My journey into exploring healthy alternatives to pizza dough continues with this take using chickpea flour. I’ve worked on this a couple of times for some of my Indian recipes so I had a clear direction for working on this recipe.
And nothing could be simpler. We’ll basically be building a dense pancake batter, flavored to our liking, and finished off in a pan.
The reasons for going with this recipe over a traditional pizza dough recipe are quite obvious. It’s really easy to pull off with very little preparation time needed. In fact, it’ll take longer to have a pizza delivered than make this one from scratch.
It just takes a simple mix of chickpea flour and water. Knowing that this flour will give off a distinct nutty, slightly bitter and pungent flavor, I’ve decided to work in flavors that will combine well with these characteristics. Some cumin, garlic powder, and salt will be perfect.
Work your “dough” into a consistency of a thick waffle batter. Add in more water to thin it out, or more flour to thicken it up.
Pour the batter into a non-stick pan and swirl it around to a perfect circle. Let it cook for 2-3 minutes each side.
Our pizza crust will be on the soft side by now. We’ll be crisping it up later in the oven.
Meanwhile, let’s make a quick pizza sauce. Let’s keep things Indian and go for a curry base.
Let’s begin by roasting some garlic and ginger. Be sure to get them minced as fine as you can. It would be a bit strange eating chunks of ginger from a pizza, right?
Stop the roasting a bit earlier as you would when doing a typical curry. Keep in mind that this will continue cooking in the oven and possibly burn if you get them fully roasted at this stage.
Add the curry powder and roast it a bit until aromatic.
Stir in some yogurt, going for the consistency of a typical pizza sauce. Add a bit of salt and pepper if needed.
Time to work on the toppings. I went for vegetables commonly used in Indian cooking to keep within my theme. Some thinly sliced eggplants, red onions, and bell peppers. Toss these in some olive oil, salt, and some turmeric powder.
I just tried to go with an all-vegetable topping on this one, but some chicken breast slices would, of course, be a perfect addition.
Crust done. Sauce done. Toppings on. One thing’s missing. . . cheese. How do we keep this pizza Indian? Paneer! It’s a simple coagulated milk cheese very similar to a ricotta.
You’ll find paneer at specialty Indian groceries. You can even make it at home. Here’s how:
Bring about a liter of milk to a gentle simmer. Pour in about a tablespoon or two of vinegar and instantly see those milk solids split off. Strain the curds through a sieve lined with a cheese cloth. When cool enough to handle, press out any remaining liquid.
The crust finished off really flavorful and crisp out of the oven.
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As the name suggests, chickpea flour is a type of gluten-free flour that is made entirely from ground chickpeas. In this case, the flour is typically used with at least one other gluten-free flour when cooking. However, that isn’t essential – and I just relied on chickpea flour for the recipe that you’re reading.
One notable aspect of chickpea flour is that it has a nutty flavor. This works well in many dishes, including both sweet and savory options. For that matter, the nutty taste often serves to complement recipes, rather than detracting from them.
Chickpea flour is also a popular ingredient and there are many recipes that take advantage of its flavor profile.
For example, one common type of recipe is a socca, which is a type of flatbread. One variation of the recipe can be found on the site Cookie + Kate, and the flatbread is actually very powerful as a pizza base. For that matter, the pizza that I made for this post has many similarities to socca, although there are some differences as well.
Likewise, you can easily make Chickpea Flour Pancakes, Chickpea and Polenta Crackers and even Crispy Onion Rings using chickpea flour. So, there is no shortage of options in ways that you can use this versatile flour.
Chickpea Flour And Diets
Generally speaking, chickpea flour is considered to be healthy. However, it doesn’t suit all diet types. For example, chickpeas are not allowed on the paleo diet, which means you can’t use the flour at all. Likewise, chickpeas are relatively high in carbs. This makes the flour unsuitable for most people on a keto diet.
Nevertheless, if you’re not in one of those groups, chickpea flour is an attractive option. I personally love the flavor and I find that it is fairly easy to work with. At the same time, the flour is high in protein and has other important nutrients. So, it can offer many benefits.
Making Chickpea Flour
You can make your own chickpea flour fairly easily, simply by grinding chickpeas until you get the right consistency. Of course, this is optional, as there are many places that sell the flour as-is.
There is also one interesting variation to consider, which is whether you use raw or roasted chickpeas. You can make the flour either way and it will behave the same way when you use it. However, flour made from roasted chickpeas often has a more complex flavor, while flour from raw chickpeas can have a slightly bitter taste.