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The (sometimes fruitless) search for ingredients

post #1 of 40
Thread Starter 
I found a simple but wonderful sounding recipe for chickpea flour pancakes, of middle eastern origin. Instead of driving home from church on the interstate, I took the long way, from one end of Indianapolis to the other, stopping at every import store and major grocery store I could think of. When I got home, I called every natural foods/ health foods/ ethnic market/ international import store I found in the phone book.

Nobody has chickpea flour. One man offered to attempt grinding chickpeas up for me, but I wasn't sure I would get any results. I am now going to have to search the internet and cross my fingers if I find something that sounds even close. If I had time to go to Chicago, I'm certain I could find it there. If not there, nowhere, probably.

My question is this. Have you ever gone on a quest for a certain ingredient? Why and where?

And if anyone knows of a reliable source for purchasing chickpea flour, it has now become my mission. It's just a silly recipe, but now I refuse to quit searching. (Or if you know the best way of making chickpea flour....)

~~Shimmer~~
"There are few hours in life more agreeable than the hour dedicated to the ceremony known as afternoon tea"
- Henry James
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"There are few hours in life more agreeable than the hour dedicated to the ceremony known as afternoon tea"
- Henry James
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post #2 of 40
I spent an inordinate amount of time once a few years ago, looking for some thing called Rataffia Essence to make marzipan. I couldn't find it anywhere in the San Francisco Bay Area. (I found some eventually in a grocery store in London.)
As to Chickpea flour, Arrowhead Mills makes it. I saw some today in a local store here in SF. They are a mill based in Texas I think but their product is quite widely available. You can check out their (limited) web site at www.arrowheadmills.com
Good luck

Jock
post #3 of 40

Any Indian food store around?

They usually carry it under the name Besan Flour or Chana Flour or Gram Flour.
post #4 of 40
Thread Starter 

Update

No Indian food store around. I called several "oriental" markets just in case, but nobody had it. (I wasn't sure exactly what oriental encompassed).

I found a few other mills online that sell it- some call it Garbanzo Bean Flour as well. I also found a site that said how to make it, so I might try that (ever been too www.foodsubs.com? It seems like a really helpful site).

This afternoon I will venture out to a health food store and a super Target outside of Indy, to see what I can see. I found that it is fairly typical for supermarkets to carry masa harina and soy flour, the latter I'm assuming because of the high number of people on low-carb diets. There have to be people of Middle Eastern and Indian origin living in the area, because there are numerous Indian restaurants. I wonder where they go shopping to make food from their heritage. Perhaps they also make their own.

:p The search continues.....

~~Shimmer~~:bounce:
"There are few hours in life more agreeable than the hour dedicated to the ceremony known as afternoon tea"
- Henry James
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"There are few hours in life more agreeable than the hour dedicated to the ceremony known as afternoon tea"
- Henry James
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post #5 of 40
Hi Shimmer....

Besan flour is really, REALLY easy to make.

Just buy some dried chick peas and slowly roast them in the oven at like 250f until they take on a soft golden look. Cool the beans and grind them in your food processor, I take it a step further after the initinal grinding, I pass the flour through a fine chinios.

That's really all there is to it :) you can do this will yellow split pea's as well.
Good luck and give it a try
cc
Baruch ben Rueven / Chanaבראד, ילד של ריימונד והאלאן
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Baruch ben Rueven / Chanaבראד, ילד של ריימונד והאלאן
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post #6 of 40
IFB__8413, Castle Corner Indianapolis, IN 46250 Ph 317-595 9775

International Bazar__4225, Lafayette Road Indianapolis, IN 46254 Ph 317-299-4628

Spices Galore__408, E.Southway Blvd. Kokomo, IN 46902 Ph 765-455-1035

Spice Land__4738, Century Plaza Road Indianapolis, IN 46254 Ph 317-298-8185

This is from www.searchindia.com

Kuan
post #7 of 40
I can't remember where we were living, it was either Fayetteville NC or the panhandle of FL. I had to have Rosewater, you know, the little blue bottle, for something I had to make. Could not find it to save my soul. I even had some lady tell me that she had a bottle of rose water perfume that was the same thing... I finally had my mom send it from Mpls. By the time it got to me I had lost the urge to make whatever it was...still have the rosewater though. Orange essense was the other one that I HAD TO HAVE.

To be truthful, by that point it was the quest rather than the recipe. I wasn't going to be outdone by a little bottle... Andd I wonder where my sons get their (ahem) stubborness...:p
Try not to let your mind wander..
It's much too small to be outside on it's own.........
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Try not to let your mind wander..
It's much too small to be outside on it's own.........
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post #8 of 40

Source For Rosewater

Jill:

Rosewater can be purchased at most Indian and Middle Eastern markets.

Best and I'm a foodie.   I know very little but the little that I know I want to know very well.

 

-T

Brot und Wein
(1 photos)
 
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Best and I'm a foodie.   I know very little but the little that I know I want to know very well.

 

-T

Brot und Wein
(1 photos)
 
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post #9 of 40
Jill,

Sounds like you were wanting to make Baklava....

Uummmm...
post #10 of 40
It seems I'm always looking for stuff I can't find. It quickly becomes frustrating to go on a quest every week to look for rare stuff some recipes require.
When I get a little money, I buy books. And if there is any left over, I buy food.

- Desiderius Erasmus
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When I get a little money, I buy books. And if there is any left over, I buy food.

- Desiderius Erasmus
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post #11 of 40
Ever think about moving, Isa?:D

I know how you feel, tho; I lived in a remote little village in western South Carolina, and then in Charleson, before it became the food mecca it is today - pre-hurricane Hugo. Also being rather poor, I didn't have the $ for mail order, nor were there the sources for mail order that there are today. I relied heavily on friends in other cities to send me care packages for things I just couldn't find.
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post #12 of 40
kokopuffs, but try finding that type of market in Fayetteville in the early 80's. We were lucky to have a little gourmet cooking store in the area! My mother thought I was slightly daft, but she humored me anyway.:lol:
Try not to let your mind wander..
It's much too small to be outside on it's own.........
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Try not to let your mind wander..
It's much too small to be outside on it's own.........
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post #13 of 40
In the early 80's I lived in a town of 10,000 an hour away from a town of 40,000.......left Memphis (was working in a French restaurant) to move to nowhere land USA....was thankful to find granny smith apples!!Sounds bizarre now. Though I did start making jams and conserves, breads, Chinese food...(no restaurant in town had withdrawals, with a commisary there were some good ingrediants)...I can remember driving 4 hours to New Orleans and thinking a bagel was a wonderful thing....NOT CUT OUT FOR SMALL TOWNS>
cooking with all your senses.....
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cooking with all your senses.....
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post #14 of 40
Yup. ;)
When I get a little money, I buy books. And if there is any left over, I buy food.

- Desiderius Erasmus
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When I get a little money, I buy books. And if there is any left over, I buy food.

- Desiderius Erasmus
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post #15 of 40
Thread Starter 

Small Town Fears

This week our order deliveries were switched from Thursdays to Fridays. So I took a trip to a local grocery store (I work in a very small town) because I ran out of alkalized cocoa powder, you know, the Dutch or European process stuff. I know I can find it easily in Indy, but I am moving to this small town next month and NONE OF THE STORES THERE HAVE IT. It's not something I will need personally all of the time, but its the idea.

Wah.

:(

~~Shimmer~~
"There are few hours in life more agreeable than the hour dedicated to the ceremony known as afternoon tea"
- Henry James
Reply
"There are few hours in life more agreeable than the hour dedicated to the ceremony known as afternoon tea"
- Henry James
Reply
post #16 of 40
Where are you moving to? Sometimes it takes as long for me to traverse StL....an hour or so. most of the time I figure 20-30 minutes to hit across town on major speedbelts. Seems so long when you are driving through the countryside.....strange how an hour in the car is measured differently.
cooking with all your senses.....
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cooking with all your senses.....
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post #17 of 40
Thread Starter 
We're moving to Greencastle, IN. Closer to where you are, but not much. Our daily commute is completely across Indy, and then across some countryside. It depends which day it is, which part goes faster. Some mornings it seems every semi truck from Chicago is tailing me when I am already going 15 over the speed limit.....

Once we move there, guess what our first goal is? A trip to St. Louis!

~~Shimmer~~
"There are few hours in life more agreeable than the hour dedicated to the ceremony known as afternoon tea"
- Henry James
Reply
"There are few hours in life more agreeable than the hour dedicated to the ceremony known as afternoon tea"
- Henry James
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post #18 of 40
Hurray!! on a Sat right? Global market in Kirkwood on Lindbergh is a definate for you to explore....BRING an ice chest or two.
Oct 12 Judy Rodgers is coming to town. (Zuni Cafe in SF)
Not sure about the others...still waiting to hear

St. Louis Friends of James Beard Picnic is Sept 15th. at Mt. Pleasant Winery....40 chefs cooking great food...usually runs $40.

What else???? Shroom events in July Sweat and Chanterelle at Meramec State Park.

Clayton Farmer's Market 8-noon Sat. am throughout the next 5 monthes.........
cooking with all your senses.....
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cooking with all your senses.....
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post #19 of 40
Thread Starter 

Update!

(By the way, Shroom- we are hoping to be in St. Louis in October... how late does the market go?)

Well, I ordered some chickpea flour from Bob's Red Mill, and the other night I made tomato-lentil soup and chickpea flour crepes. They had turmeric, scallions, and coriander in them, but no oil, only water and flour. As a result the directions instruct the use of quite a bit of oil for each crepe. I wasn't happy with that, I felt like it was way too much fat content for each crepe, and my husband got sick. He has had chickpeas before, so I believe it was the fat, not the crepe itself (definitely not the lentil soup, i make it all the time).

Here is a question. So many crepe-like or pancake-like items have oil in the actual batter. Could I add oil, do you think? What would that change? Could I just add less water and add oil instead? A strange thing that was happening was that they were sticking to the pan quite a bit despite the massive quantities of oil and a nonstick pan.

Has anyone else struggled with chickpea flour? Can you give me any suggestions?

Thanks all.

~~Shimmer~~
"There are few hours in life more agreeable than the hour dedicated to the ceremony known as afternoon tea"
- Henry James
Reply
"There are few hours in life more agreeable than the hour dedicated to the ceremony known as afternoon tea"
- Henry James
Reply
post #20 of 40
When I make crepes I never add the melted butter the recipe calls for. I usually put a bit of butter for the first crepe and none at all for the rest, the crepes all slide easily off the pan.

I tried the chickpea flour pizza from The World Vegetarian with good results. I didn't have a non stick pan that could go from stove to broiler so I used a glass pan. Even though I oiled it carefully I did have problem removing it from the pan.

In any case, the pizza was very good. If you would like the recipe just let me know.
When I get a little money, I buy books. And if there is any left over, I buy food.

- Desiderius Erasmus
Reply
When I get a little money, I buy books. And if there is any left over, I buy food.

- Desiderius Erasmus
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post #21 of 40
Thread Starter 
I would love the recipe, thanks.

I wonder if the problems have to do with chickpeas being a protein rather than a grain?

~~Shimmer~~
"There are few hours in life more agreeable than the hour dedicated to the ceremony known as afternoon tea"
- Henry James
Reply
"There are few hours in life more agreeable than the hour dedicated to the ceremony known as afternoon tea"
- Henry James
Reply
post #22 of 40
Chickpea Flour Pizza

2/3 cup chcikpea flour
1/3 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper


Sift the chickpea flour and salt into a bowl. Very slowly stir in 1 cup of water with a wooden spoon, stopping while the batter is still paste like to beat out all the lumps, then slowly adding the rest of the water. Set the batter aside for 30 minutes. Strain it through a sieve if it is still lumpy.

Preheat the broiler.


Put one tablespoon of oil in a 12 inch non stick frying pan and set it over medium high heat. When hot, stir the batter from the bottom and pour it into the frying pan. Pour 2 tablespoons of oil over the top of the pizza, sprinkle lightly with black pepper, and cook on top of the stove for 4 minutes. During that time, big bubbles will rise from the bottom; you may burst them with the tip of a knife. When the pizza batter looks as if it is set, put the frying pan under the broiler about 5 inches from the source of the heat for 4 to 5 minutes, or until it is golden all over and has some nice brown patches. You m ay need to turn the pan around to achieve evenness. Serves hot.

Makes 1 pizza to serve 2 to 4.
When I get a little money, I buy books. And if there is any left over, I buy food.

- Desiderius Erasmus
Reply
When I get a little money, I buy books. And if there is any left over, I buy food.

- Desiderius Erasmus
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post #23 of 40
Shimmer, I don't know why you'd have that problem. I make the chickpea flour crepes out of the Millennium Cookbook all the time, using no oil at all except a drop of cooking spray, and they don't do that. (I also love chickpea flour "pooras", which are a sort of East Indian eggless omelette, and I make oven-baked pakoras... mmm, chickpea flour!) Anyway, one thing I've found with the Millennium crepes is that, even more than other kinds, the first one is ALWAYS a write-off -- and I have to wait until the thing is solidly set before attempting to turn it. But all that oil should not be necessary.

I love ingredient quests, myself, but maybe that's because my town, though small and mostly very very white, does have surprise pockets of otherness. Very exciting! I have all these little lists in my head: the discount supermarket that also caters to lots of West Indians and so has all sorts of unusual veggies; the East Indian store tucked in the back of a faceless mall in the north end of town... It's like a treasure hunt. :smiles:
post #24 of 40

Pakoras?

City Market or King Soopers or health food stores usually carry Chic Pea Flour or Garbanzo Bean Flour. It is just dried chick peas milled fine, like a powder. It is very high in protein. Go to health food section of your local super market. :chef:
post #25 of 40
Thread Starter 
Trust me, local supermarkets and health food stores did not have it. I thought the bigger ones, at least, would. I checked the baking aisle, nutrition aisle, and international food section as well as asking department managers.

I tried:

Meijer
Super Target
Super Wal-Mart
Marsh
Kroger
import stores (Cost Plus Food Market)
health food stores (7)
natural food stores (3)

Only one place even knew what it was, and they are who ordered it for me!

Now, in other states, chickpea/garbanzo bean flour might be more readily available. I suppose I am just unlucky.

=) ~~Shimmer~~
"There are few hours in life more agreeable than the hour dedicated to the ceremony known as afternoon tea"
- Henry James
Reply
"There are few hours in life more agreeable than the hour dedicated to the ceremony known as afternoon tea"
- Henry James
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post #26 of 40
Shimmer, I thought of you yesterday when I visited Glorioso's market on Brady St. in Milwaukee. They had bags of chickpea flour right next to the bags of chestnut flour. They also had a large selection of middle eastern foods, and I found both rosewater and orange blossom water.
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post #27 of 40
In Indian stores, chickpea flour is called "Besan flour." Have you seen that?
"Notorious stickler" -- The New York Times, January 4, 2004
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post #28 of 40

Farinata

I had missed this thread, so haven't posted this recipe yet...
Farinata is a typical, ancient Genovese food made with chickpea flour, so popular here that there are in town many specific shops, called "Farinatai", which sell it. They are a sort of takeaway, also making focaccia, pizza and vegetable pies...but the Farinata is their specialty. Being so diffused (also many housewives make it at home) you can find chickpea flour everywhere here! Of course I can't suggest you to take the first flight to Genoa, but it's likely that a food shop specialized in Ligurian (or, perhaps, generally Italian) food items can have it.
On the other hand, I can't give you any recipe to make chickpea flour by scratch, just because it's so cheap and easily available here that nobody would be so crazy to make it by himself...
As for the recipe, it looks a bit like the "Chickpea flour Pizza" posted by Isa, that seems to be largely based on our Farinata.

FARINATA GENOVESE

Ingredients (for a 15 inch round Pizza baking tin, which serves 3-4...consider that the "Farinatai" use 40 inch copper tins and baker ovens):

9 oz chickpea flour
1 liter warm water
1 glass olive oil
1 pinch salt
freshly grated black pepper

optionals:
Fresh rosemary
or
Finely sliced young onions
or
finely sliced fresh artichokes
or
"Bianchetti" (baby anchovies, about 1 inch long) but probably you can't find them in US...

1)Gradually add the warm water to the chickpea flour and mix well to make a batter. Add the olive oil and salt. Keep aside for 2-3 hours, then skim the batter.

2)Pour the batter in the baking tin (you don't need to grease it). It must be at the most 1/2 inch thick. Bake it at 400° F until the edge is browned and the top is golden. Serve hot, sprinkled with pepper.

3)This is the plain recipe. To make a tastier Farinata, you can scatter on the surface one of the "optional" ingredients, just before putting it into the oven.

Although the homemade Farinata never ends up as good as the "professional" one, you can get the same a good result, mainly if you don't make it too thick (it's the mistake most people do) and if you have a good oven and a very large Pizza tin.

Pongi
post #29 of 40
HI, Pongi,

We have a great Italian deli here, owned by a Sicilian family; they make a bread/cake/? out of chickpea flour, that they call
'Panella'. Are you familiar with that?
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post #30 of 40

Panelle

Marmalady,
Panelle are another Italian specialty made out of chickpea flour, but they are fritters and not a baked food. As you already know, they come from Sicily, and are usually served together with potato fritters (PANELLE E CROCCHE'). The recipes are very easy and you can surely make them also at home:)

PANELLE

Ingredients (serve 4-5)
-1 lb chickpea flour
-1 liter water
-1 handful minced parsley
-salt and pepper to taste
-frying oil

Gradually add the chickpea flour to the water and stir well to get a smooth batter. Season with salt, pepper and parsley. Bring to the boil on a low heat and cook, stirring continuously, until you get a solid paste (it will take about 40 mins).
Pour it on a plate (if you don't have, as I suppose, the apposite round molds) and spread it to get a 1/4 inch thick, homogeneous layer. Cool it down and cut in squares or lozenges with a knife.
Fry the Panelle in oil.


CROCCHE'

Ingredients:
-2 lb potatoes
-1 handful minced parsley
-1/2 cup grated parmesan
-salt and pepper to taste
-1 minced garlic clove (optional)
-breadcrumbs (optional)
-frying oil

Boil the potatoes until tender and mash them (or push them through a sieve). Season with salt, pepper, parsley and garlic if you like it. Make with this dough many small croquettes (about 3 inches long) giving them a cylindric shape (they're also called "cazzilli"...please don't ask me to translate:blush: ). You can fry them plain, or coated with breadcrumbs.
Arrange them on a tray with the Panelle and serve.

Buon Appetito!

Pongi
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