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Panelle (Sicilian Chickpea Fritters)

Panelle are fritters made from chick-pea flour that may be of Arab origin. They are a favorite snack food to the Sicilians, found in friggitoria or fryshops.

  • 2 1/2 cups chickpea flour
  • 3 cups water
  • 3 tablespoons finely minced fresh parsley or oregano
  • Salt to taste
  • Freshly milled black pepper to taste
  • 4 to 6 cups vegetable oil for deep frying


Put flour in saucepan. Using a whisk, stir in water whisking to break up any lumps. Add parsley or oregano, salt and pepper. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture begins to pull away from the sides of the pan, about 15 minutes.

Turn mixture onto an oiled surface (pizza tins work well for this, as does a marble or wooden board) and even with a spatula into a thin sheet. Let cool. Cut into rectangles each about 2 inches by 3 inches.

Heat oil to 375°F and fry in batches, being careful to not put in too many at one time which would lower the heat of the oil. Fry until each panella is golden brown. You may need to turn once.

Drain on paper towels and serve immediately.

Yield: About 30 panelle

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