Socca Flatbread

by Khushboo on September 15, 2014

From health foods like chia seeds to goji berries to acai, kale, quinoa & so forth, various ingredients continue to gain popularity.  One that I never would have imagined to make the cut is chickpea flour a.k.a. gram flour a.k.a. besan.  Being a staple in every Indian household, I guess I used to take it for granted & never even considered using it.  Looking back, that’s probably due to the way chickpea flour is found in Indian cooking.  For example, it’s often used in deep-fried snacks (pakoras & bhujias), sweets (ladoos & halwa), gravies (khadi) and steamed snacks (dhoklas).   I’m sure I’m in the minority, but these dishes just don’t do it for me at all. 

Socca Pancakes3

While most of these dishes provide little nutrition, that’s more due to the cooking style & amount of oil used during preparation.  Chickpea flour, however, racks in some stellar benefits including:

  • More protein than wheat-based flour: ½ cup contains 10g protein compared to 6g in white flour
  • Various nutrients including manganese, iron, izinc, phosphorus , calcium, B vitamins and folate
  • 5g dietary fiber per ½ cup serving

I enjoyed it a few Sundays ago for breakfast in the form of crepes.  Between you and me, I intended to make pancakes but they turned out thinner than I hoped ;).  Crepes, pancakes- they still tasted super!  

Chickpea crepes

I’ve recently started to  embrace chickpea flour in savoury form as it’s used in France: Socca Flatbread.   From pesto to marinara sauce, guac & hummus, socca flatbread pairs well with just about anything.  Personally I love it best with hummus…chickpea overload much? Nahhh!

Socca Pancakes2

My recipe below incorporates nutritional yeast to add a cheesy flavor but if you aren’t vegan or sensitive to dairy (or if you just love the real deal), go ahead and replace it with cheese.

Socca Pancake1

Now how about that recipe: 

Socca Flatbread
Serves 2
A delicious savoury pancake that's both gluten-free & vegan
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Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
6 min
Total Time
11 min
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
6 min
Total Time
11 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 cup chickpea flour (besan)
  2. 2 heaped tablespoons nutritional yeast
  3. 2 tablespoons finely chopped onion
  4. 1 tablespoon finely chopped basil
  5. 1 cup water, warm or room temperature
  6. Salt to taste
Instructions
  1. In a bowl, mix together the chickpea flour, nutritional yeast, onion, basil & salt.
  2. Add the water & whisk to combine into a smooth, lump-free batter.
  3. Coat a flat skillet with cooking spray (or oil) & place over medium heat. Drop a ladle full of the batter onto the skillet. Swirl skillet to evenly coat.
  4. Reduce heat & cook for 2-3 minutes. Flip & cook for another 2-3 minutes, until golden brown.
  5. Repeat steps 3 & 4 with remaining batter
Notes
  1. i) If you aren't vegan or sensitive to dairy, you can replace nutritional yeast with cheese.
  2. ii) For extra protein, replace some of the water with egg whites.
Khushboo's Blog http://kthadani.com/
What’s your go-to flour?

Is there any food you eat now that you once turned your nose up at? 

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{ 39 comments… read them below or add one }

Arman @ thebigmansworld September 15, 2014 at 2:44 pm

Nice photos, Khushboo!

I never knew that I grew up eating chickpea flour- mum used it in her pattie recipes!

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Khushboo September 16, 2014 at 5:13 pm

Thanks, Arman :)! Looks like your mom was trendy from way back ;)!

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Ms.J September 15, 2014 at 3:04 pm

Waiiiit a minute..you mean all those indian sweet meats contain chickpea flour?! Well fancy that. I’ve got a good amount of indian in my blood yet I’m a disgrace in not liking those stuff. More for the family *shrugs* ..
I adore this recipe however. After being recently obsessed with chickpea everything..fuel to the fire? Why not 🙂 . I’m dying to know how exactly did you go about preparing -sweet- crepes?

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Khushboo September 16, 2014 at 5:15 pm

Haha apparently both of us are disgraces :)! For the sweet crepes, I just mixed 1/2 cup chickpea flour with 2 egg whites & 2 tablespoons water, cinnamon + vanilla essence. Once whisked into a lump-free batter, I made it on the skillet as I would do with normal pancakes!

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Liz @ I Heart Vegetables September 15, 2014 at 6:30 pm

I went through a chickpea flour phase for a little while, haha. I made a socca pizza and some chocolate muffins that were made with chickpea flour. Kind of weird but they were both really good and I liked the nutritional value that chickpea flour adds vs. regular flour!

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Khushboo September 16, 2014 at 5:15 pm

I need to try baking with chickpea flour!

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Linda @ Fit Fed and Happy September 15, 2014 at 6:44 pm

I’ve only ever mashed chick peas and made a nice cookie dough with it, but ive never used the flour!

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Khushboo September 16, 2014 at 5:15 pm

Chickpea cookie dough- how did it taste??

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Lucie@FitSwissChick September 15, 2014 at 7:24 pm

That looks so good!! I love to cook with nutritional yeast too. And crepes?? I’m in!
I once made sweet energy bites with chickpea flour. So good!

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Khushboo September 16, 2014 at 5:15 pm

Mmm I love energy bites- more natural protein, the better 🙂

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Amanda @ .running with spoons. September 15, 2014 at 7:26 pm

I’m pretty sure I can classify my entire diet now as one that I would have turned my nose up at in the past. I grew up hating all veggies besides carrots, corn, and potatoes, and I wouldn’t have ever considered eating something like beans, plain yogurt, avocado, or coconut oil. Thank goodness that’s all in the past, though, because those are some of my favourite foods now!

And I’m seriously loving this recipe. I have a bag of chickpea flour that I keep meaning to bust into, and now you’ve given me even more of a reason to do it!

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Khushboo September 16, 2014 at 5:16 pm

Ooh give this a shot- I promise it’s almost fool-proof…and a good way to get through that bag of flour :)!

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Sam @ Better With Sprinkles September 15, 2014 at 9:59 pm

I don’t think I’ve ever used chickpea flour before! As for foods I’ve turned my nose up at – pretty much everything! particularly, anything to do with tomatoes or tomato sauce and beef. Some of my favourite things now!

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Khushboo September 16, 2014 at 5:17 pm

Wait a sec, does that mean pizza was off the table for you growing up??

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Sam @ Better With Sprinkles September 16, 2014 at 7:12 pm

yup! I didn’t like it!

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Khushboo September 17, 2014 at 12:28 pm

Crazy kid 😉

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Shashi @ runninsrilankan September 15, 2014 at 10:43 pm

Good gosh, I had no clue besan and chickpea flour were one and the same! I have had besan treats and eats at friends homes – but (until today) I was thinking that chickpea flour was new to me…today I know I have been eating it pretty much all my life – what a revelation! Thanks Khushboo! 🙂
Your chickpea socca sounds delish – love the idea of eating with hummus too! My go to “flour” has been oat flour or rather ground up old fashioned oats – by far the most budget friendly option for me!

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Khushboo September 16, 2014 at 5:17 pm

Mmm oat flour is definitely a favourite…aside from being so versatile, I can’t get enough of its distinct flavour 🙂

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Jess September 16, 2014 at 2:57 am

I have never cooked with the flour! But I do love chick peas!

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Khushboo September 16, 2014 at 5:17 pm

Give it a shot!

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Chelsea @ Chelsea's Healthy Kitchen September 16, 2014 at 4:07 am

I’ve used chickpea flour a few times – in GF cookies, in flatbread, and also in Oh She Glows’ chickpea flour pancake. I really like it’s flavour! I bet it would taste delicious with the nutritional yeast in this recipe.

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Khushboo September 16, 2014 at 5:19 pm

I love the flavour nutritional yeast adds to it….defo worth trying 🙂

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ritika September 16, 2014 at 4:44 pm

wow, what a lovely recipe. the humble besan, humble no more. 😀

also, what is nutritional yeast? is it readily found at the grocer’s?

nb. the chickpea flour is also an amazing face-pack, when mixed with a little yoghurt/curd or milk [for dry skin]. let’s call it the protein pack 😀

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Khushboo September 16, 2014 at 5:20 pm

Thanks Ritika! That face-pack sounds super :)! I stock up on nutritional yeast when I’m in London. Here’s some more info about it:

http://blog.fatfreevegan.com/2011/10/what-the-heck-is-nutritional-yeast.html

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ritika September 16, 2014 at 6:59 pm

thanks! but guess since i can’t get my hands on it, will have to stick to like you suggested, cheese. and cheese makes anything better. 🙂

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Khushboo September 17, 2014 at 12:28 pm

Ah-greed!

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Charlotte @ Commitness to Fitness September 16, 2014 at 8:26 pm

This is why I love your blog- you put foods that weren’t even on my radar into the “Now I must try it!” category. It’s amazing how many foods I once turned my nose up at that I now consider staples, and vice versa!

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Khushboo September 17, 2014 at 12:29 pm

Aww I’m so glad I can be somewhat of a source of inspiration for you, Charlotte- I think you’d enjoy this 🙂

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Meghan@CleanEatsFastFeets September 17, 2014 at 7:25 am

It makes my heart happy you included a real deal cheese option. I’m fascinated by these, and I do love their nutritional profile.

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Khushboo September 17, 2014 at 12:31 pm

Hahah hopefully your heart swells up in happiness because I can’t seem to get enough of cheese lately…I don’t even care about its effects on my stomach- WORTH IT!

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Meghan@CleanEatsFastFeets September 17, 2014 at 3:30 pm

Hooray for cheese. 🙂 🙂 🙂

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Thalia @ butter and brioche September 17, 2014 at 9:13 am

I have never made flatbread before.. thanks for sharing this delicious and great recipe. Definitely will be recreating it!

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Khushboo September 17, 2014 at 12:31 pm

Hope you enjoy it, Thalia 😀

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Mansi September 17, 2014 at 3:55 pm

Is nutritional yeast same as nutritional yeast flakes ? Please suggest a good brand

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Khushboo September 18, 2014 at 10:06 am

Yup the 2 are the same. The brand I buy is Marigold Engevita. Here you go: http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B003VJSBXU/ref=ox_sc_act_title_1?ie=UTF8&psc=1&smid=A2YAX08KOSO4G2

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Mary @ Fit and Fed September 29, 2014 at 9:02 am

Socca’s been on my to-make list for quite a while, thanks for the reminder. I like the crepe idea too! Sharing this one…

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Khushboo October 4, 2014 at 12:13 pm

Thanks for the share, Mary! You must try this soon- it’s too easy!

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Padmini October 6, 2014 at 3:11 pm

Hi Khushboo –
Great idea to use besan chillas for hummus! Can we use good old baking soda instead of the yeast, and just spread it out thinner?

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Khushboo October 8, 2014 at 4:19 pm

I don’t think baking soda will have the same effect, as the nutritional yeast is used primarily to add a cheesy flavour. If you don’t have any on hand, use grated cheese instead 🙂

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