Sunday, 25 October 2009

Spiced aubergine, tomato and chickpea pancake

If you didn’t know it before, you know now that Chickpeas are my favourite pulse, and the pakora (usually made with besan - chickpea flour) is my favourite kind of deep fried snack, so much so I decided to create a Welsh pakora recipe to celebrate my ‘cultural roots’ of sorts.

Anyway, during one of my walks through the cemetery my work colleague was raving on about her sister having made a delicious chickpea loaf, that she cut into slabs and ate for lunch during the working week. As a lover of chickpeas in all its forms, my little ears perked up and I demanded, yes demanded she get the recipe from her sister, and the following day via e mail there it was. I noted the recipe had come from Nadine Abensurs Cranks Bible, a book that I owned, so when I got home I checked it out. In the book the recipe was called aubergine farinata.
Farinata is actually a crispy thin pancake. I decided this was going to be something D. and me were going to be eating at some point.
Here it is, made with the last of my ailsa craig tomatoes (the picture above taken over a month ago). It turned out to be a thick chickpea square pancake, rather than a thin and crispy one, nevertheless it was rich and absolutely moreish.
It serves about 6 people, or you could eat it cold over a few days. I think this would also be good as a starter to a meal, in which case I would serve it with a green salad, as it is rich and quite flavourful. This is something I will definitely be making again and again. I poured the chickpea batter in a tray measuring 14 x 10 inches with tall sides. The spiced aubergine and tomato topping recipe I made is below. For the Aubergine: 1 large aubergine, cut in chunks, and then roasted on a tray with 1 tbsp of olive oil in an hot oven with a bit of salt for 20 minutes or until tender. Leave aside to cool.
For the tomato: Deseed 2 - 3 tomatoes, then cut into chunks and fry in 1 tbsp of olive oil with 2 cloves of finely sliced garlic, and gently cook until they just begin to disintegrate. Add the aubergine to this and season with salt and pepper, a handful of sliced black olives and a sprinkling of chilli pepper flakes and some roughly chopped coriander. Add to the chickpea batter. Adapted from Nadine Abensur’s The Cranks Bible: A Timeless Collection of Vegetarian Recipes


  1. That sounds delicious - I'll have to give it a try. I love chickpeas, too, and I'm always looking for things that will last a few days in the fridge :) Plus I picked up the Cranks Bible at a massive discount just recently, and haven't made much from it, yet.

  2. Welcome Rachel and Thank you.

    The Cranks Bible is a brilliant book. I have had it since it was published, and to be honest with you I have not cooked extensively from it, but I drool over the recipes, thinking I will make that next time, but never quite seem to get round it.

    Thank you Sarah.
    It is unusual, but delicious.

  3. Chickpea anything is fine by me, Mango. I will have to try this recipe. I never heard of the Cranks Bible, but am now curious to check it out.

  4. Hi Barbara,
    I hope you like it if you get round to trying it.

    I have most of Nadine Abensurs cookbooks. She is one of the authors behind Cranks: a vegetarian restuarant in the U.K (now sadly closed. The Cranks Bible is one I would recommend.

  5. Looks lovely, but i am usually allergic to chickpeas. Usually meaning I can eat hummus dip, but if i eat the actual chick pea i get an ichy throat and swollen lips...really strange i know.


  6. Oh I am sorry to read that Rose,
    This chickpea pancake is made with the flour, so I am willing to bet it might be okay for you. But understand why you wouldn't risk it.

    Thanks MandyCharlie.
    Nice to hear from you again.

  7. What an unusual recipe. It looks delicious though.


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