Earlier in the summer I bought a bag of flour made from ground chick peas (gram flour) from an Indian health food shop in Haddington, East Lothian. We were passing through on our way to the beach at North Berwick – we also bought fresh, warm veggie samosas and paratha bread – yum – fresh Indian food is not something I have seen in Scotland in the eight years I’ve lived here so we were thrilled. Even though it was cold at the beach, it was worth the trip to find that gem of a shop. Gram flour is also known as besan flour or garbanzo bean flour in other parts of the World and is gluten free and relatively high (for flour) in protein and fibre.
In my research for recipes using gram flour, I came across a recipe for “besan crackers.” The Mindful Foodie’s recipe used half gram flour and half almond flour. I didn’t have any almond flour or almonds to grind so my version uses ground sunflower seeds. I made a smaller batch than Foodie’s and also added other ground up mixed seeds plus garlic flavouring! They were amazing.
This week I made some more (and took photos before they all disappeared this time) and also made a second batch using half cornmeal/half sunflower flour and chilli – as an alternative to store-bought corn chips. Wow, hot hot hot, maybe less chilli or paprika instead of chilli next time!
They do have oil in them but it’s olive oil and not much, they are baked and have no salt added either. I ate my seedy ones plain or with a slither of good cheddar cheese and ate my corny ones plain as they were spicy! They would be good with guacamole or a fresh salsa and wine! A friend popped round yesterday and I gave her some – she couldn’t believe they were home made.
Now, I won’t lie, the dough was easy to make but they were quite fiddly to roll, cut and get on the baking tray in one piece so these crackers are not for the heavy handed. You will be rewarded for your patience/trouble though – they are delicious.
Method for Both Versions:
- Grind the sunflower seeds into flour with a coffee grinder/blender.
- For the seedy ones, add the seeds to the ground sunflower seeds and grind some more, I stopped before the seeds were all pulverised.
- Add the ground seeds and all the other dry ingredients to a bowl.
- Add the olive oil/water and mix with a blunt knife.
- Mix really well and the mix should start to come together like pastry, if not add a tiny bit of oil and/or water and stir again. Do not add too much liquid as you don’t want the mix to be sticky. Keep working it until you have a ball of dough.
- Divide the ball into two so you are not working with too much dough at a time.
- Roll the dough to about 2mm thin on a silicon baking sheet, or non-stick baking paper. I found I had to keep pushing the edges inwards with my hands to close up any fissures that developed.
- Cut into rectangles with a knife and carefully lift each rectangle with a pallet-knife on to a baking tray. You could also use a small cookie cutter.
- Bake for about 10 minutes at 180C until lightly browned – be careful not to burn them.
- Cool on a wire rack and store in an airtight tin.
Seedy Chickpea Crackers (the darker ones in the photo).
- 1/2 cup gram flour (chickpea/besan) flour
- 1/2 cup sunflower seeds (ground into flour)
- 1/4 cup omega mix (mixed seeds – sesame, sunflower, pumpkin and linseed)
- 1/4 tsp garlic powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 tbsp garlic infused olive oil
- 1 tbsp water
Corny Sunflower Crackers (the lighter ones in the photo).