As far as I can remember, I've always enjoyed eating chickpeas (garbanzo beans) or any kind of pulse/legume as not only are they good for your health, but also very tasty and extremely multifaceted. But, it is only lately that I have discovered that little culinary jewel called "Chickpea Flour", "Gram Flour" or "Besan" in Indian...
Since the very day I bought me first bag of "Chickpea Flour" I've been under the spell of this fabulous high carbohydrates and protein-rich magical ingredient!
"Chickpea Flour" can be used in the Indian cuisine (to make a chickpea omelet/pancake called "Chilla", to spice up curries, as a batter for deep-frying, as a soup thickener, as a binding agent in "Koftas" or "Kebabs", as a main ingredient in sweets, etc...). In fact, it is to the Indian kitchen what the egg is to the Western Kitchen and it can even be used as a face scrub and toner as well as a remedy for babies! Here, in our part of the world, it is very popular amongst the vegetarian, gluten-free (and egg-free/milk-free) and wholefood communities as well as in Italian cusine to make "Farinata" and in French cuisine (Mediterranean) to make "Socca" which are both a kind of savory pancake.
This unique flour is very flavorsome and ever so useful that it will soon become a must-have ingredient in your kitchen. Once you've tried it, there's no way you can forget it or snob it!
The recipe I am presenting today is gorgeous, cheap and very fastly prepared. This "Chickpea Terrine" is a wonderful vegetarian dish that is highly nourishing, healthy and above all, delicious. The use of "Besan" confers it an original nutty and soily/earthy taste that is very satisfying and which is pleasantly enhanced by the use of spices and the adition of sweet vegetables like the bell pepper and onion. Really scrumptious!
~ Chickpea Terrine ~
Recipe by Valérie Cupillard "Pâtés végétaux et tartinades" (see link) and freely adapted by Rosa @ Rosa's Yummy Yums.
1 Yellow bell pepper, seeded and finely chopped
1 Medium onion, finely chopped
2 Cloves garlic, crushed
5 Tbs Olive oil
2 Tsp Dried thyme
1/2 Tsp Paprika
1 Pinch Smoked paprika
1/2 Tsp Mustard (powder or paste)
1/2 Tsp Curry powder
A few drops Tabasco (red or green)
150g Chickpea flour
Salt, to taste
Pepper, to taste
1. In a frying pan, stir-fry the chopped onion in olive oil, then add the garlic and the chopped bell pepper.
2. Add all the spices and herbs.
3. Cook over medium heat for about 15-20 minutes, until the bell pepper is tender.
4. Meanwhile, put the chickpea flour in a pan and add the water.
5. Mix thouroughly until both ingredients are well blended.
6. Cook over low heat (stirring continuously) until the mixture thickens.
7. Salt and pepper to taste.
8. Turn off the heat and add the vegetables and mix well.
9. Pour into a greased cake mould.
10. Bake in the oven at 180° C (350° F) for about 35-45 minutes.
11. Cool on a rack and unmould the terrine.
For that recipe, you can use any bell pepper (red, green, orange, etc...) or replace it by 2 coarsely grated carrots (original recipe) that you'll also stir-fry.
If you wish, the chopped onion can be replaced by 2 finely chopped shallots (original recipe).
It is possible to use 1 teaspoon garlic powder instead of the 2 cloves garlic.
You can also add more curry powder (3 teaspoons instead of the 1/2 teaspoon) and ommit the thyme, paprika, smoked paprika, mustard as well as Tabasco (as in the original recipe).
The cooked chickpea mixture (water and flour) should have the consistency of a thick béchamel or custard.
Cut the terrine into slices and eat warm or cold. It is ideal as a starter or as a healthy main course served with a "Ratatouille", a tomato sauce, a salad or vegetables.