Crispy Chickpea Fritters


What would we do without Deborah Madison?

I don’t actually have that many cookbooks…well okay it’s a couple of shelves, but considering I’m in the food business I don’t have that many. But I do have Deborah’s cookbooks, and I do use them.


In My Kitchen is her latest with new and old recipes and giving more narrative about how her recipes have changed over the years.  Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone sits firmly in the Top Two List of my most-used and most-gifted cookbooks.

This recipe is from Vegetable Literacy and was recommended to me by food-loving friends. They’ve had my polenta many times and suggested I try out their new favorite dish of similar texture by slow-cooking garbanzo flour then frying the congealed batter for a savory treat. Garbanzo flour can be a bit bitter in some dishes—I don’t include it in a gf flour mix for desserts—but when it’s meant to be there, it’s scrumptious. These are a great protein for a meal or as a side with a salad.




This process is interesting and reminds me of a cross between polenta and Socca, it’s a slow-cooked loaf that is fried in thick snackable sizes. It made me wonder what other ground flours could be slow-cooked and congealed into a fryable or bakeable texture. Obviously corn, rice grits and risotto can be made into a polenta-like loaf. Could you do this with black bean flour? Buckwheat? Tapioca? It needs to have a somewhat gelatinous nature when slow cooked.



These were not dusted with cornmeal and they are cute but not perfectly shaped. I think that the cornmeal is part of what helps keep the batter from sticking in the pan and helps everything hold its shape. But they were still tasty regardless of perfect shape or no perfect shape. We thought they were even better and easier to handle after they sat for a couple of hours after frying.




Crispy Chickpea Fritters (by Deborah Madison)

Prep Time: 10 minutes prep, then 4-8 hours setup time

Cook Time: 10 minutes pre-cooking, then 20 minutes to fry


Whisk together and set aside:

1 1/2 cups Garbanzo Flour

3 cups Water

1 teaspoon Sea Salt


Oil a 9 x 13 inch pan or a low flat dish.

Saute in a large saucepan over medium-low heat:

2 Tablespoons Olive Oil

1 Onion, finely minced

1 teaspoon Nutritional Yeast

1 Tablespoon Fresh Thyme or Rosemary, or 2 teaspoons dry

1 Tablespoon Parsley, chopped

When the onions are translucent stir the garbanzo water then pour it into the onion mix. Turn up the heat to medium. Whisk continuously as it cooks and thickens, then cook at least another 5-7 minutes. Taste for seasonings, then pour it into the greased pan spreading it evenly.

Cover with waxed paper and refrigerate for a few hours or overnight.


Slice the congealed chickpeas into squares and if you want triangle slice the squares in half.

The fritters can be fried as is or coated with a light layer of cornmeal before frying to help them hold together.

Pour oil into a cast iron pan or heavy saute pan, around 1/4 inch deep. Heat over medium heat, then gently place the chickpea pieces into the oil. Fry until crispy medium brown, maybe 5 or 6 minutes, them flip and do the same on the other side. They will be somewhat soft so handle them gently. 

Eat the fritters hot, or let them sit an hour to set up and they will hold their shape better.

Deborah suggests serving them with on of the following:

  • Smoked Paprika Mayonnaise
  • Romesco Sauce
  • Salad Greens and a Meyer Lemon Shallot Vinaigrette

We thought they were amazing with:

  • Sautéed Greens with Garlic and Lemon
  • Sprinkled with Feta Cheese




We recently drove by the Bob’s Red Mill site in Milwaukie just south of Portland, Oregon.



“We are volcanoes. When we women offer our experience as our truth, as human truth, all the maps change. There are new mountains.”


Ursula LeGuin





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