Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
When I first went vegan (which seems like a few hundred years ago now), one of the things I missed the most was omelets, since I used to eat a lot of them, as a vegetarian. Then I discovered *gasp!* that vegans can still have omelettes, without the eggs, and the secret is chickpea flour (which is also known as gram flour or besan)! You can also make omelettes from silken tofu, but I think Gram flour is easier to work with, and it is obviously a better option if you are avoiding soy products for whatever reason.
One of the great things about this type of flour is that it has a natural “gumminess” about it, which means it is the right consistency for making omelettes, pancakes, quiches, etc, without having to add anything to replace the eggs as a binding agent. It can be a challenge to find the right kind of egg substitute in vegan recipes. I also make quiches from chickpea flour and they usually come out very well.
This recipe makes a delicious and filling Spanish-style omelette (i.e. one with added vegetables, making it more substantial) great for breakfast or a light lunch. I use Indian black salt for flavouring (kala namak, available from Indian supermarkets/grocers) which gives it an authentically “eggy” flavour, but ordinary salt would work just as well if you can’t get this.
175 g/1 ½ cups of gram flour
1 teaspoon of dried mixed herbs
Pinch of white pepper
2 tablespoons of olive oil
1 large potato, peeled and diced small
1 small red bell pepper, de-seeded and finely sliced
1 small onion, chopped fine
320 ml/ around 1 and a third cups of water
¼ teaspoon of black salt (gives an “eggy” flavour)
1) Sauté the vegetables in the oil, for 5-10 minutes at just below medium heat, in a large non-stick pan, until the potato is tender.
2) While veggies are cooking, weigh out the flour and add the herbs, salt, and pepper, and gradually blend in the water, smoothing out any lumps. Set aside.
3) Scatter the cooked vegetables evenly across the frying pan and pour in the gram flour mixture, distributing it so that it covers them and the pan base evenly.
4) Cook over a low to medium heat (around 7-8 minutes) until the underneath of the mixture is just set; you may need to tilt the pan and move it around on the heat to ensure it cooks evenly.
5) When the underside is cooked, place the omelette still in the pan under the grill (broil) and cook until the top is just set (no more, or it will harden).
Serving suggestions: serve at once with a spicy chutney or soy sauce or ketchup, plus a green salad and crusty bread.
Picture courtesy of www.bbcgoodfood.co.uk