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.