Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Roasted Toasted Besan

Awhile ago a friend gave me THE BOOK of Persian Cooking - _Food of Life_ by Najmieh Batmanglij.  And it has all the Persian food you might ever and never want.

One unique category it contains is traditional pastry items with no wheat flour.  And as I am negotiating the world of no-wheat/no-grain eaters, the fact that many of these recipes never mention "wheat flour" cannot be missed.  As a food explorer (my question at a restaurant is usually, "what's new?") I can't help but be attracted to a different look at dessert.

However.  While a few of the desserts include besan or chickpea flour - it is roasted/toasted chickpea flour.

All the besan I can fine is "raw".  And all the recipes I can find call for roasting a cup or two at a time.  The recipe I'm looking at calls for 3.5 cups, minimum.  And I'm looking at multiplying the recipe.  No skillet is big enough for that.

So I call out the big pans.

2 pans.... 4 lbs of flour.

This will take more time to do all 4 lbs.
I put about 1lb (500g) in each pan.

Popped it in the oven at 425˚F (220˚C) for 8 minutes.
Then stir thoroughly.

Continue to rotate it in the oven - 8 minutes (the 1st time) then 5 minutes - stir, then 3 minutes - stir, then 2 minutes with stirring until it is evenly roasted/toasted.

Oh, and keep your nose alive.  It may happen that you (cough) forget to start the timer... and things get a bit browner.

As long as it is just dark brown - and only on the surface, you are OK. (If you have any black spots, scoop them out and move on).
Stir it in thoroughly and move on.

When it is all done, the transformation should look like this.
Toasted on the top - ready for baking
Raw on the bottom - good for binding and thickening

The recipe in the end:

Roasted Besan

Besan/Chickpea Flour - more than 1 or 2 cups

half sheet pans (rimmed baking sheets)
excellent hard spatula or large fork
pastry brush
large bin/tupperware

preheat oven to 425F
Divide your flour into 1 lb/500g batches on half sheet pans.

Roast the flour for 8 minutes.
Stir thoroughly.
Roast for 5 minutes.
Stir thoroughly.
Roast for 3 minutes.
Stir thoroughly.
Continue to roast for 2 minute intervals until you get the color/toastiness you want.

Pro Tip:  Before doing the 2nd set of flour, brush off your pans of all roasted flour before starting with the second set.  This will keep you from getting burned, bitter bits in your flour.

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