Tag Archives: chickpea

What’s a Fainá??

11 Jul

The other day I posted on Instagram that I was eating a fainá… and many of you liked the picture. But I was wondering if most of you know what a fainá is… I learned about it during my one and only visit to Buenos Aires a couple of years ago.

Faina - Juan Pan PIzza 1

When you look at the picture above, you just say it’s a pizza, right??  But this is no ordinary pizza…  A fainá is a flatbread made with chickpea flour, very typical in Argentina. They usually serve it as an appetizer or as an accompaniment to pizza. But, you can also order a fainá as the CRUST of a pizza, topping it with cheese and any of the traditional pizza toppings, making it a gluten-free alternative.

When we were in Argentina, we went to this little pizzeria in our neighborhood and the owner would make pizza using fainá as the crust. I am not kidding you when I tell you we went almost every day to eat dinner there.

Fainá - Buenos Aires

Faina - Buenos Aires 2


Fainá - Buenos Aires 1
In Puerto Rico, we have an Argentinean pizzeria Juan Pan Pizza, which serves us pizza in a fainá crust. If you call ahead, they’ll make you individually-sized pizzas with a very thin and crispy fainá crust. Usually fainá is a tad thick… and in a pinch, they’ll just top the fainá they have on hand and top it with your favorite pizza toppings.
You see? There are gluten-free alternatives wherever you go… Hope you visit Juan Pan Pizza soon if you live in Puerto Rico or now get to order a fainá on your next trip to Buenos Aires.


20 Dec

I love any type of street food, but I’ve had to learn to make my own sometimes because the original versions are not suitable for vegetarians.

Thankfully, falafels are great right from the start.  I had my first official falafels when I traveled to Israel.  They eat them inside a pita bread as a sandwich.  You then add tahini sauce, a tomato/cucumber salad and any extra fixings you desire.  We only ate falafels for lunch for a whole week… 

This is my friend’s Rosani recipe, but we collaborated.  We used chickpea or garbanzo flour to avoid using canned chickpeas or having to soak and cook the chickpeas first.  As I’ve said, we’re busy vegetarian girls… we love our shortcuts.  And did I mention we also love our fried foods?



1 1/2 cups chickpea or garbanzo flour
1 medium onion, chopped
2 tablespoons flat leaf parsley, chopped
4 cloves of garlic
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon of salt
1 teaspoon of black pepper
1 teaspoon of cumin
1 tablespoon of water – if needed
Canola oil for frying
  1. Place the chickpea flour, onion, parsley and garlic cloves in the bowl of a food processor.  Process a bit until blended, but not pureed. 
  2. Add the baking powder, salt, pepper, cumin.  Pulse a bit.
  3. If the mixture is too dry, add water and process until mixture becomes a small ball . If not dry,  skip right over to next step.
  4. Let the mixture rest for 30 minutes.
  5. Form the chickpea mixture into balls about the size of walnuts.  Let them dry up a bit while the oil reaches temperature.
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  7. In a large skillet, heat up canola oil at medium heat and fry falafels until golden brown.  It’s important not to have the oil too hot, because the falafel will brown, but not cook inside.  We want the whole falafel to the thoroughly cooked.

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Enjoy the falafels inside a pita bread and tahini sauce.  Or enjoy them as appetizers with a tamarind sauce or mango chutney.  As soon as I find tamarinds or tamarind puree, I’ll show you how to do it.

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