Today for lunch, we had a simple and filling meal. Chickpea frittata filled with caramelized onions and potatoes, served with hot sauce, and steamed broccoli. It was reminiscent of before we became plant-based, and I would make us my version of Italian Frittata, or Spanish Tortilla, made rich and delicious with eggs and cheese.
I had heard of using Besan, or Chickpea flour as an egg substitute and although I didn’t expect it to taste just like eggs or have the same texture, I thought it would be at best, an interesting experiment.
Besan, ground chickpeas made into flour, is commonly used in Asian countries such as India and Pakistan. It is a good source of Protein, Potassium, Calcium, Iron, Vitamin B-6 and Magnesium. Because I believe in the whole-plant foods philosophy of eating, I would normally eat the chickpeas in there unground, whole form. But once in a while, you’ve got to answer that basic instinct that says “hey, I’d like some comfort food here, today!” And the rain was beating down on the roof, and the weather felt cold and showed no promise of letting up, so I thought today would be the perfect day to give this a try.
I began by peeling and slicing one large yellow onion and two medium-sized potatoes. The onions were sauteed in water, to which I added a splash of white wine vinegar. I let them cook slowly in a non-stick pan while I boiled the potatoes in a separate pot, stirring the onions occasionally to make sure they didn’t stick to the bottom of the pan. After they were cooked, I set them aside as I got the batter ready.
Next I measured out one cup chickpea flour and poured it into a medium-sized bowl. In this bowl I also added:
- 2 Tablespoons Nutritional Yeast
- 1 tsp Black Salt
- 1/2 tsp White Pepper
- 1 1/2 tsp garlic powder
The black salt is used to flavor the batter as an egg, due to its eggy aroma. So, if you don’t have black salt, or don’t want to use salt, simply don’t put it in. Same with the pepper. If you prefer black pepper, or don’t want to use it, it’s optional. Put together the ingredients however it pleases you. Add 1 cup cold water, and whisk ingredients until well combined and there are no lumps. Set batter aside.
Heat a nonstick skillet. If you are cooking low or no fat, Just be warned that the frittata may stick a bit, but if you are skeptical of your pan, I would just put a dime-sized drizzle of whatever oil you like to use and spread it around the entire pan with a spatula. I was afraid at first the whole thing would stick in the pan, and I tried to turn the frittata too soon and it did look like it was going to stick in the skillet. I let it cook longer, and when I did invert it onto the cutting board, it hesitated for just a second or two until gravity coaxed it to let go of the skillet.
So, once heated, arrange the cooked potatoes in the pan first. Then layer the cooked onions on top of the potatoes. Than take your bowl of batter and pour that over the entire contents of the skillet. It may look to you that you should have more batter to cover the potatoes and onions generously, but I just barely had enough, and after it was done cooking, I realized it was the perfect amount of batter to hold everything together.
Cover the skillet with a lid, and let it cook slowly, on medium low for 12 to 15 minutes. Now comes the hardest part of all (and I didn’t get a picture because I don’t have enough arms to hold my camera and flip the tortilla). Uncover the skillet and remove from the burner. Take a wooden cutting board and place on top of the skillet. The board has to be big enough to hold the frittata. Using pot holders or kitchen towels, pick up the skillet by the handle with one hand, the other hand you will have on top of the cutting board. Flip quickly, so that you end up with the skillet on top and the cutting board on the bottom. Place the cutting board on the counter top right next to you. If you didn’t hear the thump of the frittata releasing, gently knock on the bottom of the skillet. You may need to knock a few times but you should hear it release onto the board.
Gently slide the frittata back into the skillet, and continue to cook on low, another 10 minutes, uncovered.
When 10 minutes are up, turn off the stove and put cutting board on top of skillet, again. Using the same technique as you used for the first flip over, flip the frittata onto the cutting board, but this time, take skillet away as soon as frittata is on the cutting board, cut as desired, either in squares or wedges, and serve.
I served our frittata with steamed broccoli and hot sauce. It was very tasty and satisfying. It was comforting and although it wouldn’t fool anyone into thinking they were eating eggs and cheese, the frittata was very flavorful and nutritious and definitely something I would cook again. My husband also liked it, and was pleasantly surprised with the familiarity of it.
Thank you for visiting me at Vegan Mami’s Good Food Kitchen, where I like to serve food that nurtures the body and brings love to your heart. Take good care of yourself and your loved ones, remember to eat real foods in their whole forms, as often as possible. Your health depends on it!