Savory Vegan + GF Chickpea Pancakes Recipe

Savory Vegan + GF Chickpea Pancakes Recipe
This chickpea pancake recipe brings back fond childhood memories of dark and rainy afternoons spent playing games, reading books, and enjoying my mom’s chickpea flour pancakes (besan ka pooda or Puda). I love the nutty and earthy flavor of chickpea flour, which is rich in vitamins, minerals, and fiber. My family enjoys these versatile poodas with a variety of accompaniments — salad for me, avocados and Mint Cilantro Chutney for my husband, and mango pickle for the kiddos. This yummy vegan dish is now our go-to savory brunch meal that I make almost every weekend!

Savory Vegan Gluten-Free Chickpea Pancakes

This pancake recipe is my family's favorite savory brunch; I make it almost every weekend! Chickpea flour is very high in protein and has a lovely nutty taste to it. You can even play around with the veggies for this recipe depending on what you like or already have on hand. Besides onions and peppers, a few of my favorite combinations are leeks and leftover boiled potatoes, zucchini and mint, and spinach and carrot.

  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Servings: 2

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup yellow onion (finely chopped)
  • 1/4 cup red pepper (finely chopped)
  • 1/2 cup chickpea flour or besan
  • 2 tablespoon cilantro (finely chopped)
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • black pepper (to taste)
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder (optional)
  • Red pepper flakes (to taste)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil (brush or spray)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • Salsa (for garnish)
  • Avocado (for garnish)
  • Hummus (for dipping)
  • Ketchup (for garnish)

Instructions

  1. In a small bowl, whisk together all the dry ingredients: flour, garlic powder, salt, black pepper, baking powder, and red pepper flakes.

  2. Add water and whisk well, making sure there are no lumps.

  3. Stir in the chopped vegetables and cilantro.

  4. Preheat a 10-inch skillet over medium heat. When the skillet is heated, spray oil to cover the entire pan, then pour HALF the batter evenly onto the pan.

  5. Cook well for about 5 minutes on medium heat. (You'll know that the pancake is cooked when you can slide the spatula under the pancake easily.)

  6. Carefully flip the pancake and cook the other side for another 5 minutes.

  7. Serve with the toppings of your choice!

Pro Tips: The leftover batter can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days; just whisk well before making them. Also, chickpea flour can last for up to 2 years in the freezer or up to 6 months in an airtight container in the pantry. If you have any leftover pancakes, store them in a Ziploc in the fridge and just reheat them for about 45-60 seconds in the microwave before eating.

Bon appétit!

A Little Backstory on chickpeas

The use of chickpeas dates back as far as 7500-8500 BC in Israel and Turkey, eventually making their way to the Mediterranean and then ultimately to India. Now chickpeas have broadened their reach to the entire world, but India accounts for ⅔ of the world’s chickpeas! They’ve been a staple for centuries in other countries like Pakistan, Nepali, and Bangladesh, and some traditional and delicious dishes made from chickpeas you likely know and love are hummus, falafel, chana masala, and doubles (a delicious Trinidadian street food).

Want to add a little more chickpea to your life? I’ve got you covered! Try adding them to a Greek salad, roast them in the oven with a little salt and chili flakes for a delicious snack, add them to a curry dish, make a Chickpea Soup, throw them in tacos or a pita pocket, or try them in lettuce wraps.

are Chickpeas Carbs or Protein?

Chickpeas are a type of legume that contains both carbohydrates and proteins and a tiny amount of fats. Approximately ⅔ of the calories from chickpeas come from carbs (canned chickpeas are on the lower end), while ⅓ comes from protein (dried, cooked chickpeas are on the higher end).

Is Chickpea Flour Healthy?

Chickpea flour, also known as besan, gram flour, or garbanzo bean flour, is made using roasted or raw ground chickpeas. The slightly nutty flavor in chickpea flour makes it a perfect element for both savory and sweet dishes and can be purchased on Amazon or at a variety of grocery stores.

When I share with you all the benefits of chickpea flour, you’re going to wondering why you didn’t know about it sooner! Chickpea flour is not like the commonly used all-purpose flour seen in many recipes; in fact, it’s low in calories and loaded with protein, fiber, and micronutrients. Chickpea flour is heart-healthy and helps to lower cholesterol and high blood pressure, which protects against heart attack and stroke. In just 1./2 cup of chickpea flour there’s 11 grams of protein, 5 grams of fiber, and bucket-loads of iron, folate, magnesium, and zinc.

If I haven’t converted you to a chickpea flour fan yet, then I must mention that chickpea flour is a healthy substitute for those who have celiac disease and other gluten intolerances. It’s also a nutritious replacement for rice flour or potato flour, both typically very low in nutrients.

What else Can Be Made from chickpea Flour?

Being naturally dense and unlike other gluten-free flours, chickpea flour offers a sturdy yet light texture when making loaves of bread, chickpea crepes, soccas, and cakes. Just keep in mind, though, that cakes and breads won’t give the same rise the way all-purpose flour does. Here are some other ways you can use chickpea flour:

  • Thicken sauces and soups.
  • Substitute eggs to make chickpea flour vegan omelets or soufflés.
  • Make an “egg” with 1 ½ tablespoons of chickpea flour + 1 ½ tablespoon water.
  • Mix it with other gluten-free flours to add nutritional value.
  • Try making my Scallion Pancakes as another mouthwatering, healthy, gluten-free, and vegan chickpea flour-centered meal.

How do you Make a Vegan Omelet?

Omelet customizations are just endless. Typically made with eggs, butter, and a plethora of fillings, omelets are generally eaten for breakfast, but you can have a chickpea flour vegan omelet any time of day! Here’s a quick recipe base for a chickpea flour omelet you can add to depending on what veggies you have on hand or whatever you and the rest of the family are in the mood for. (Tomatoes, spinach, mushrooms, onions, chives, broccoli, and leeks are just a few that I’ve used for this recipe before.)

  1. Mix ¼ cup of chickpea flour, ⅓ cup of room-temperature water, and 1 teaspoon of salt until there are no lumps.
  2. Add ¼ cup of sautéed vegetables and mix well.
  3. Add 1 tablespoon of oil to a medium skillet and put heat on medium.
  4. Pour the batter evenly on the pan and cook for about 5 minutes.
  5. Flip and cook for another 3-5 minutes.
  6. Serve hot or at room temperature.

CHICKpea pancake Health Benefits

There are a multitude of health benefits to these savory, vegan, gluten-free chickpea pancakes if prepared as directed. Here are just a few you can gain by using the ingredients in this dish:

  • Chickpea Flour: High in protein, fiber, and micronutrients, and heart-healthy, which helps to lower cholesterol and high blood pressure to protect against heart attack and stroke.
  • Garlic Powder: Can help lower cholesterol and blood pressure.
  • Olive Oil: Rich in monounsaturated fats, may prevent stroke, and has anti-inflammatory properties.
  • Onions: High in antioxidants, help control blood sugar, and may boost bone density.
  • Red Pepper: Rich source of vitamin A and beta-carotene, which is good for eye health; also, an excellent source of vitamin C, which boosts the immune system and is good for inflammation.

This savory, gluten-free, vegan, dairy-free chickpea pancake recipe is so unbelievably healthy. I can’t wait for you to make it and tell me all about it in the comments section below!