The Washington Post

Chickpea Fries With Preserved Lemon Mayo

Chickpea Fries With Preserved Lemon Mayo 4.000

Tom McCorkle for The Washington Post; food styling by Gina Nistico for The Washington Post

Oct 16, 2022

These delightful fries are called panisses in the south of France, but their crispy exterior and custardy interior belong on your table no matter where you live. They come together like polenta fries: You cook a chickpea-flour-based porridge on the stovetop, let it cool until it firms up, then cut it into rectangles and pan-fry. These are a delicious appetizer, especially when dipped in the accompanying preserved lemon mayo, but they can also make a nice main course with a salad and bread.

Active time: 30 mins; Total time: 1 hour

Make Ahead: The batter can be refrigerated for up to 3 days before frying.

Storage Notes: These are best when freshly made, as they lose their crispness after a while, but you can refrigerate them for up to 5 days and reheat in a 350-degree oven. The preserved lemon mayo can be refrigerated for up to 5 days.

Where to Buy: Chickpea flour can be found in well-stocked supermarkets, natural foods stores and in Indian markets (where it is called besan).

4 - 8

When you scale a recipe, keep in mind that cooking times and temperatures, pan sizes and seasonings may be affected, so adjust accordingly. Also, amounts listed in the directions will not reflect the changes made to ingredient amounts.

Tested size: 4-8 servings

  • 2 teaspoons olive oil, plus more for greasing the parchment
  • 4 cups water
  • 2 cups (8 1/2 ounces/240 grams) chickpea flour
  • 1 teaspoon fine salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup (4 ounces/113 grams) vegan mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons preserved lemon paste (may substitute finely chopped preserved lemons)
  • 1 cup (240 milliliters) safflower, sunflower or other neutral oil good for high-heat frying
  • 1 cup flat-leaf parsley leaves, finely chopped
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons flaky sea salt


Cut two pieces of parchment paper to fit a 9-by-13-inch rimmed baking sheet (a quarter sheet pan) or casserole dish. Use a little olive oil to lightly grease one side of each piece of parchment. Place one parchment piece on the bottom of the baking sheet (oil side up) and reserve the other.

In a large saucepan over medium-high heat, combine the 2 teaspoons of olive oil and water. Just before it starts to boil, slowly sprinkle in the chickpea flour while whisking to remove many (if not all) of the clumps and form a smooth batter. Whisk in the salt and pepper and reduce the heat to low. Switch to a wooden spoon and cook, stirring constantly, until the batter stiffens and starts to pull away from the sides and/or bottom of the pan, 10 minutes.

Scoop the batter onto the greased parchment in the pan and spread it out evenly as quickly as you can (it will start to firm up as it cools). Place the second piece of paper, greased side down, on the batter and gently press to smooth it out evenly. Transfer the pan to the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes, until it has cooled and set.

While the batter is cooling, in a small bowl, mix together the mayo and lemon.

When the batter has set, remove the top paper and use a butter knife to cut the chickpea block into 24 sticks, each one about 4 inches by 1 inch.

Set a cooling rack over a large, rimmed baking sheet next to the stove.

In a Dutch oven or other deep pot, heat the safflower oil until it reaches 350 degrees on an instant-read thermometer. (Or you can check by carefully dipping one end of a chickpea stick into the oil; if it sizzles, it’s ready.) Working in batches to avoid overcrowding, gently add the chickpea sticks to the oil and cook, turning with tongs when needed, until golden on both sides, about 3 to 5 minutes per side. Using the tongs, transfer to the rack to drain. While hot, sprinkle on one side with the parsley and flaky salt.

Serve hot with the preserved lemon mayo for dipping.

Recipe Source

Adapted from “The Miller’s Daughter” by Emma Zimmerman (Hardie Grant, 2022).

Tested by Joe Yonan.

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Nutritional Facts

Calories per serving (3 fries plus 1 1/4 tablespoons mayo), based on 8: 230

% Daily Values*

Total Fat: 17g 26%

Saturated Fat: 1g 5%

Cholesterol: 0mg 0%

Sodium: 797mg 33%

Total Carbohydrates: 16g 5%

Dietary Fiber: 3g 12%

Sugar: 3g

Protein: 5g

*Percent Daily Value based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Total Fat: Less than 65g

Saturated Fat: Less than 20g

Cholesterol: Less than 300mg

Sodium: Less than 2,400mg

Total Carbohydrates: 300g

Dietary Fiber: 25g

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