Socca – How can something so ridiculously simple taste so outrageously good?!

14 Aug

In Spain we can easily buy chick pea flour as it’s used to make Tortillitas de Camarones, little deep fried “pancakes” made with the tiniest prawns imaginable. They are so very, very good. My previous experience of cooking with chick pea flour (or gram flour, garbanzo flour or besan) was in Indian cookery to make bhajis.

In my search for other uses, I kept coming across recipes for Socca, a chickpea flour pancake, usually cooked at high heat in the oven in a small cake tin or tray. I also found a version in my wonderful River Cottage Bread Handbook which was cooked in a frying pan. Perfect for summer when you want food you can cook quickly without using the oven. We ate this with Chargrilled Aubergines in Tomato Sauce – tearing up pieces of the pancake and dipping. Fantastic if you enjoy sharing dishes and are not too proud to slurp and lick your fingers!

Socca (1)

Ingredients (per pancake)

  • 100ml chick pea flour
  • 100ml water
  • A good pinch of salt
  • Olive oil for frying

Mix the flour, water and salt together and leave to stand for a few minutes. Put a couple of tablespoons of oil in a frying pan and heat until it sizzles (this pancake is meant to be oily, so go on, be heavy handed with the oil!)

Pour the mix in, it should be thick in the pan and cook until it starts to char on the edges. Flip it over and cook the other side. Serve immediately and imagine you are eating it sitting in a bustling bar in the South of France sipping an ice cold beer and watching the world go by from under the brim of your slightly battered panama hat….

On Thursday morning we’ll be heading off down the mountain and driving north across Spain. Hopefully we’ll get our heads down for the night near Bordeaux and onwards Friday morning towards Calais and an early evening crossing to Dover.  Then we go west to our little home in Bexhill. Just for a few weeks you understand, we have a Golden Wedding Anniversary to celebrate with my parents and walks along the beach with the pups. We will enjoy the last of the beautiful English summer before we head back to our mountain home for the September fiestas. I’ll still be checking in here, but perhaps not as often as usual. See you when we get there!


62 Responses to “Socca – How can something so ridiculously simple taste so outrageously good?!”

  1. {Main St. Cuisine} August 14, 2013 at 00:24 #

    This is on my list of things to make and try! I’ll be using your stove-top method and my cast-iron skillet. Safe travels through Spain and thanks for sharing your recipe with us.

    • Chica Andaluza August 14, 2013 at 09:07 #

      It was so much quicker and easier to do it on the stove top! Thanks for the good wises 🙂

  2. Mad Dog August 14, 2013 at 00:27 #

    They sound great – I should make them, having been born on pancake day!
    How funny, I’ll be getting up at 5 am on Thursday to fly to Barcelona.
    Have a good trip 😉

    • Chica Andaluza August 14, 2013 at 09:08 #

      We’re almost crossing each other mid journey – mind you, by the time you get to Barcelona we’ll probably be somewhere around Madrid! Have a wonderful trip, Pancake Dog 🙂

  3. Kathy August 14, 2013 at 01:12 #

    Also on my list of things to try! I found some in reduced for clearance and picked up several bags. I’ve had Trinidadian roti, which is also made with chickpea flour. It was so fragrant!

    • Chica Andaluza August 14, 2013 at 09:09 #

      Ooh the roti sounds interesting, I’ll have to try that now!

  4. cathyandchucky August 14, 2013 at 01:46 #

    Yum! Gluten free is good for my partner so I will be making these for us both. Have a safe trip and a wonderful golden anniversary with your Mum and Dad 😀

    • Chica Andaluza August 14, 2013 at 09:10 #

      Yes, the gluten free was an added bonus1 Looking forward to seeing the family 🙂

  5. Michelle August 14, 2013 at 02:14 #

    I love socca! And have some chickpea flour that needs to be used. Safe travels!

  6. ChgoJohn August 14, 2013 at 06:07 #

    I’ve not heard of socca but know enough that if you say something is delicious, Tanya, it most certainly is! Now I have to see if I can find some chickpea flour. I hope you and Big Man have a safe trip and wonderful time in your home away from home. Buon viaggio!

    • Chica Andaluza August 14, 2013 at 11:40 #

      Funnily enough when I looked it up on Wikipedia it says it’s of Italian origin and is call Farinata! I am going to try it with ordinary flour too – am guessing it will be like a tortilla with lots of olive oil 🙂 Just packing and starting to load the car for an early start tomorrow. Even the pups have had their personal visit from the vet to make sure their passports are all in order 🙂

  7. Food,Photography & France August 14, 2013 at 08:50 #

    I’ve eaten socca from street vendors in Nice and loved it. Never thought of making it, but that’s changed now. Have a good trip:)

    • Chica Andaluza August 14, 2013 at 11:38 #

      It was so easy, have now made it several times as we’re a bit hooked. Will wave as we skirt round your region on Friday!

  8. thecompletecookbook August 14, 2013 at 09:55 #

    I knew I should have brought more besan back with me from Mauritius! Can’t believe I cannot get it here, along with 00 flour it seems! The “disadvantages” of living in a small town I guess.
    🙂 Mandy xo

    • Chica Andaluza August 14, 2013 at 11:41 #

      What a shame! I can’t get 00 flour here either so I just use regular flour instead.

  9. TBM August 14, 2013 at 12:14 #

    These sound good! Have a great trip and safe travels.

    • Chica Andaluza August 14, 2013 at 17:50 #

      Thank you – I hear the weather is going to be lovely, so that’s a bonus!

  10. themateriallady August 14, 2013 at 12:24 #

    How does everything you show here look so delicious? I will have to look out for this flour next time I am in Birmingham (lots of more ‘difficult to find’ ingredients are easy there with its fabulous mixed population!)
    Safe journey, and enjoy the party 🙂

    • Chica Andaluza August 14, 2013 at 17:51 #

      Oh yes, you’d have no problem tracking it down there. Probably comes in way too big bags! Thanks for the kind words and good wishes 🙂

  11. con jamón spain August 14, 2013 at 13:35 #

    Having successfully made pizza out of the flour bought here, we’ll definitely try this – thanks.

  12. TheDorsetFinca August 14, 2013 at 15:04 #

    I have never tried these but am always up for pancakes in their different varieties… Will definitely have to give these a go!

    • Chica Andaluza August 14, 2013 at 17:52 #

      They’re sort of a cross between a thick pancake and a kind of roti – we really loved them!

  13. Karen August 14, 2013 at 15:58 #

    I haven’t had socca since last in Nice and have never made it…must give it a try. Have a wonderful time in England enjoying the last of summer. 🙂

    • Chica Andaluza August 14, 2013 at 17:53 #

      I don’t think I had ever tried them but the sound of them really appealed and I’m so glad I’ve now “discovered” them! Looking forward to our trip (just taking a little break from getting organised) and I think the weather is going to be lovely 🙂

  14. abrooke65 August 14, 2013 at 18:29 #

    Que rico! This looks really good! Sometimes the simplest things are the best.

    • Chica Andaluza August 14, 2013 at 20:48 #

      I was so surprised, mind you, tortillitas de camarones are one step ahead of these!

  15. restlessjo August 14, 2013 at 22:54 #

    You mentioned prawns but they’re not in the recipe, Tanya?
    Take good care. I’ll try to keep the weather going for you. 🙂

    • Chica Andaluza August 14, 2013 at 23:07 #

      The prawns are in another (Spanish) recipe Tortillitas de Camarones which uses chick pea flour as the base for a batter and teeny tiny prawns about the size of the white of a fingernail which are used whole in their tiny soft shells with parsley and garlic. So…a little different from socca but they share a similar base with the flour 🙂 Will have to post a recipe for the Tortillitas soon!

      • restlessjo August 14, 2013 at 23:15 #

        You mentioned them. If only I paid attention! Safe journey 🙂

      • marieryanconnolly August 15, 2013 at 16:01 #

        please let me know the tortilla de camarones. I am dying to try that one!

      • Chica Andaluza August 19, 2013 at 18:16 #

        Will make some when I get back to Spain – promise!

  16. Rufus' Food and Spirits Guide August 15, 2013 at 01:45 #

    Simple recipes do make some magic don’t they. These look great.

  17. Calico Stretch August 16, 2013 at 12:13 #

    Happy travels ….

  18. Michelle Elle August 19, 2013 at 09:01 #

    I had no idea chickpea flour existed! It sounds fantastic, as I’ve been wanting to find a way to make wheat-less tortillas (the Latin American kind). Do they sell garbanzo flour in the U.K. as well?

    Happy anniversary to your parents, and enjoy the English summer with your family! 🙂 The weather here’s been glorious! Even this California gal is happy 😉

    • Chica Andaluza August 19, 2013 at 18:17 #

      Michi – is that you?! Hope all is well with you and D-Man! Chickpea flour is easy to buy in England as it is used a lot in Indian cooking – it’s called gram flour here. We’re here in England now and enjoying time with the family 🙂 Do let us know your news….

      • Michelle Elle August 19, 2013 at 18:44 #

        Hi! 🙂 Yes, it’s me! I’ve moved over to a new domain since my last one was hacked into. I’m grabbing this one with both hands this time!

        Thank you! Gram flour – I’ll look for it.

        D-Man and I have just moved again. We’ve been in Cambridge two weeks now! Are you and Big Man nearby?

      • Chica Andaluza August 19, 2013 at 20:21 #

        How wonderful – and how exciting to be in Cambridge! We’re in Bexhill which is a little seaside town on the south coast, so a good few hours away from you. We’re here for 2-3 weeks but will be back in the autumn for 3-4 months…maybe one day we’ll meet up! Do hope life is treating you both well 🙂

  19. Peri's Spice Ladle August 19, 2013 at 19:10 #

    Oh, these pancakes look yummy and simple enough to make:) Having just visited Rajasthan, I must mention their high use of chickpea flour in Rajathani food, the delightful ‘Gatte’ are chickpea flour dumplings with many uses in curries…It’s is a great gluten-free option!

    • Chica Andaluza August 19, 2013 at 20:22 #

      I love chickpea flour just because I adore the taste. Would love to try those dumplings 🙂

  20. Tandy | Lavender and Lime August 20, 2013 at 08:14 #

    Travel safely and congratulations to your parents! Thanks for a recipe I can use for my chick pea flour 🙂

    • Chica Andaluza August 20, 2013 at 09:07 #

      Thanks Tandy and hope you enjoy the socca as much as we did!

  21. Sartenada August 22, 2013 at 08:27 #

    Excellent question!

  22. Barbara Bamber | justasmidgen August 23, 2013 at 18:41 #

    I’ll have to find some chickpea flour.. these look and sound too good to miss out on! Have a lovely trip and enjoy your last few English summer weeks.. it sounds heavenly!! xx

  23. Rachel August 25, 2013 at 15:38 #

    This is good and easy – I’ve made them in a skillet. Tastes like summer! Mmmmm…. Enjoy your family time!

  24. Promenade Claire August 25, 2013 at 18:52 #

    Ooooo I always have chick pea flour in, as you say for Indian dishes, now I have an excuse to try something else and not have to have the oven on 🙂
    safe travlels and hope to see you x

    • Chica Andaluza August 29, 2013 at 23:15 #

      Thanks Claire – we’re heading back to Spain next week but we’ll be back soon and have a proper catch up (and maybe finally get to that Indian restaurant)!

  25. dedy oktavianus pardede August 30, 2013 at 11:35 #

    Can i making this with canned chickpea???

    • Chica Andaluza September 1, 2013 at 04:59 #

      I don’t think it would work as you need a dry flour – perhaps you could grind dried chick peas if you can get them? But it’s always worth trying to puree canned ones and seeing how it turns out!

  26. narf77 September 1, 2013 at 08:43 #

    Sometimes the simpler something is the better it tastes. Have a ball, see you when you decide to return tanned, sozzled and ready to chat 🙂

    • Chica Andaluza September 2, 2013 at 13:08 #

      Thanks narf77 – we’ll be back Up the Mountain next weekend!

      • narf77 September 2, 2013 at 20:35 #

        Have a fantastic time when you get there and cheers for the socca recipe by the way YUUUUUM!!!! 🙂

      • Chica Andaluza September 3, 2013 at 16:00 #

        We’re having a lovely time!

  27. bitsandbreadcrumbs September 1, 2013 at 17:04 #

    I have made socca once before, but the recipe was a bit different and I like the looks of yours much better! I will bookmark it and give this a try very soon…have some chickpea flour in the pantry already. The aubergines look amazing, too. Hope you have a lovely trip and an even lovelier celebration with your folks, Tanya!

    • Chica Andaluza September 2, 2013 at 13:22 #

      It was so easy and so very good! We are having a lovely trip 🙂


  1. And when she got there, the cupboard was bare….Olive Oil Tortillas | Chica Andaluza - September 8, 2013

    […] a delicious gluten free bread/wrap, take a look at my Socca […]

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