Chickpea tofu is a Burmese recipe also known as Burmese tofu, yellow lentil tofu, shan tofu or chana dal tofu. This is a variety of high-protein veggie meat with the classic soybean tofu texture. It can be prepared with various legumes (lentils, beans, etc.) but the traditional version is made with chickpeas.
The difference between chickpea tofu and soybean tofu
Shan tofu or chickpea tofu is prepared by boiling a concentrated milk from chickpeas, lentils or beans. The milk thickens a lot, so it can be put in a mold and give it the desired form. Turmeric, salt and other seasonings are usually added to obtain more attractive flavor. The end result is a solid high-protein veggie meat, with delicate and pleasant flavor.
However, to make traditional soy tofu, the milk must be fermented. When the milk has curdled, it’s pressed to firm it up and give it a solid texture. This process is a little more complex than chickpea tofu’s making.
Chickpea tofu recipe
Burmese tofu or chickpea tofu can be prepared either with chickpea flour or with whole chickpeas. We make it using chickpeas because it’s the most accessible and economical version for everyone.
Ingredients for 350-400g of chickpea tofu
- 200 g chickpeas (soaked overnight or at least 8 hours)
- 450 ml water
- 1 tablespoon salt
- ½ teaspoon turmeric (optional)
Preparation time: 20 minutes
STEP 1: How to make concentrated chickpea milk
With the Vegan Milker we can easily make plant-based milk, but you can use any other system to make vegan milks at home.
- Place 450 ml of natural water in the Vegan Milker container and add a part of the soaked chickpeas into the filter. Pay attention that they are must be covered by water to be blended easily. It’s better to use the turbo or higher power setting of the hand blender.
- Add the rest of the chickpeas little by little and blend again.
- If there is too much pulp, strain the pulp using the mortar. Remove part or all of the pulp and make room for the rest of the chickpeas. Blend again and finish the cooking by pressing the pulp with the mortar until the milk is well filtered.
STEP 2: Making chickpea tofu:
- Put the chickpea milk in a saucepan and heat over low heat.
- It’s very important to stir the milk constantly with a wooden spoon or a pastry stick, to better mix the protein.
- In about 5 minutes, the milk will thicken and become a dense mass that sticks to the wooden spoon.
- When it becomes difficult to stir because of the thickness of the dough, transfer it to a mold and let it cool.
- Store in the fridge at most for 1 week.
Recipe for recycling pulp: Chickpea Socca
Socca is a type of French crêpe made with chickpea flour, water and oil. It can also be made thicker, as a pizza base or baked pancake. We have tried making both recipes and without a doubt, the second option worked much better with the chickpea milk pulp.
It’s an interesting resource that could well be used as a pizza for celiacs or gluten intolerance.
- 300 g of chickpea pulp (or soaked chickpeas).
- 4 tablespoons of EVOO
- 1 pinch of salt
Preparation of the Socca:
Preparation time: 20 minutes.
- Mix all the ingredients until obtain a homogeneous dough. It can be done using a blender, a food processor, a hand mixer or by hand.
- In the meantime, heat the oven to 180ºC.
- Grease a baking pan -preferably flat and round one- with oil.
- Spread the dough in the mold so that it does not exceed 1 cm thick.
- Put the dough in the oven for 15 minutes at 180ºC.
- When the edge is golden brown, take it out and let it cool.
- Serve seasoned with spices such as basil, pepper, etc.
- It can be eaten as bread or add all kind of ingredients as an alternative pizza.
Tips and alternatives
Chickpea tofu o burmese tofu may be used in different dishes and it can be cooked in many ways: pan-fried or grilled, baked, sautéed, battered, etc.
With the remaining pulp you could prepare a chickpea stew or chickpea puree or the traditional “socca” cake and thus take advantage of all the nutrients that the chickpea provides us with.
Do you dare to cook your own tofu?