Turns out that little air fryer is a pretty awesome machine! Who knew? I mean, it isn't frying but it is concentrating intense heat and hot air, creating the perfect place to bake things and develop a lovely golden crust. Which is exactly what you want when you make Panisse. What, you may ask, is Panisse? It is a snack found in southern France, wherein chickpea flour is turned into a lovely, crispy, savory snack. In true fashion, it is fried crispy and dipped into whatever you fancy (aioli, chili sauce, red pepper sauce, ...sky is the limit).
Here, the chickpea batter is air fried to a crispy, golden crunch, keeping the creamy center but without the vat of hot bubbling oil on your stovetop. Win! Kids love to help make this, although be sure to plan ahead, as the prepared batter needs to sit for at least 90 minutes to fully cool and also hydrate the flour.
Panisse (Chickpea Fries) Air fryer
Yield: 36 -40
4 cups water
1 T olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt
2 cup (196 g) chickpea flour, sifted
Freshly ground black pepper, optional
Aleppo pepper, optional
Olive oil in a sprayer
In a 9 x 13 inch baking dish, lay a sheet of plastic wrap over the pan, smoothing over the sides. Leave enough of an overhang that you will be able to fold the plastic over the batter while cooling.
In a medium-sized pot over a high heat add the water, oil and salt and bring to a boil.
Once boiling, reduce the temperature to maintain a gentle simmer. Whisk in the chickpea flour.
Use a wooden spoon or heat-safe spatula to stir over a medium heat for 7-10 minutes, stirring the entire time to keep the mixture from burning to the bottom of the pot. As it cooks, your mixture will thicken until it resembles a very thick, slightly lumpy porridge. It will continue to thicken and get more smooth and creamy.
Pour the mixture into the prepared baking pan and smooth out the 'dough' evenly across the pan. Sprinkle the top with cracked pepper, or Aleppo, if you choose. Cover the batter with the overhang of plastic. Set aside to cool at least 90 minutes. You can do this on the counter or in the fridge.
When ready to cook, heat air fryer to 400. While heating, lift the batter out of the pan, and using a thin knife, cut the batter into 1/2-inch width strips along the length of the pan. Turn the pan and cut the batter into 3 strips lengthwise. It's okay if the pieces aren't all the same, but try to get them to similar sizes.
Once the air fryer is ready, add about a 1/3 of the pieces around the rack in the air fryer, keeping each piece separate from the rest. Spray the tops lightly with olive oil. Cook for 16 - 20 minutes, or until browned and golden and crispy. It will be hard to turn the pieces over when the machine beeps at you as the pieces will still be soft on one side, but don't worry, they shouldn't burn.
Serve warm or reheat for a few minutes in the air fryer or toaster oven. These are great plain, or dipped into romesco, hummus or aioli, or other favorite sauce.