Tuesday, June 08, 2010


My other guilt-inducing pantry item was a bag of besan. I had bought it to make patisa (an Indian dessert) but the only recipes that I found had terrible reviews. So the bag sat on a shelf -- unopened -- and came along when we moved. Most recipes I found called for only a tablespoon or two, certainly not worth opening the bag. But Tofu for Two's farinata recipe used 2 1/4 cups...and so the bag was opened.

It was different from anything that I'd made before, and I didn't really trust it. You mix the besan with water and oil, let it sit for 4 hours (I'm still not sure why), then add in seasonings, and bake it at a very high temperature. And somehow, the very thin batter turns into a smooth, almost quiche-like dish. It was absolutely delicious -- besan will never sit neglected in my pantry again.

I followed the recipe pretty closely; I used basil in place of rosemary because it was what I had on hand, and my converted measurements were probably a little different.

2 1/4 cups besan
3 cups water
3 T olive oil
1 tsp salt
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
5 cloves chopped garlic

Whisk together besan, water, and olive oil. Cover and let sit on counter for 4 hours. Add salt, basil, and garlic, and stir well. Pour into oiled pie plate. Bake at 390 F (I have a digital temperature-setter on my oven; if you don't, 400F should be fine) for 30 minutes, then turn heat up to 425F and bake for 20-30 minutes until it is center is no longer "jiggly" and top is well-browned. Let sit for 10 minutes before cutting.

This is my second entry for BB4.


Blogger Nupur said...

Bek- that looks incredible! I had never heard of farinata before.

But I love the way thin besan batter converts to soft custard when cooked, we make something called "pithale" which is very similar but done on the stove top.

The term "patisa" was completely unfamiliar to me. But yes, we do use besan in a hundred different ways in India. It makes wonderful pancakes!

Thanks for your entry :)

Wednesday, June 09, 2010 3:57:00 AM  
Blogger bek said...

Nupur -- Thank you for this month's theme! I think that I could have a daily entry with only the things in my pantry now -- I can't imagine what it would have been like had I done this before we moved!

Wednesday, June 09, 2010 8:02:00 AM  

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