This is one of those recipes I have been meaning to post for ages but never quite got there until now. I think I was deterred by the ugliness factor of photographing flaccid crepes. Hopefully I have conquered my fear and (hopefully) shown just how beautiful these easy besan crepes really are (currently imagining nods of approval here).
These easy besan crepes work wonderfully as a snack option or as a gluten free (and everything else free) wrap for delicious fillings. I adore using them for my kofta wraps. So many of my clients struggle with finding a good gluten free wrap, and to be honest most of the gluten free wraps on the market would be better used as frisbees than food. These crepes are soft and pliable and roll up wonderfully with their interior stuffed full of goodness.
Besan flour is ground chickpea flour and works really well as an alternative flour just as buckwheat flour would if you felt like mixing things up. Traditionally, you will find this type of crepe is called a socca, an Italian pancake made with chickpea flour, olive oil, water and rosemary. I like to thin the batter out a little to get a more crepe like finish and also introduce some potato starch for a little more flexability. Additionally these crepes can be used straight away instead of letting the batter rest as traditionally done.
Basically these easy besan crepes are all about the name. Being easy. I really believe that if you are asking someone to change their dietary intake then you have to number one, give them realistic options, and number two, make it achievable. We are all time poor these days and need options that work to fit into a hectic family and work schedule. Asking someone to spend too much time preparing food as a nutritionist is a good way to not have him or her come back through your door.
You can also experiment with different herbs and add in’s. I love adding sauerkraut to the batter and making the batter slightly thicker for a Japanese inspired pancake. I also love adding parsley and nutritional yeast to the crepe batter for a dairy free cheesy taste sensation. However you choose to make these crepes I am sure they will work a treat and provide you with a manageable and user-friendly alternative to your regular toast or wraps.
easy besan crepes
- makes 6 medium crepes
- preparation time
- 4 minutes
- cooking time
- 5 minutes, or 90 seconds per crepe
- 1 cup besan flour (or buckwheat flour if preferred)
- 4 tablespoons potato starch (or cornflour)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 cup water (plus a little extra if needed)
- salt and pepper for seasoning
- // optional //
- fennel seeds and finely chopped rosemary
Sift the besan flour and the potato starch into a large mixing bowl. Season well with salt and pepper and stir to combine.
Make a well in the center and add the oil and the water. Stir the mixture bringing it together into a thin crepe batter. At this stage you can store the mixture covered in the fridge to use the next day or even leave it for half and hour. Otherwise, you can use immediately.
Heat a large frying pan to medium heat. Add a small splash of high heat cooking oil of choice and add in a ladle full of the crepe batter quickly swivelling the batter around the pan to create a thin crepe. If you are using fennel seeds and/or rosemary scatter some of these on top of the crepe before it cooks through.
Allow to cook for about 1 minute and then flip the crepe over. The underside will only take around 20 seconds to cook. Remove from the heat and place in a warm oven while you continue with the rest of the crepes.
Serve crepes either as is as a snack, or use as a wrap and stuff with salad, hummus, avocado and protein of choice. I like to use these as a wrap for these kofta wraps. They are also lovely for breakfast with tahini, ham off the bone and sauerkraut if you are keen!
These crepes are best eaten on the day, however they will store once cooked in the fridge for 2 days or can be frozen.
- Besan flour provides a great range of macronutrients. 1 cup of besan flour has just under 10grams of fiber and 20% of your daily carbohydrate needs. It also contains a sustaining 20 grams of protein, which is a great vegetarian or vegan source of amino acids. Besan flour is also rich in magnesium, phosphorus and manganese and also provides moderate levels of iron. Besan flour is also very rich in folate making it a fantastic preconception and pregnancy food.
- These easy besan crepes will provide a great backbone to a balanced meal. However, one crepe alone will not provide adequate carbohydrates for most, so consider filling your crepe with some sweet potato or some quinoa if using it as part of a breakfast or lunch meal. You could also do a 50/50 mix of buckwheat and besan flour to amp up the carbs in this crepe.
- These crepes are wonderful also done with added sweet spices such as cinnamon and nutmeg. Once cooked they can be filled with stewed fruit, yoghurt and chopped nuts for a delicious weekend breakfast. I also like to fill them with a lentil or meat braise and bake them in the oven coated in a tomato or creamy sauce.
Jessica Cox is a qualified practicing Nutritionist with a Bachelor Health Science (Nutrition) and over 15 years of clinical experience. She is the founder and director JCN Clinic, published author and established recipe developer. Jessica is well respected within health and wellness space for her no fad approach and use of evidence-based nutrition.