Carolyne Kauser-AbbottProvencal RecipesSide DishStreet FoodTaste

Chickpea Flour Panisses Frites are Better than Fries

Panisse, like polenta, is easy to make. The difference is chickpea flour instead of cornmeal. However, the culinary debate about whether panisse is a culinary creation of Marseille or Nice continues without resolution. Is the authentic version of panisse found at a snack bar on the beach in l’Estaque, where Cézanne once painted? Or is this savoury side – li panissa frgeidi – originally from the kitchens of Nice and an emblem of Cuisine Nissarde? While we don’t have the answer to the gastronomic debate, we know that panisse is delicious. However, we lean towards Nice in the discussion as in Italian, pan means bread, and panisse could be a diminutive form.

Cuisine Nissarde

Many traditional Niçoise and Provencal recipes began as nutritious, inexpensive dishes served in poor households, and panisse is no exception. Once eaten by local labourers and their families, panisse is now found in acclaimed restaurants.

The recipe for les panisses frites comes from Carnets de cuisine du Comté de Nice, a cookbook and a tribute to the essence of Cuisine Nissarde sharing food with family and friends. The recipe below was translated and published with the permission of the Office de Tourisme Métropolitain Nice Côte d’Azur. Available in French only, you can find Carnets de cuisine du Comté de Nice online at Amazon or the tourist office in Nice, France.

Chickpea Flour Panisses Frites

Fried Panisse – Panisses Frites

Carnets de cuisine du Comté de Nice
Panisse is best eaten very hot with a bit of salt and pepper, accompanied by a green salad, as an accompaniment to a dish or as an appetizer, or as a snack instead of socca. Panisse can also be rolled in powdered sugar at the end of cooking for a delicious dessert.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Course Side Dish, Snacks, Street Food
Cuisine Cuisine Nissarde, French, Provencal
Servings 8 people


  • 600 g Chickpea Flour ** see note
  • 2 litres Cold Water
  • Olive Oil
  • Flour
  • Salt and Pepper


  • Pour the chickpea flour into the cold, salted water in a stock pot, avoiding lumps that form when the flour is thrown into hot water.
  • Put the pot on low heat and stir with a whisk without stopping while the batter thickens. Don’t stop whisking as you want a smooth dough.
  • Bring the water to a boil and cook for 3 to 5 minutes.
  • Immediately pour the mixture into slightly oiled saucers. Allow to cool.
  • Cut each pastry into 1 to 2 cm wide strips.
  • Dust with chickpea flour, then cook them in a heavy frying pan with hot oil. Allow the first side to turn golden brown before turning them halfway through the cooking time.
  • Place the panisse on paper towels.
  • Add salt and pepper to your taste. Serve immediately.


Chickpea flour is readily available in the South of France. With gluten-sensitive diets in other parts of the world, this flour is typically found with speciality flour in the grocery store.
Keyword Chickpeas, Fried Panisse
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Additional Chickpea Recipes:

Panisse (Panelle, Sicilian-style) or Chickpea Fritters   
Panisse is very popular in Provence, although a similar recipe can be found in other places along the Mediterranean as I discovered in Sicily. Impress your guests with this salty, yet slightly sweet nibble with cocktails.
Check out this recipe
Panisse Chickpea Fritter Recipe Cote d'Azur Tasha Powell
Roasted Chickpea and Shallot Spread
Like hummus but not quite, the roasted shallots and chickpeas give this spread extra flavour.
Check out this recipe
Roasted Chickpea Shallot Spread
Chickpea and Spinach Gratin
A Vegetarian dish made with Chickpea and Spinach Gratin baked in breadcrumbs and drizzled in olive oil! 
Check out this recipe
Chickpea and Spinach Gratin
Mediterranean Chickpea Salad
A vegetable filled salad that can be enjoyed during any time of the year!
Check out this recipe
Mediterranean Chickpea Salad

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Carolyne Kauser-Abbott

Carolyne Kauser-Abbott

With her camera and laptop close at hand, Carolyne has traded in her business suits for the world of freelance writing and blogging. Her first airplane ride at six months of age was her introduction to the exciting world of travel.

While in Provence, Carolyne can be found hiking with friends, riding the hills around the Alpilles or tackling Mont Ventoux. Her attachment to the region resonates in Perfectly Provence this digital magazine that she launched in 2014. This website is an opportunity to explore the best of the Mediterranean lifestyle (food & wine, places to stay, expat stories, books on the region, travel tips, real estate tips and more), through our contributors' articles.

Carolyne writes a food and travel blog Ginger and Nutmeg. Carolyne’s freelance articles can be found in Global Living Magazine, Avenue Magazine and City Palate (Published Travel Articles).

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