The recipe for homemade panisses like in Marseille

If you’ve ever walked the streets of Marseille and its Old Port, you couldn’t have missed it. Sold by the dozen by all the shacks in l’Estaque, the panisses delight passers-by.

What is panisse?

Similar to large fries, these little chickpea fritters are a specialty from the South of France.
Although the people of Marseille proudly claim their creation, it is Italy that we owe this recipe. More precisely in Liguria, an Italian region located in the northwest of the country. In fact, it is in the 19th centurye that the Italians brought chickpea flour and panisse to the Côte d’Azur. This inexpensive and nutritious flour quickly became a popular product among fishermen, and is also the basic ingredient of socca and cade.

Panisse or socca?

These two Provençal specialties are often confused. We can begin to differentiate them by their city of origin. Panisses are from Marseille while socca is one of the typically Nice recipes. The cooking method will also be slightly different. Unlike large panisse fries, socca is poured into a thin plate on a large ovenproof pan. Cooked at a very high temperature or ideally in a wood oven, it is much crispier. This is also what differentiates it from the Toulon cade, a thick pancake of chickpea flour. If it is also baked in the oven and cut with a spatula before being served, the cade is much softer.
Whether you prefer one or the other, they are just as quick to make as they are to eat.

How to make homemade panisses?

If you can find ready-made preparations in stores today, there is nothing better than homemade panisses. You will see, the recipe is very simple.

Preparation: 10 mins
Cooking time: 15 mins

For 4 people

  • 250 g chickpea flour
  • 80 cl of water
  • 1 tbsp. teaspoon olive oil + olive oil for cooking
  • Salt and pepper from the mill

Start the preparation 12 hours in advance. Boil 60 cl of water with a little salt in a saucepan.
Mix the remaining water, oil and chickpea flour until smooth. When the water boils, add the chickpea paste and leave to thicken over low heat for about 10 minutes. Be sure to mix continuously to avoid lumps forming.
You now have two options. You can pour the mixture onto a baking tray covered with parchment paper or roll it into a sausage shape in cling film.
Then let your dough rest for 12 hours in the fridge.
Cut sticks or slices of panisses. Heat an oil bath to 180°C. Immerse the panisses in it to let them brown. When they have a nice color and have become crispy, take them out then drain them on absorbent paper. Sprinkle with salt and freshly ground pepper immediately, before serving them hot.

It is also possible to cook the panisses in the oven for 20 minutes at 220°C. The result will not be as crispy, but more dietary.

Panisses are a real treat to eat alone or accompanied by homemade ratatouille. These little treats will also be a sensation as an aperitif. To stay with the Provençal theme, they are dipped in homemade black tapenade or anchoïade. You can also have fun twisting the basic recipe to come up with your own version.

Panisses that change

As a little creativity never hurts, don’t hesitate to add your personal touch to your panisses. For example, we can revisit this Provençal specialty in South-West style by making panisses with chorizo ​​and rosemary. A little spices, herbs or parmesan will make donuts tastier. The good idea: we prepare a panisse-flavored cake with chickpea flour, eggs, yeast and milk. To take on a picnic, it’s a change from the traditional olive cake and what’s more, it’s gluten-free.
Finally, to surprise your guests, offer panisses for dessert. By adding a little sugar to the dough and a handful of dried fruits, success is assured.

Up to you.

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