We all know the magic of chickpeas. If veganism were an iconodulistic religion chickpeas would be without a doubt featured prominently. (Yet I can't help but think that veganism, especially with the power of social media (in particular Instagram), is becoming somewhat of an iconodulistic tradition.)
It is the key ingredient to hummus, it can be turned into burgers, used in salads and its brine/water in baking (aquafaba). Last but not least, and definitely not least because it's my favourite; they can be ground into a flour called chickpea, besan, garbanzo or gram flour. I love using it to make wraps, pancakes or use for batter when frying. Never mind being vegan, chickpeas have a somewhat venerated position within the realm of the gluten free! It is a fantastic overlap and a key ingredient in vegan gluten free life.
But anyway, where am I going with this?
- A Soya Free Tofu -
You might recall a few months ago I wrote about being vegan with a food intolerance, i.e. I try to keep to as much of a gluten free diet as possible, and I also mentioned some other food allergies. Many vegans struggle with food intolerances and allergies that make a lot of the foods the Facebook groups love just off limits.
One of the allergies I mentioned was soy. What does this mean? No tofu or tempeh! As these are made with soy beans they are just a no no to those who need to avoid soy in their diets. This can be rather difficult at times because let's face it, tofu can be a staple in a lot of vegan kitchens (including my own), and soy found in a lot of products. Soy is also one of the fourteen ingredients that must be labelled on food in Europe for allergen information.
Yet tofu, or at least a version of it, can be available for soya allergy sufferers. Chickpea tofu!
A few weeks ago I came across a YouTube video from Peaceful Cuisine for a chickpea/garbanzo tofu. I was amazed. It appeared to have the same texture and consistency as silken tofu which I honestly do not use that much, so I quickly forgot about it.
Then later on I remembered it existed and thought, 'there has to be a recipe for a firm chickpea tofu right?' And there is! Enter Burmese chickpea tofu, or shan tofu (to hpu). It is made in a completely different fashion to traditional tofu with soy milk.
Yet here's the best part: it is so, so much easier to make! No soaking beans over night. It's whisking, pouring, mixing and setting! It's ready in at least an hour or you can leave it over night to firmly set like I did. It was so easy to put together while I had The Hundred-Foot Journey on in the background.
This is a great alternative to soy tofu. It slices easily and has a firm texture. And unlike tofu, this version has a natural subtle taste with from the flour and turmeric.
Burmese shan tofu is a new recipe for me and I'm excited to use it in different meals. I used a cookie cutter to get a perfect circle to make into a burger, there are a few pieces in the freezer to see how it affects the texture and of course more in the fridge to turn into chik'n nuggets.
That's right folks, all this and still leftovers from one batch. One of the downsides to most store bought tofus I find is the size; they're really not that big a lot of the time (with some exceptions). The possibilities are endless.
- The Recipe -
Disclaimer: this is not my recipe. It's a pretty basic recipe with only three ingredients but still I was inspired by Nicole and Delicious Everyday.
What you'll need:
- 2 cups of chickpea flour
- 2 1/2 cups of water
- 2 tsp of salt
- sunflower oil
- 1 1/2 tsp of ground turmeric (or less if you prefer)
- Put chickpea flour into a mixing bowl, add salt and turmeric if using
- Add 1 cup of water and whisk until smooth
- Bring remaining 1 cup of water to the boil in a sauce pan, turn down slightly and add the batter and whisk for about five minutes until thick
- Immediately place into lightly oiled mold of choice
- Leave to cool/set for at least an hour