The first time I had chickpea tofu was at Donna Chang's, a Chinese-American restaurant owned by my friends Shae & Ryan Sims in Athens. It was so good, too good - I assumed that it required a long, complicated method, and I never looked into making it myself.
Then, a few months ago, doing some research for the vegetarian dinner Talat Market did with Vinetta at Ponce City market in February, it popped up again. I was referencing the book Burma: Rivers of Flavor by Naomi Duguid (10/10 would recommend) and came across a recipe for chickpea tofu.
This time, I decided to try making it. Burmese food uses many similar techniques to Thai food, but there are also a lot of Indian spices and techniques that are part of that cuisine. The craziest part about the recipe? It had only four ingredients: chickpea flour, water, salt, and turmeric powder.
The technique couldn't be simpler either: you combine the chickpea flour, turmeric powder, and salt. Add ⅓ of the water and whisk until it becomes smooth. Next, you bring the remaining ⅔ of the water to a boil, add the smooth chickpea mixture, and stir until everything is cooked through and the mixture is glossy.
For the vegetarian dinner, we then oiled some 2" tall third pans and left it to cool at room temperature. It firmed up like crazy, we cut it into the shape we wanted and then… we fried it. We fried it and seasoned it with salt and MSG and it was so good, too good.
Our servers and kitchen staff couldn't stop snacking on these morsels. They were easy to make and delicious (which sometimes feels like seeing a beautiful unicorn). We've ruined the secret of how easy this dish is - but you'll definitely be seeing this on the Talat Market restaurant menu, so get ready.