This easy soy-free chickpea tofu recipe has been life-changing for me, since discovering about 12 months ago that I have a slight intolerance to soy. Yeah, slightly problematic for a vegan!
I had heard of Burmese tofu (a.k.a chickpea tofu, although I didn’t know that’s what it was), but never thought to try making it as I assumed it would be complicated. Otherwise, why hadn’t I heard of it, right?
The nicest surprises in life are always the simplest things… like discovering a super awesome new recipe that only takes 10 MINUTES to prepare. ? Yep… 10 minutes. I still can’t believe how quick and easy this recipe is!
The original Burmese version contains turmeric, which not only adds the flavour of turmeric but also gives it a more yellow colour.
For my version here, I’ve skipped out on the turmeric to make it more like traditional soy tofu, which is pretty neutral in flavour.
The texture is somewhere between medium and firm when compared to store-bought, soy-based tofu.
These days, I make this soy free tofu at least twice a week. The husband loves it, the 3-year-old can’t get enough of it, and I can even make a double or triple batch and freeze it for the week/s ahead.
It comes up a gorgeous golden brown when lightly pan-fried and is a great way to add extra protein to curries, buddha bowls, salads, you name it.
And I haven’t even mentioned that it’s only 4 ingredients!! Whaaaatttt?! That’s even including water and salt. Other than that, literally all you need to whip this up is chickpea flour (a.k.a besan flour) and a little garlic powder.
How to make chickpea tofu
To make this easy chickpea tofu at home, we just whip up a very basic batter and cook it for around 5 minutes on a high heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon.
To make the batter we just combine 1 cup of chickpea flour with 2 cups of water, 1/2 a teaspoon of garlic powder and 3/4 a teaspoon of salt. You can use more or less salt if you feel, but just remember that once this recipe is cooked, which happens fast, there is no opportunity to add more so maybe give the batter a little taste first.
It helps to have a blender for this recipe but it’s not essential. Besan flour can sometimes be a little clumpy so it needs a good hard whisk to break it up. If you don’t have (or can’t be bothered with) a blender, just put everything into a mixing bowl and whisk away till you can’t see any clumps.
Pour the batter into a medium saucepan, crank the heat up to high and bring it to the boil while stirring with a wooden spoon.
As it heats up, you will start to notice it thickening in clumps from the bottom up. Just keep stirring. After 4-5 minutes it will become really thick, at which point you can remove it from the heat.
It will start to set almost as soon as you remove it from the heat, so best to have a loaf pan pre-prepared and lined with oil or some baking paper (I prefer baking paper).
Pour it (or more like scoop it) into the prepared pan and then use the back of a spoon to smooth it as much as possible. It won’t be perfect, so give your perfectionistic side a little pat on the shoulder and let it know that everything will be ok. Haha, trust me… I have to do this every time!
Then simply pop it in the fridge to set for at least 2 hours. That’s it guys. When it’s set, you can slice it and chop it however you see fit and use it like you would normal tofu!
My fave way has always been cubed and lightly fried in some coconut oil. It’s tasty enough to eat on its own, without any flavouring even. But a little coconut aminos in the frypan doesn’t go astray 😉
This recipe also works great with my salt & pepper tofu recipe (click here to see it).
However you have it, I’m sure you’re going to love it. Let me know what you think in the comments!
Just 4 ingredients, prepared in under 10 minutes!
- 1 cup besan (chickpea) flour
- 2 cups water
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 3/4 tsp salt
Line a loaf pan with baking paper or grease with some olive oil.
Blend or vigourously whisk all ingredients together. Blending is the easiest option to ensure no clumps from the besan flour.
Pour the mixture into a medium saucepan and place over high heat on the stove, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon.
The mixture will start to form lumps as you stir, and after 4-5 minutes will thicken to a very thick batter (see images in post above).
Remove from heat and transfer immediately to prepared loaf pan. Press and smooth (as much as possible) the batter into the pan.
Refrigerate for at least 2 hours, then remove from pan and slice/cook as needed!
Will store in the fridge for up to 4 days or the freezer for up to 3 months.