Besan (chickpea flour) is the main ingredient in many Indian deep fried snacks. Like tempura batter, besan batter consists of besan, water, baking soda, salt. Some flavoring spices, little bit of onion and green chilies can also be added to the batter. Then vegetables, chicken or fish are dipped into the batter and the mixture is deep fried.
Though chickpea flour is very healthy by itself, the deep frying makes it anything but healthy. The deep fried snacks are yummy though! So I always have besan in hand for those cool rainy days when you crave something hot.
Since I am moving to London in a couple of months, I am trying to use all my flour, grains and lentils before we make the move. So the other day it was the besan's turn and the challenge was to make something healthy and tasty out of it. I decided to make besan crackers with ajwain (carom seed). Ajwain has a strong bitter taste with a hint of freshness. It tastes somewhat similar to thyme and looks like celery seed.
To make the crackers, along with besan I used little semolina to give it some texture. I loved the crispiness of the crackers and the freshness from the ajwain. But it was a little heavy, one can't eat lot of them in one serving. It makes you feel very full after eating ten of them which might be a good thing. Snacks portions shouldn't be like full meals! But if you want to make it little lighter, instead of using besan flour only, you can do 3/4th besan and 1/4th all purpose flour.
Chick Pea Crackers Recipe
1 cup besan (chickpea) flour
1/4 cup semolina
1 TBS sugar
1 tsp backing powder
2 tsp salt
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp dry parsley
2 tsp ajwain
1 tsp cayenne
1 TBS of olive oil
Preheat the oven to 350 degree F.
Mix all the dry ingredients. Then add oil to the mixture and mix it well to give it a sand texture. Add a small amount of water to it and knead it like dough. Don't put too much water, but put enough to make a soft dough out of it. Then let the dough sit on the kitchen counter for 5 minutes. Cover the dough with a wet paper towel. It will keep the dough from drying out.
Divide the dough into 4 equal parts. Then put some besan flour on the surface and roll out the dough into a 1/8th inch thick circle. Then with a fork gently mark the circle which will give a nice look to the crackers. Then using a knife draw lines which are 1/2 inch apart from each other, from top to bottom and from left to right. It will result in small square crackers.
Then bake the crackers in the preheated oven for 15 minutes or till they get a little brown.