What do you think the most consumed vegetable in North America is?
…Potatoes! I don’t have anything against potatoes nutritionally, but they are likely eaten way to often and usually in their deep fried form.
A varied diet is something I always promote when I do my grocery store tours — it ensures you are getting all the nutrients you need and makes your meals more exciting! So, ditch the potato fries once in a while and make polenta chickpea fries!
You can vary the ratio of chickpea (besan) flour to cornmeal to suite your tastes. I prefer the flavor of half and half, but the more chickpea flour you use the higher protein your fries will be.
I have tried these fries baked and pan fried. I prefer them baked, but if you are looking for a more authentic fry experience you can pan fry them for a few min on all four sides in enough oil to cover the bottom of your pan.
If you don’t like the spice combo I used, just switch it up. I have made them with rosemary and basil as well and they were very tasty! I highly encourage using the nutritional yeast, it adds great flavor and is packed with B vitamins!
Dip the fries in your favorite marinara sauce or my favorite — truffle dip! See my roasted radish post for the easy recipe.
As an added bonus, these fries are very inexpensive to make! You can find chickpea flour and nutritional yeast at Bulk Barn (or check your local grocery store).
Polenta Chickpea Fries
- ½ cup chickpea flour (also called besan or garbanzo bean four)
- ½ cup cornmeal
- ½ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp black pepper
- ½ - ¾ tsp cumin
- ½ tsp curry powder (or mix some curry paste (~1/2 tbsp) into the boiling water with the oil)
- a few pinches of cayenne pepper or crushed red pepper
- 3 garlic cloves, crushed/finely chopped
- 1 tbsp oil
- ~ ¼ - ⅓ cup bread crumbs
- ~ ¼ - ⅓ cup nutritional yeast (or use more bread crumbs instead)
- Grease a 9x9 inch pan/dish well
- Bring 2 cups of water to a boil
- Meanwhile mix chickpea flour and cornmeal, for optimal consistency sift mixture to reduce lumps
- Mix all spices and garlic into flour mixture
- Once water is just boiling stir in oil
- Whisk flour mixture into boiling water, continue to whisk well to reduce lumps (some are fine)
- Reduce heat to medium-low, continue cooking and stirring constantly for about 2 minutes until mixture is thick and pulling away slightly from the side
- Transfer batter into the greased pan and spread out evenly
- Cool on the counter for at least 75 min or refrigerate overnight (cover after 15 min or so to keep top moist for breading)
- Once cooled preheat oven to 425 F and grease a cookie sheet well
- Flip cooled batter out onto a cutting board and cut the square in half and then each half into About 12-13 fries (about ¾ inch wide x 4.5 inch long)
- Mix ¼ - ⅓ cup or so breadcrumbs with ¼ - ⅓ cup nutritional yeast (if using) + additional desired spices (I added some garlic powder + pinch cayenne) and spread mixture out on a plate
- Coat fries well in breadcrumb mixture (this is a fun task for kids!) by pressing each side into mix and then placing fries onto greased pan
- Bake fries at 425F for 20 min, flip and cook for 10 min more