Chickpea flour flatbread changed my world. How could something so easy be so delicious? It helps elevate a simple curry into something special and is a great replacement for store-bought wheat-based bread. The best part – it is only 3 ingredients! I’ve included some top tips for variations and my favourite meals to pair it with.
If you haven’t gotten your hands on some chickpea flour, also known as besan, now is the time. My favourite way to use it is to make flatbreads – I find the slightly nutty and bean-y flavour lends itself nicely to savoury dishes. It is packed full of protein and fibre, making it a great lower carb alternative to rice or traditional wheat-based flatbreads.
Making this Chickpea Flour Flatbread
Why I Made This Flatbread
This chickpea flour flatbread is made with only 3 main ingredients and only takes 25 minutes total to make. No need to use yeast, allow for rising time, or add any finicky ingredients. It is also a great alternative to wheat-based flatbreads and is suitable for anyone who is intolerant to wheat, has celiac disease, or is concerned about the quality of their flour (see post Is Your Wheat Intolerance Due TO Glyphosate In Canadian Bread?).
High In Protein
1 cup of chickpea flour contains 20 grams of protein, that’s the same amount of protein as 3 oz of chicken or 6 tablespoons of hemp hearts. Protein is important for our immune system and for maintaining muscle mass. Aiming to get 20-30 grams of protein per meal is a good aim for most people.
Low In Net Carbs
Per 1 cup of chickpea flour, there are 53 grams of carbohydrates and 10 grams of fibre. This means there are 43 grams of ‘net’ or available carbohydrates (total carbohydrates minus fibre). For comparison, white flour has 125 grams of carbohydrates and 6 grams of fibre (119 grams of net carbs). Those looking to watch their blood sugar levels benefit from lower net carbohydrate options.
High In Fibre
With 10 grams of fibre per cup, this would be considered an excellent source of fibre. Fibre is important for helping us to feel full, for helping to lower blood glucose and cholesterol levels, and for feeding our beneficial gut bacteria (see Five Tips On How To Improve Gut Health Naturally).
This simple 3 ingredient chickpea flour flatbread is made up of:
- 1 cup of chickpea flour
- 2 tablespoon of ground flaxseed
- 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon of salt – optional but recommended
These are all mixed with 1 1/2 cup of water or option to use 1 1/4 cup for a slightly thicker flatbread.
Depending on the brand of chickpea flour, you may need to sift it before using it. If you don’t have a sifter, and you find your mixture too lumpy to whisk you can pulse it in a blender to get a smooth batter consistency.
Mix all of the ingredients together and let stand for about 5 to 10 minutes to let the mixture thicken.
Heat a frying pan with a small amount of oil and add a scant 1/2 cup of batter. Let cook for about 2 to 3 minutes or until small bubbles start to form, and then flip cooking for an additional 1 minute. Repeat with remaining batter, this should make about 4 flatbreads.
Troubleshooting Lumpy Batter
I have found that some chickpea flours result in a more lumpy consistency that is difficult to incorporate with just a whisk. If you find your batter is lumpy, option to blitz it in a blender or food processor for 30 seconds to achieve a smoother batter. Sifting the chickpea flour before adding the other ingredients will also ensure a smoother batter.
Using Ground Flax
Ground flax works as a binder, in the same way eggs do. I find that 1 tablespoon of ground flax is equivalent to one egg. To make your own ground flax at home, purchase whole flaxseeds and blend them in a small blender for about 30 to 60 seconds. Store leftover ground flax in a sealed container in the fridge and use it in other recipes such as in:
- Three Ingredient Peanut Butter Cookies
- No Bake 100 Calorie Peanut Butter Energy Balls
- Easy Almond Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies
You can also purchase already ground flaxseed from the grocery store, just make sure to store it in the fridge.
Adjusting The Amount Of Water
I prefer my flatbread to be slightly flatter, but if you want a thicker flatbread to reduce the amount of water to 1 1/4 cup. I find that 1 cup of water results in a flatbread that is a little too dense.
Here are some simple and delicious ways to diversify this favourite flatbread recipe:
- 1 teaspoon of ground turmeric – this not only offers the nutritional components that come from turmeric but also gives a vibrant yellow flatbread
- 1 teaspoon of ground garlic – a delicious garlic flatbread
- 1/4 cup of chopped fresh herbs – try chopped cilantro or parsley
- 2 sprigs of thinly sliced green onion – white and green section
What To Serve These Chickpea Flatbreads With
- Use these flatbreads to make some breakfast Mexican refried beans wraps, topped with salsa, avocado and baby spinach
- Use it as a dipping bread for a delicious curry or this Easy Lentil Curry Soup
- Use it to replace the rice, couscous, quinoa or pasta in a recipe such as this Easy Ginger French Lentil Stew
- Serve it on its own as an appeitizer covered in a delicious pesto such as this Ultimate Vegan Pesto Recipe with Hemp.
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Chickpea Flour Flatbread | 3 Ingredients
- 1 cup chickpea flour
- 2 tbsp flaxseed ground
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 1/2 cup water or 1 1/4 cup for a thicker flatbread
- Start by sifting the chickpea flour into a medium-sized mixing bowl. This is not necessary for all types of chickpea flours, but some brands are particularly lumpy. If you don't have a sifter you can add all of the ingredients to a blender and blend the ingredients to get rid of any lumps.
- Add the remaining ingredients to the mixing bowl and using a whisk mix the mixture until it is smooth.
- Let the mixture sit for 5 to 10 minutes to thicken.
- Heat a medium frying pan over medium heat, and season with oil if needed.
- Using a 1/2 cup measuring cup, take a scant 1/2 cup of batter and add it to the centre of the frying pan and let the chickpea batter cook for 2 to 3 minutes, or until little holes appear in the batter. Using a spatula flip the flatbread over and cook for a further one minute.
- Repeat with the remaining batter. This mixture should make 4 medium flatbreads.
Using Ground FlaxGround flax works as a binder, in the same way eggs do. I find that 1 tablespoon of ground flax is equivalent to one egg. To make your own ground flax at home, purchase whole flaxseeds and blend them in a small blender for about 30 to 60 seconds. Store leftover ground flax in a sealed container in the fridge and use it in other recipes such as in: You can also purchase already ground flaxseed from the grocery store, just make sure to store it in the fridge.
Adjusting The Amount Of WaterI prefer my flatbread to be slightly flatter, but if you want a thicker flatbread to reduce the amount of water to 1 1/4 cup. I find that 1 cup of water results in a flatbread that is a little too dense.
Optional AdditionsHere are some simple and delicious ways to diversify this favourite flatbread recipe:
- 1 teaspoon of ground turmeric - this not only offers the nutritional components that come from turmeric but also gives a vibrant yellow flatbread
- 1 teaspoon of ground garlic - a delicious garlic flatbread
- 1/4 cup of chopped fresh herbs - try chopped cilantro or parsley
- 2 sprigs of thinly sliced green onion - white and green section
Rachel Dickens, The Conscious Dietitian, is a Registered Dietitian and Certified Diabetes Educator. She graduated with her Masters in Nutrition and Dietetics in 2010 from Griffith University. She strives to provide evidence-based nutrition information with a focus on plant-based nutrition and share some of her favourite seasonal recipes and sustainable eating tips.