Besan Ki Sabzi (Chickpea Cake Stir Fry)

We Indians are extremely fond of chickpea flour. We use it to make pancakes, steamed cake, fritters, batter for fritters and curry too. Whenever one talks of Indian chickpea curry, instantly your mind drifts to the famous Gatte ki Sabzi. It’s a Rajasthani specialty where the chickpea flour dumplings are boiled and then cooked in creamy yogurt gravy. What I have for you today is my mother in law’s specialty, Besan ki Sabzi (Chickpea Cake Stir Fry). You will definitely get the earthy chickpea flavor but it’s cooked in a whole different way.

Besan Ki Sabzi (Chickpea Cake Stir Fry) | Playful Cooking

Besan Ki Sabzi (Chickpea Cake Stir Fry) | Playful Cooking

Besan Ki Sabzi (Chickpea Cake Stir Fry) | Playful Cooking

She doesn’t make the dough from chickpea flour, instead she cooks the flour with water and makes it like a roux. She then pours it in a flat container and allows it to cool down. Once it is cooled down, she cuts rough bite size squares of it and fries it crispy. It’s this crispy chickpea flour bites which appeals me more. It’s rustic, crunchy on the outside, soft on the inside. It would easy pull off as a snack bite with your tea or coffee.

Besan Ki Sabzi (Chickpea Cake Stir Fry) | Playful Cooking

Besan Ki Sabzi (Chickpea Cake Stir Fry) | Playful Cooking

These crunchy chickpea flour bites are then stir fried with some onion and spices to turn into a sabzi! It’s dry and doesn’t have a lot of gravy. Every time she visits us or we visit them, this is one of the dishes Arvind would always request. Whenever she prepares the dish, it looks so easy and effortless. But getting that chickpea roux correct is so tricky. You have to constantly stir the batter so it doesn’t get lumpy and that was not easy for me. I failed several times!

We can never replicate the exact taste of mom’s recipes. They have some kind of magic in their hand but I am glad to be able at least make it tasty enough.

Besan Ki Sabzi (Chickpea Cake Stir Fry) | Playful Cooking

Besan Ki Sabzi (Chickpea Cake Stir Fry)

Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time40 mins
Author: Kankana Saxena


for the chickpea roux

  • 1 cup chickpea flour besan
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon asafoetida/hing
  • ½ teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 inch ginger grated
  • salt

or the sabzi (stir fry)

  • 1 medium onion finely chopped
  • 1 inch ginger finely grated
  • 4 garlic cloves finely chopped
  • 1 to mato finely chopped
  • ½ teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1/8 teaspoon turmeric
  • ½ teaspoon cumin powder
  • ½ teaspoon coriander powder
  • ½ teaspoon chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon aamchur dry mango powder
  • salt
  • oil
  • fresh cilantro leaves for garnish

for the tampering

  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 2 to 3 whole dry red chilies
  • pinch of asafoetida/hing
  • few curry leaves


  • Pour all the ingredients for the chickpea roux in a nonstick saucepan and give it a whisk to mix it all together. Then, turn on the heat to medium and keep stirring the batter until it comes together as a thick paste, almost like a roux.
  • Oil a flat container (like a cake pan or a brownie pan) and pour the thick chickpea paste. Spread it flat and allow it to set in room temperature.
  • In about 30 minutes, it should be completely set. Cut it into bite size squares. If it looks rustic, don’t worry. They don’t need to be perfectly shaped or of the same size.
  • Pour 3 tablespoons of oil in a pan and once it’s hot enough, layer the chickpea flour bites and fry them until they’re golden brown on both the sides. Once done, set these fried chickpea bites aside to be used later.
  • Next, add 2 tablespoons of oil in a pan and scatter the cumin seeds. Add garlic, ginger and onion. Give it a stir. Then, add salt, turmeric and allow it cook for a couple of minutes. Add the spices (cumin powder, coriander powder and chili powder) along with chopped tomato and cook for a couple more minutes.
  • Drop the chickpea bites and give it a stir. Finally, add ¼ cup water, cover and let it cook for a few minutes. If you prefer a runny curry, you can add more water or yogurt at this point. Once done, switch off the heat.
  • Heat oil in a small pan. Add asafetida, whole dry chili and curry leaves. Allow it to splatter for a couple of seconds and then, pour it on top the stir-fried chickpea bites.
  • Serve warm!


Serving: 1Servings

Besan Ki Sabzi (Chickpea Cake Stir Fry) | Playful Cooking

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Comments are closed.

  • Laura | Tutti Dolci
    Laura | Tutti Dolci
    September 6, 2016 at 3:34 PM

    What wonderful flavors, this stir fry looks delicious!

  • Dana
    August 31, 2016 at 4:04 AM

    Love the idea that I am here in Australia and I can receive your cooking ideas from India. Thank you.

  • angiesrecipes
    August 31, 2016 at 1:53 AM

    This reminds me of our rice cake stirfry…this looks droolworthy and moreish.

  • Carina Sebastine
    Carina Sebastine
    August 31, 2016 at 1:32 AM

    That certainly sounds like a very good way of cooking with beam flour, as far as I can remember I have never tasted this before, but then I do live in the south of India , so I now will have to make this. Thanks to you and your mil? nice photography.

  • Rosa
    August 30, 2016 at 8:26 AM

    That looks so good! What an interesting way to use chickpea flour. Now I’m craving that dish.