Fluffy scrambled chickpea “eggs” with shallots (but’techa)
Serves 4 to 6 with injera
Prepare this easy, protein and fiber loaded dish and you’ll understand why sometimes it’s referred to as “false eggs”. The cooked chickpea flour mash, seasoned with spiced oil, herbs and olive oil once cooled and crumbled transforms into moist, buttery looking crumbles that almost eerily resemble scrambled eggs. The but’echa I’ve had in restaurants is often served chilled and has a sharp lemony tang, which is how I seasoned it, but you can ease up on the lemon juice for a mellower treat. But’echa is very rich tasting on it’s own, so I like to make at least one kind of vegetable w’et stew when serving this up in an Ethiopian injera spread.
- 1 cup garbanzo bean flour
- 2 tablespoons Spiced Buttery Oil
- 2 large shallots, finely minced
- 2 green hot chiles (jalapeños, serranos or Italian hot peppers), seeds removed and minced
- 1 2/3 cups warm water
- 3/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 3 tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
1. Pour the garbano bean flour into a large 2 quart sauce pan and toast for 1 1/2 to 2 minutes over medium-low heat, stirring constantly. The flour will smell lightly toasted and darken slightly; transfer to a bowl. Add the Spiced Buttery Oil, shallots, and chiles to the pan and stir fry until the shallots just beginning to soften, about 2 minutes. Transfer the vegetables to a small dish. Add the water and salt to the pan and increase heat to medium.
2. Add the chickpea flour back to the pan, stirring in a few tablespoons at a time. Stir constantly with a wire whisk to incorporate the flour into the water; some small lumps are okay. Continue to cook and stir the mixture until it becomes too thick to stir with a wire whisk (about the consistency of very thick muffin batter), about 6 to 7 minutes. Set aside the whisk and switch to a wooden spoon or even better, a heat-resistant silicon spatula. Stir constantly and cook the mixture for another 6 to 8 minutes; the dough will become very thick, stiff and pull away from the sides of the pan when stirred. The dough is done cooking when you notice a thin film forming on the sides and bottom of the pan when the dough pulls away and the stiff dough has a fluffy, moist consistency. Stir in the chiles and shallots. Taste mixture and season with more salt if desired.
3. Remove from heat and spread a layer about an inch thick onto a large dinner plate. Let cool at room temperature for about 20 minutes, or until the mixture feels firm to the touch. Drizzle top with olive oil, and if desired sprinkle with additional lemon juice. Press and drag a fork through the dough to break up to but’echa into crumbly, fluffy pieces, mashing the oil into the crumbles. Serve at room temperature or chill (where it will continue to firm up) and serve cold with injera and another w’et stew.