Chick Pea Panelle

, from Issue #29. September, 2015
Photography by Aaron McLean.
Chick Pea Panelle

In Italy antipasti are served before a meal, along with an aperitif. Antipasti are anything that will whet the appetite; often something salty like olives, nuts, or as in Sicily, this crisp fried panelle. Here we’ve accompanied it with slices of salami and a bowl of olives.


1 cup chick pea flour
1 teaspoon sea salt
freshly ground pepper
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 tablespoon finely chopped rosemary
2 cups water
¼ cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

To cook
vegetable oil for frying



Grease and line a loaf tin with baking paper.

Sift the chick pea flour into a medium saucepan and stir in the salt, pepper, cumin and rosemary. Gradually whisk in the water to make a smooth batter.

Place over a medium heat and bring to the boil, whisking constantly until the mixture is thick. Reduce the heat to low and cook for 8-10 minutes to cook out the raw flour, stirring occasionally to prevent it sticking on the base of the saucepan.

Remove from the heat and stir in the flat-leaf parsley and Parmesan. Tip into the loaf tin, cool and refrigerate until ready to cook. The panelle can be made 2 days ahead.

To cook: Turn the panelle out onto the bench and slice ½-1 cm thick. Cut each slice into 3 triangles.

Heat 1 cm of vegetable oil in a sauté pan. Cook the panelle in batches for 5 minutes until golden brown on both sides. Drain on kitchen towels and sprinkle with sea salt. Serve hot.
Makes about 20 pieces.

Chick pea flour: (also called besan, gram, ceci, chana or garbanzo bean flour) is available from good supermarkets, specialty food stores and health food shops.