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TEST KITCHEN NOTEBOOK

The secret to deep-fried success

May 28, 2003|Donna Deane

Too many fried foods are soggy or heavy with coating. But in making our fried squash blossoms, we found chickpea flour made all the difference.

Combined with a little curry powder, cayenne, salt and water, the flour produced a batter that lent a depth and body to the blossoms, and a flavor that hinted of Indian food.

Chickpea flour is fine and pale yellow. It's commonly used in Indian and vegetarian cooking. Made of ground dried chickpeas (garbanzo beans), it is known as besan in Indian markets. It is a non-gluten flour high in protein. Around the world, chickpea flour is used in a variety of dishes, from curries to crepes.

Look for bags of it at Indian markets, specialty markets and health food stores.

-- Donna Deane

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