meals store) close to her city listed wheat flour as an ingredient.

Deep-frying is usually a recipe deal-breaker for me. Any recipe that claims, “Warmth 4 quarts of oil in a pot…”, I flip the web page or click on away as quick as I can. So I put together a pleasant bain of olive oil, a shower if you’ll, that’s deep sufficient to provide them a pleasant golden exterior and hold them from sticking, and use that slightly than a bottle of olive oil. It really works completely.

As talked about, once I first wrote this put up, chickpea flour was tough to seek out and was most simply obtained by a visit to a store that offered elements for Indian or Center Japanese cooking (the place it’s referred to as gram or besan.) However a few of it’s fairly coarse and generally it’s comprised of roasted chickpeas, neither of which you need right here.

With an increase and curiosity in gluten-free baking, chickpea flour (additionally referred to as garbanzo flour) is straightforward to seek out at pure meals shops and I get mine in Paris at Biocoop or Naturalia, the place it’s labeled farine de pois chiche and yow will discover it in Italian meals retailers labeled farina di ceci too. You wish to use unroasted chickpea flour that’s finely milled, as proven beneath. It’s also possible to get it through mail order from Bob’s Red Mill and Amazon, and for DIYers, there are recipes for making it yourself.

As a result of panisses come from the south of France, the pure accompaniment is rosé, though for these not imbibing, ice-cold lemonade works nicely too. Individuals who come to Paris marvel the place all of the ice in France is, and I’m right here to let you know that it’s all down within the south, the place folks plunk a dice or two of their rosé, but in addition generally of their white and purple wine, too. Removed from being très américain, café waiters usually routinely convey prospects a bit of bucket of ice together with your drink, and in the event that they don’t, they’ll do it on request. I’m writing a bit extra about that in an upcoming newsletter, however my normal rule of thumb is that if the wine is €10/$10 or much less, you may put ice in it : ) As for panisses, I counsel you to stay to the script and hold them so simple as doable, and serve them with flaky sea salt and pepper, which is one of the simplest ways doable.


I fried my panisses in olive oil, as is conventional, in my forged iron skillet and it is a bit of arduous to let you know precisely how a lot to make use of however you need sufficient in order that the panisses will not stick. This makes about 36 panisses.

A commenter some time again famous they grilled them, which is probably going doable. We will not grill in Paris as it is not approved (I feel it is as a result of they’re nervous about fires), however if you wish to give it a go, you may possible brush them with olive oil and cook dinner them that manner. In the event you do, tell us how they arrive out within the feedback.

Servings 8 servings

  • 2 1/4 cups (250g) chickpea flour
  • 1 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 quart (a scant liter) water
  • olive oil, for frying
  • coarse salt and freshly-cracked pepper, for serving
  • Evenly oil a 9-inch (23 cm) sq. cake pan, or related sized vessel.

  • Pour the chickpea flour in a medium saucepan together with the salt and olive oil. Add half of the water and stir with a sturdy whisk till the combination is easy. Whisk in the remainder of the water.

  • Convey the combination to a boil over excessive warmth, stirring often with the whisk till it simply begins to boil and thicken. Scale back the warmth to low-to-medium, and proceed to cook dinner, stirring with the whisk (or a picket spoon or spatula) till the combination thickens and holds its form, and pulls away from the facet of the pan, about 10 minutes. It ought to resemble stiff, sticky mashed potatoes.

  • Instantly scrape the combination into the oiled pan, easy the highest, and let cool. It could be tough to get the highest easy, so do it as shortly as you may. You need to use a offset spatula dipped in water to assist easy the highest, and as soon as you have smoothed it as greatest as you may, fold a kitchen towel on the counter and drop the pan just a few instances on the towel to assist easy it out even additional. Let cool fully at room temperature.

  • To fry the panisses, unmold the solidified combination on a chopping board and slice into three rectangles. Then use a knife to chop 3/4-inch (2cm) batons.

  • In a heavy-duty skillet, warmth 1/3 to 1/2 inch (1,5 cm) of olive oil. Do not be too parsimonious with the olive oil. When shimmering scorching, fry the panisses in batches, not crowding them within the pan. As soon as the underside is properly browned and crisp on the underside, flip with tongs, frying the panisses, turning them as soon as either side is browned, till they’re deep golden brown on either side. They will take a minimum of 5 minutes to fry them and the primary batch will cook dinner slower than subsequent batches.

  • Take away the panisses from the pan and drain on paper towels or on a brown paper bag, sprinkling them very generously with salt and pepper. Don’t be stingy with both. Proceed frying the remainder of the panisses, heating extra oil within the pan as wanted.

Serve the panisses heat.
Whereas it is conventional to serve panisses simply with salt and pepper, one place I went to in Marseille served panisses with harissa mayonnaise. So if you wish to liven issues up, combine some harrisa with mayonnaise, to style, and use that as a dip.


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