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Panelle

Panelle

PT30M

Panelle are Sicilian fritters made from chickpea flour and other ingredients. They are a popular street food in Palermo and are often eaten in a bread roll, like a sandwich, with a little salt and some freshly ground pepper.

I remember my father would often buy panelle for me from the street cart vendors in one of the many colourful markets of the city, during our summer holidays in Sicily. The delicious smell of fried chickpea fritters would give them away and my tummy would start grumbling, no matter what time it was!

Panelle are of Arabic origin, like many other Sicilian dishes, and they have a lot in common with other chickpea-based dishes like farinata, falafel and pakoras. They are best eaten hot, when they are crunchy and tender at the same time. So make sure you don’t wait too long before eating them! They can be eaten plain or with bread and they are really easy to make at home.

Ingredients

1
To make the panelle batter, whisk together the chickpea flour and 1.2l of water in a bowl, making sure you remove all of the lumps (you could also use a hand blender)
2
Transfer to a saucepan, add salt and pepper and place over a medium heat, stirring continuously with a wooden spoon. When the water is all absorbed and the mixture becomes creamy, add the chopped parsley, stir well and turn off the heat
3
Quickly spread the mixture onto flat baking trays with a wooden spoon. Make sure the sheet of chickpea batter is very thin (about 2mm or 3mm)
4
Allow the chickpea batter to cool and set completely, then cut each sheet with a knife into 6 slices. Place the panelle on a clean plate and keep them in the fridge until you are ready to fry them
5
Preheat a deep-fryer or deep pan of oil to 170°C
6
Deep-fry them in the oil until slightly puffed up and golden in colour. When ready, put them on a plate covered with kitchen paper to drain any excess oil
7
Serve hot with a sprinkle of salt and pepper inside a warm bread roll

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