By Rachel Favilla

Howdy friends, Chester Chickpea is the name and packing a plant-based protein punch is my game. Though some tell me that this tagline is cheesy, I instead think of it as nutritional yeasty. A little birdy tells me that not everyone is aware of my power, so I thought I’d introduce you all to Besan Flour. When dried and ground I become a culinary dream, the base ingredient for vegan-frittatas served with cashew-based cream. I also make for an incredible flat bread, that, upon first bite, will have you declare ‘Chickpea-me-dead!’

I come from a large family of legumes and pulses. We often step in as the protein source for those with stomach ulcers. Generally easier to digest than meat, we pride ourselves on cooking up a treat. We provide climate-friendly sustenance and a humble curry base, and, if you try us roasted, we’ll put a smile on your face.

Aquafaba is the name of my cooking water and it can be used as an egg-free replacement for your anaphylactic (to eggs) son or daughter. Yes, I’ve taken part in many foodie trends but this is not where my claims to fame end. Today, I’m poetically teaching you to make use of my flour, in ways that are savoury but most definitely not sour.

Vegan Frittata

Combine Besan Flour with water to make a batter-like paste, adding quality extras to suit your taste. I suggest nutritional yeast for dairy-free flavour and an assortment of veggies, to do your bowels a favour. Thinning the batter with rice milk will not go astray, nor will a splash of olive oil for creamy display. A few extra flours lend a thickening hand, try quinoa and buckwheat, I can assure you that they don’t taste like sand. Before baking in your cookery volt*, be sure to season with pepper and rock salt. 

*your oven, about 170 degrees C for 40 minutes (give or take).

Besan Batter Cakes

Vegan savoury pancakes are a plant-based delight, with protein-packed into each fluffy bite. Blend Besan flour with water, olive oil and chia seeds. Then add bi-carb and apple cider vinegar to meet batter-rising needs. You’re after a thick batter that holds its own, to yield a traditional flapjack clone. Cook by the spoonful in a coconut-oiled frying pan, flipping when bubbles appear upon the cake’s surface-span. Repeat the process with the remaining batter, careful not to burn yourself with spitting oil spatter.

That’s your introduction to Besan flour, presented in less than a quarter of an hour. For all the protein, fibre and minerals of a traditional chickpea dish, you can create egg-free masterpieces with just a flick and a swish. Praise the chickpea and bless the blender, it’s time for you to enter the bulk food store and become a Besan spender.

Like this article? Rachel, the brain-child of Mr Chickpea’s alter-ego ‘Chester’, blogs over at her site where she spends most of her posts spinning iconic ballads into pun-inspired parodies to get her nutritional point-of-view across. Check out Chester Chickpea’s friend Ginger Root and her obsession with 90’s pop, here. And if you do end up becoming a Besan spender on the back of this post, please tag her @rachelfavilla on Instagram or @realsoupfortherealsoul on Facebook so that she can see your creations.

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