Savoury Chickpea Cakes

IMG_4833 IMG_4836

I really wanted to call these ‘cakes’ pakoras, but they don’t really look like pakoras, do they?
They sort of are pakoras, or perhaps inspired by pakoras – except they’re baked and look nothing like traditional pakoras.

I love, love pakoras…, I could tell you all the places with the best pakoras in the city, and those to avoid; I think my nickname at my favourite Indian restaurant is “…and a dozen pakoras to go, please”.

But I came to make my own pakoras by accident; they came up a few months when we were brainstorming snacks to take for our trip, we were thinking store-bought.
At the same time I had a bag of chickpea flour nearing its use-by date, I’d been using it mostly to make socca.
That’s when the idea of trying my hands at pakora-making clicked, since I’m deadly afraid of deep frying things (a story for another post…) I looked into baking them instead.

These savoury chickpea cakes were my very first try, and they baked perfectly – light, great-tasting, filling and non-greasy, like the ones from my favourite ‘pakoras joint’ even it if they look a little different.

I tried them on my friend M’s little guy, he loved them and his little gluten-intolerant tummy thanked me.

A little side note for when making these for kids, you may want to omit the pepper, or use just a teaspoon or pinch.
And a side, side note; chickpea flour can be found at health food stores as chickpea/garbanzo flour, Indian grocery stores as gram flour or besan and Italian grocery stores as farina di ceci.

Chickpea Flour IMG_4821
IMG_4828 IMG_4830


Savoury Chickpea Cakes


  • 2 cups chickpea flour (garbanzo flour/gram flour /besan)
  • 1 onion, chopped finely
  • 2 tablespoons dried chives
  • 2 tablespoon finely chopped cilantro leaves
  • 1 tablespoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • Pinch of turmeric, (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (or more or less to taste)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 – 1 cup water or more


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. and line a cookies sheet with foil or parchment paper, grease lightly and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, mix chickpea flour, onions, chives, pepper flakes, cilantro leaves, turmeric, salt and baking powder.
  3. Mix well and add the olive oil
  4. Add the water, 1/4 cup at a time, mixing to create a thick smooth batter (the consistency of pancake batter but thicker)
  5. Place tablespoonful of batter 2 inches apart onto the baking sheet
  6. Bake for 20 – 25 minutes or until the cakes turn golden brown
  7. Let them cool on tray for a few minutes before transferring them to serving plate
  8. Enjoy with ketchup, chutney or your favourite dip!



Share on
Previous Post Next Post


  • Reply Bintu@recipesfromapantry

    Your pictures are sooooooo good. Please can I come over and have some? I guess this would work with bean flour?

    12 February, 2013 at 12:51 am
    • Reply Elsa

      Thank you Bintu! You’re quite welcome to come over anytime 🙂 I haven’t tried other bean flours, but I see no reason why it shouldn’t work.

      12 February, 2013 at 9:56 am
  • Reply huey@bellyfuloflove

    this looks great! will try it soon 🙂

    18 March, 2013 at 10:44 pm
    • Reply Elsa

      Please do, and let me know how it turns out. Thanks for stopping by 🙂

      18 March, 2013 at 11:00 pm
      • Reply huey@bellyfuloflove

        i just baked a batch and they are awesome! 🙂 only thing is I think I added too much water (3/4 cup) and the batter was too runny, hence i couldn’t achieve the plump cakes shown in your pictures. mine turned out rather flat. i also replaced the dried chives with a stalk of chopped fresh spring onion. can’t stop munching on them now! thanks for the recipe!

        20 March, 2013 at 12:01 am
        • Reply Elsa

          I love how yours turned out! I’m glad you like them, aren’t they addictive? 🙂
          I’ve made them several times, they plump up and sometimes they don’t, but they turn out fantastic each time.
          I purposefully didn’t give the exact amount of water to use because tastes vary, the ones I made here ( were flatter but my favourite so far. Maybe reduce the water by a few tablespoons the next time. 🙂

          20 March, 2013 at 5:20 pm

    Leave a Reply

    This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.