Monday, May 3, 2010

Besan omelet

Does this look familiar? It's the leftover salad from the other day (sans dressing), plus some chopped onions and garlic. Yes, you can cook salad. Yes, I do it all the time.

Into the non-stick pan it goes with a little canola oil, to be cooked covered until the vegetables (i.e., carrots) are tender. By then the lettuce and cucumber will have nearly vanished, but that's okay.

Should you not have any leftover salad to fry, you can use plain chopped white or green onions, or grated or finely sliced zucchini, or any other vegetable you think would taste good, or nothing.

While that's cooking, put together the omelet. Nothing could be easier:

Besan omelet
Serves 2

1/2 cup besan (chickpea) flour
pinch tumeric
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup water (or however much you need to get the texture you prefer)

Mix the dry ingredients in a 2-cup measuring cup or comparable bowl. Slowly add the water, whisking until you obtain the desired texture. It should be like pancake batter. These omelets can be delicate and crispy, or they can be thick and chunky; it's up to you.

Pour the omelet mixture into the hot pan over the vegetables (if using) or into a hot pan with 1 tbsp oil, cover, turn the heat to medium low, and cook until just crispy on the bottom, about five or six minutes depending on the thickness of your omelet. Invert onto a plate, slide the omelet from the plate back into the pan, cover again, and cook a few minutes more until the omelet is golden (but not browned) on the other side as well, and the inside is firm and tastes cooked. How do you know if it tastes "cooked"? Well, taste a little of the batter first, and when it no longer tastes like that, it's cooked: raw besan is very "beany"; cooked besan is not.

Served here with a number of other leftovers that I was pleased to get out of the fridge in such a tasty way; readers of this blog over the last week or so may recognize some of them:


  1. My, what a beautiful omelet! I love your plating and presentation, too. I do remember that salad, and no, I never thought of cooking up salad leftovers. This is a whole new world that I'm happy to explore. Now all I have to do is suck it up and quit fearing the vegan omelet. My first one was not-so-great, and I never tried it again... better do that.

  2. Thanks, Trinity. I know you could do a better job with this, looks-wise (and I'd like to see you try ;-). The colours in my photograph didn't come out too well on the omelet but it can actually be very pretty. I call this an "omelet," though it isn't really. It's more like the French socca or Italian farinata, and there are several thicker Indian versions too. Basically it's a chickpea flour pancake, or polenta, the basic ingredients being chickpea flour and water, plus anything else you want to add for flavouring. Generally they aren't very bendy, so you might not be able to fold it over a filling, but it's really, really tasty. I've been making them for years, usually with fried onions and/or garlic and/or grated zucchini as the base.