How to make healthy choices every day

Genius Chickpea Tofu


As someone who eats a predominantly plant-based diet, you can imagine that I’ve enjoyed a long history of consuming soy-based foods. When I became a vegetarian at 16 and vegan thereafter, there wasn’t the variety of plant-based protein foods readily available as there are these days, nor was I educated about alternatives to meat back then. Soy became my answer and my replacement for everything from dairy to eggs to chicken nuggets (eew). Before I knew it, I was eating some form of soy up to three or four times a day, when things started to get weird. Without going into too much detail I’ll just say that my PMS and menstrual issues became incredibly, ahem, challenging. I didn’t even like being around me. Period.

Once I started studying holistic nutrition, I began to think that perhaps my issues lay in the hands of the health food industry’s little darling. Yes, soy. Seeing as I was really grooving on being a human guinea pig while studying, I decided to give up the soy for other foods, such as hemp, chia, nuts, seeds, leafy green, other legumes just to see what would happen. Call it a coincidence, but after a couple months, my symptoms started to clear up and I returned to my regular, only slightly neurotic self, every 28 days. Did I miss tofu? Actually, yes. And I still do from time to time, which is why I’m pretty darn excited to share this recipe with you today. A recipe for tofu, made from chickpeas.


But first, let’s discuss soy. I’ve gotten a lot of emails and inquiries from many of you regarding this topic, because soy and soy foods are drowning in controversy these days. What is all the fuss about? Well, there are two schools of thought: one being that soy is a highly valuable source of plant-based protein because it is complete (meaning that it contains all essential amino acids). The other school of thought is that soy is “bad”, or even harmful for you if it is not fermented.

This brings up a good point, and it’s great to hear that more people are turning toward fermented foods, especially legumes and grains. But the idea that unfermented soy is downright dangerous to eat is blowing things a little out of proportion if you ask me. If we are going down that road, then we also have to say that all legumes, grains, nuts and seeds are harmful if not fermented. The process of fermentation neutralizes some of the naturally occurring phytic acid (a compound that binds to minerals in the digestive tract making them difficult to absorb), while breaking down some the hard-to-digest proteins. Soy actually contains less phytic acid than some of its vegetable counterparts, like flax, sesame, Brazil nuts, and pinto beans. This is why soaking legumes, grains, nuts and seeds before eating them is important for better digestion, nutrient assimilation, and therefore overall health. That is a statement I can get behind.

Fermented soy foods include tempeh, miso, and naturally brewed soy sauces, like tamari. I for one have been eating fermented soy foods exclusively for the past few years just because I feel better eating that way. I also choose non-GMO and organic soy because I support those agricultural practices.

In conclusion, I will say that eating any food in balance is okay, as long as it is minimally processed. That definitely excludes tofu chicken nuggets, soy cheese, soy eggs, and even most soymilk (always check the ingredient list – some brands are good and some contain a laundry list of un-pronounceables). My rule of thumb with any food, is that if you can’t make it at home, don’t eat it. Although tofu and tempeh are bit of an ordeal to make yourself, I’ve done it and it is possible. Tofu chicken nuggets? Good luck with that one.


Okay, onto the Chickpea Tofu! Although this stuff is pretty genius, I am not the genius who came up with it. It’s a traditional food originally from Burma, and often referred to as Burmese tofu or Shan tofu (here’s the original recipe I followed). It is easy to make with just a few basic ingredients and is a tasty, soy-free alternative to regular tofu that I think will be on the regular rotation in my kitchen.

I think the really surprising thing about Chickpea Tofu is its texture. It is lusciously creamy and silky, not unlike silken tofu in fact. It is delicate yet firm, and kind of melts in your mouth. I’ve found it works really well fresh in salads (a traditional way of serving it), and in soups. This way you can really enjoy its unique consistency. I liked the it in a simple miso-ginger broth with a few rice noodles swirling around too. I’ve even seen recipes online for “egg salad” sandwiches and coconut curries. Yum!

The downside of Chickpea Tofu is that it doesn’t do all the things that tofu can do. It doesn’t fry very well (deep fried however, I’m sure would be ah-mazing), nor can you really bake it to crisp up as I had hoped. But, I am pretty new at this game and looking forward to trying out more recipes with it. If anyone out there really knows how else to work with Chickpea Tofu, please clue me in down below in the comments section! I am so curious to learn more.


Some thoughts on the recipe…
You can purchase chickpea flour at most health food stores, but it is also available (and tends to be much cheaper) at ethnic grocery stores. Chickpea four is also called garbanzo bean flour, gram flour, and cici flour. It also falls under the name besan, an Indian flour made from both chickpeas and yellow split peas. This will work just fine for the recipe.

I think making a half batch of this would be a good idea. This made so much tofu that I had to freeze the majority of it, and I have no idea what it will be like after thawing.

I used turmeric in my recipe, which is a traditional ingredient for colour. This is optional but gives the tofu a lovely golden hue. I also added garlic powder – a decidedly untraditional ingredient but I am really happy that I did because it gave the tofu a mellow garlicky flavour, which I love. This is also optional.

The salad in the top photo was a very quick dish I threw together to enjoy the tofu with, and it turned out so well I thought I should share it with you. I took the dressing from this recipe and combined it with shredded purple cabbage, spring onion, and plenty of cilantro. Later in the evening for dinner, I tossed the leftovers together with brown rice pad thai noodles, and it went over very well with the husband. He said it tasted better than junk food, which, coming from him, is the biggest compliment ever.

Update: A couple of you have asked if this tofu freezes well. It’s okay if you want to defrost it and put it into a soup or stew, but not great for anything else, as once the water content melts, so does the tofu, or rather, it totally collapses. I liked it in a chili, as it kind of melted into the whole thing and just thickened it up. Hope that helps!


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In other news, I am thrilled to mention that I’ve been nominated again this year for the Saveur Best Food Blog Awards! Super cool. And congrats to the other nominees in my category of “Special Diets” – what an honor to be in your company! If you’ve been enjoying My New Roots in the past year, show some love and vote for me (scroll down to the bottom of the page to the last category). Thank you a ton for your support. I’m still wild about writing this blog and it feels good knowing you’re wild about reading it.

Hugs and Chickpea Tofu,
Sarah B.

171 thoughts on “Genius Chickpea Tofu”

  • I pan-fried the tofu (I tossed it with a little cornstarch first) and then froze it, and it defrosted really well. After I defrosted it I toasted it under the broiler for a few minutes, and then put it into a curry, and it didn’t dissolve at all! It held its shape completely, even though I boiled it in the sauce , and then left the leftovers in the fridge for a couple days. The frying/toasting/cornstarch combination seemed to really do the trick. I make this all the time, and love adding different spices to it for different recipes!

  • Anyone know why my chickpea tofu is always kinda soggy? no matter how little or how much water I use it always sticks to my knife or hands, the outside might dry out and by touchable but the inside is not firm in anyway and just falls apart and turns into slop when I try to cook it

    • HI kelly,

      Like I mention in the post, you cannot cook with the tofu really – it becomes too soft, and just falls apart. It sounds like many people have experienced this, so check back through the comments for troubleshooting with this one!

      I hope that helps 🙂
      Sarah B

  • Let me help everyone at home. I make this at work for a salad topping. This method is going to be way easier, all you need is an immersion blender.

    Boil 4 cups water.
    Add 2 cups garbanzo flour, whatever spices you would like, and whisk.
    Turn to low heat, and use the immersion blender until it is smooth and the raw flour taste is cooked out.
    Pour into a mold and let chill 5 or 6 hours.

  • I found that this recipe had way to much water and Im in dry Colorado! I just made it for the first time and did two extra soaking rounds with tea towels and then put it in the oven on a low temperature for about 40min to dry it out. I also let it sit for the rest of the day (8hrs?) after baking it dry. Now it is super delicious and not a gooey wet chunk. I would recommend making it with less water, or after letting it sit 12 hours taking out an additional 2 cups of water to insure a firm chickpea “tofu” I will be trying it again soon with this variation. Any suggestions other then using less water, anyone else experience this?

    • I make this regularly and this is way too much water. I just take 1 cup of chickpea flour with 1 cup of water, and mix well. Bring two cups of water to a boil and then add in the flour and water combo. Stir till it’s thick, and pour into your mold.

  • Thank you for this great recipe… just wondering what is the purpose of the 15cups of water and then discarding 6 cups the next morning? is there a reason not to just use 9 cups of water?

  • I have chickpeas but not chickpea flour. I know I could probably go the extra mile and make chickpea flour, but I’m wondering if I can make this with soaked, ground chickpeas? I’m going to try tomorrow. If you have any suggestions or measurements, feel free to share!

  • could you please comment on the carb content of this tofu (relative to regular tofu and / or seitan)?
    I’m looking for a non-soy vegan-protein source with very low carbs

  • Hello, Good article! So eating organic tofu now and then is fine from a health viewpoint? I was reading all of the controversial articles and stopped using it, then my doctor said that it is basically a bean and totally find to consume in moderation, like all other foods, and have a variety of plant based eating choices. So you agree, it has been blown out of poportion that it needs to be fermented? Than kyou

    • In many Asian countries people eat lots of tofu and live long healthy lives. Contrary to some of the information floating around the internet, soy consumption in Asia is NOT mostly fermented soy. In Japan it is 50% fermented at best; in China it is maybe 10% fermented. The one caution about soy is to avoid GMO soy and highly processed soy products as neither of these are natural foods. (GMO soy has a very different nutritional profile from non-GMO soy.)

  • This looks like a wonderful alternative to soy. I was a bit concerned to read how long it takes but hopefully it is worth it. I will try the recipe soon. I would love to use this on salads and I like to add turmeric to foods too so this chickpea tofu should be perfect.

    • No it doesn’t, you can leave it out – there is a regional Italian version of this, from Liguria, called panissa – it does not have oil nor turmeric, just water, chickpea flour and salt.

  • Thank you. Found this very simple and versatile recipe years ago and just by chance saw your professional looking creation. You probably find that just adding less water it becomes easier to saute. After making your tofu cut into thick strips or squares and lay in sesame seeds with a touch of lemon grass infused water, lime juice, hot sauce and coat each piece. Fry delicious.

  • Dear Sarah,

    I admire you for writing these posts not only because of the amazing and healthy recipes you provide us with, but also for giving us a view at a nutritional and scientific side of things. I’m no nutritionist, however I also think that all plant based foods that have not been processed in any strange way can be enjoyed in moderation. And this all comes down to the theory that a balanced, plant based and various diet is the best thing we could do for ourselves; without avoidance of specific ingredients and counting calories.


  • Here in France (in the south of France), we call that “chickpea tofu”, panisse when it’s thick and socca when it’s very thin and cooked in a large pan in the oven or even better on a wood fire. It’s very traditional and famous in the region of Nice.
    The panisse can be eaten plain, or you can choose to fry or deep fryed sticks of the preparation.

  • Hello Sarah,

    I spent a lot of time in Myanmar during my “hippie” days, and grew to love chickpea tofu. I had a craving for it the other day, and thanks to your recipes, I happily satisfied my needs. Thanks for posting.

  • hello. first time visitor to your interesting site. also about 95% vegetarian/vegan +/-. curious about the folks who were disappointed in the recipe and were unhappy about wasting the chickpea flour. i usually “recycle” my mistakes, i.e., .chickpea tofu—i would use it in a bean burger, or maybe add it to rice for cabbage rolls, or freeze portions to use as a chili thickener, etc., etc. so nothing gets wasted. idk. wadayathink?

    • For a salad
      2 tsp Sieved yoghurt (place it on top of tofu)
      A mixture of tamarind and palm sugar juice
      Crispy shallots and shallot oil but not much
      Mint and coriander or shaved fennel
      Fresh red chilli
      Roughly chopped peanuts

      Tofu can be deep fried and eat it with the same condiments mentioned about. But please make sure to eat yoghurt after to make yourself feel very comfortable.

  • Why is so much water required to begin with and then discarded?
    I use distilled water that I process myself and try to never waste any of it or use more than is absolutely necessary.
    It costs money in electricity even if one has a home distiller and wasting energy and money (I am poor) to make more distilled water than I actually need in a recipe, is not something I want to be doing.
    So I am thinking that maybe it would be better to start off with less water, minus the 6 cups, was it, that are later removed. Also I have split pea flour which is sold as protein powder in the U.S. and will be using it, and also olive oil since coconut oil is Not good for me at all.
    I also wonder about the idea someone mentioned on this thread about using a coagulant as one would with soy, which I also can not eat other than as pure wheat free tamari, soy causes some very interesting and unpleasant effects for me so I do not eat any other form of soy other than tamari which I can tolerate.
    Also, I have a lot of magnesium chloride which is in a very pure and liquid form and intended to be applied on the skin directly since the body is able to take up magnesium through the skin. I have a very large supply and think there must be other uses for it.
    I experiment a lot trying to find ways to make vegan cheeses since even soy cheese is something I can not eat!
    Any thoughts about using magnesium chloride which is what nigari is would be appreciated.

    • I agree, whether you are poor or rich, we have become so entitled in this country we think nothing at all about turning on our shiny little faucets and wasting clean water when it is so precious and rare around the world. There are FAR too many of us to continue to be so cavalier and distanced from reality. Easier to just turn on the TV and have another bag of chips, not my problem, eh? SAD

    • I made a half recipe of this tofu only using the water you end up with. So initially 1.5 cups chickpea flour and 3 cups water and worked it very well. It still makes a TON of tofu for this single girl—enough for 3-4 servings!

      I find the leftovers after storing them in the refrigerator for a day aren’t as tasty. I may try leaving it at room temperature after the initial meal and only making 2 servings with 1 cup flour or just saving the recipe for a luncheon with friends.

  • I wanted to know about the frozen tofu in the refrig, so I emailed Sarah inquiring about her health as maybe she’s been sick. Mikkel responding saying she is well, doing a lot of cooking. See the update above that she posted. It has no date: but she did post it in her blog as some assumed she didn’t respond.
    I have posted her update again below.
    Update: A couple of you have asked if this tofu freezes well. It’s okay if you want to defrost it and put it into a soup or stew, but not great for anything else, as once the water content melts, so does the tofu, or rather, it totally collapses. I liked it in a chili, as it kind of melted into the whole thing and just thickened it up. Hope that helps!

  • It is sad to see that the author has not bothered since posting this recipe to have come back to answer questions from people who want to make this. Is it possible for the author to read the comments and give some answers, especially this one from October 2015 in regard to how the frozen product turned out.

  • In Palermo (Sicily), since ancient times, one of the undisputed specialties is panella (Chickpea Fritters, Chickpea Tofu) made of chickpea flour, seasoned with garlic and herbs, cooked like a polenta, chilled, and then cut into thick cubes or slices that are fried in a little olive oil. Eaten as ‘street food’ or as a snack, make wonderful antipasto or hors d’oeuvre, great served as a sandwich, served as an entree or as a side, et cetera. Since ancient times, panella, as grown in popularity, and is served all over Italy. I have added sautéed spinach (and other veggies) to the batter to make wonderful variations. Since I am vegan, I do add nutritional yeast flakes to the batter at least. In addition, nutritional yeast flakes can be used for breading.

  • I have a slab of yellow tofu in my fridge. Genius indeed!
    This turned out exactly as shown – it required serious whisking after adding the sludge, as it thickened straightaway 🙂 I used besan flour. My husband wasn’t keen on the slight pea smell from the split peas, but I think we can find gram flour readily enough.
    Now, what to do with said slab..?
    P.S. I might reduce the quantity in future, as this makes A LOT.

  • Has anyone had success with trying olive oil insteadof coconut oil/ghee? I’m interestedin trying this but my family isn’t keen on either ingredient.

    • I just read another recipe much the same as this, except using olive oil, so I would say yes it can be switched out.

  • Will cooking the mixture longer give the finished product a more firm texture? Mine came out like a pile of mush…. I followed the recipe to a T!!! thanks! 🙂

    • Yes! If you stir while heating until the mixture is quite stiff, the resulting tobu once it has been left to cool will be very firm and smooth, a consistency between cheese and tofu.
      This is actually called tobu in Myanmar. It is not tofu and there’s no need to call it Burmese tofu simply because of its similarity to tofu.
      This is tobu. And it’s always quite firm in Burma. They make a mushy version and that is called tobu nhway

  • I just made this followed exactly, however I am left with a very mushy “silky” falling apart product. I read some of the other comments about oven/stovetop temps. If I try it again, do you think cooking it longer will make it firmer? Thanks all!

    • If you stir while heating until the mixture is quite stiff, the resulting tobu once it has been left to cool will be very firm and smooth, a consistency between cheese and tofu.
      This is actually called tobu in Myanmar. It is not tofu and there’s no need to call it Burmese tofu simply because of its similarity to tofu.
      This is tobu. And it’s always quite firm in Burma. They make a mushy version and that is called tobu nhway

  • I just made this chickpea tofu, and will review it on my blog next week as part of my My New Roots 21 Day challenge – but let me just say that this stuff is genius!! Just had this on salad but I honestly would just eat it from the bowl it’s that good. I’m interested to try frying it up, to see what else it can do! Stay tuned 🙂

  • If you coat the chickpea tofu in cornmeal, flour, or egg whites, you may be able to fry it up. The chickpea water that was discarded may be used for fermenting other foods or can be made into chickpea cheese using nutrional yeast and a thickener, so that nothing is wasted. IMO, Tofu and/or soy foods are fine to eat so long as they have been prepared properly…with proper soaking, dehulling, and cooking…and is particularly beneficial to older women who need the phytoestrogens.

  • What exactly does one do with this after making it? If it cannot be baked or fried, then what? How does one serve and/or eat it?

      • Yes, Burmese tofu is referred to as tofu, but I suspect that what Trutharian is getting at is that Chinese soya tofu is firm by virtue of protein/fat coagulation due to the addition of a coagulant followed by pressing to remove water such that almost no starch, or any other carb, remains. By contrast, the firming of Burmese tofu would appear to be starch-based, as no coagulant is used and the protein and fat contents are considerably lower than in soybeans, while the starch content is considerably higher (USDA values below). And, if I am not mistaken, no water is pressed out.

        What I would like to see is an attempt to make tofu from chickpea “milk” (prepared as for soy milk) using one or more of the coagulants that are used for regular tofu, followed by pressing. If a coagulant were to work as for soy, the yield of chickpea tofu (based on its protein/fat content) would presumably be lower than for soy due to the lower protein/fat content of chickpeas and the loss of most of the starch and other carbs.

        From USDA data:
        Raw dry chickpea: 19% protein, 6% fat, 61% carbs (~33% starch, calc’d by me as total carb minus sugars and fiber)
        Raw dry soybean: 36% protein, 20% fat, 30% carbs (~14% starch, calc’d by me as total carb minus sugars and fiber)

        Thanks for posting the recipe, and best regards.

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  • Thank you so much! Soy started giving me throat constriction almost two years ago, & I’ve missed it a lot. Then, I found various soy alternatives (like coconut aminos instead of soy sauce, etc.), but I didn’t know of a tofu replacement! I’m looking forward to trying this!!

  • My initial thought on seeing the photo was POLENTA! rather than tofu, but there you go – so am disappointed it won’t act like corn-meal and re-fry or bake. However a very useful recipe, thanks. BTW the BEST reason for grating in some fresh turmeric if you can get it is how good it is for you, excellent anti-inflammatory properties; I’m always looking for opportunities to include it in a recipe.

  • I agree with you on Kath, people don’t realise what harm plastic & non organic food does to your body! Great recipe Sarah, I will be trying it out! You are funny! I rarely leave comments on blogs but this was worth one☺️

  • Making this now, why do you need to discard some of the water after its sat for 12 hours?? Is it not edible!?? Cheers

  • Hey there, and thank you for an inventive recipe. I made the recipe this weekend, and followed instructions to my best ability. My four year old helped me by stirring whilst the brew simmered. I didn’t have a successful firm slab of tofu, tho.

    I wonder if I did something incorrect: when I added the chickpea sludge my brew didn’t “immediately thicken”. In fact, it didn’t begin to thicken until after about 8 minutes of cooking/constantly stirring. Also, I didn’t use a whisk for this step. I used a spatula. Could this’ve been the problem?

    When I attempt recipe again, does anyone have suggestions for me? During step 3 should I cook longer than 30minutes? Should I really let the brew get small bubbles (I consider simmering to have small bubbles on top)?

    Maybe spreading mixture into a larger pan would help? I used an ever-so-slightly oval shaped pottery casserole dish that was about 6″x11″.

    I will attempt to turn the mixture into chickpea pancakes. Or, I might bake it.

    Thanks, one and all.

  • And has anyone tried a 100% yellow split pea version? Grinding your own split peas -much cheaper in the UK than even cici flour from an ethnic supermarket, well, at least the one in Leeds that is called Cici.
    What was the result of using olive oil? It doesn’t solidify at room temperatures like coconut oil can. In fact, in the UK, I have never seen liquid coconut oil

  • Anyone any ideas on what the 12 hour soak would do to the phytic acid, (I do it with with my oatmeal)?
    And the poster who said that hers smelt yeasty – that is a sign of fermentation. Did it affect the taste? Make it taste like sourdough bread?All foods can ferment, given the right conditions and time. Its only since people stopped making their own bread using their own sourdough starter that people started thinking of such food as “Off”.
    Rest assured that, now I finally found this, that I will be working on a “Beanese” fermented version

  • Sarah,

    Its interesting . Have you tried Khandvi, Handvo(baked), dokla (steamed) all are gujarathi Indian dishes, You can also use chickpea flour as an alternative to soap which they always do for small kids and adults instead of soap .

  • If the texture is like silken tofu then I wonder if it would work in this vegan whipped cream: as a soy-free version. You’ll have to leave out the garlic (I highly doubt that would be a good flavor to have in a whipped chream LOL). Not sure if the turmeric in this tofu recipe would give the whipped cream an odd flavor or not. Guess we’ll have to experiment 😀

  • Could someone post a list of nutritional values per weight or cup? I would especially like to know the amount of protein and calorie count.

    • I used the recipe builder on the weight watchers e-tools and found out the total number of points in the whole recipe, which is 28 points (25 points for the chickpea flour, 2 points for the coconut oil, and 1 point for the turmeric, everything else in the recipe is 0 points). Since the recipe doesn’t specify how much tofu this makes I can’t calculate what the points per unit (be the unit in question servings, pounds, ounces, etc.)

      Coconut oil is a fat (14 grams of fat per tablespoon, no protein or carbs or fiber)

      chickpea flour has 6 grams of fat, 53 grams of total carbs, 10 grams of fiber, 10 grams of sugar, and 21 grams of protein in a 92 gram serving according to this:

      so that should give you pretty much all the nutritional information you need (the rest is just water and flavorings/seasonings

  • Have followed a similar sounding recipe for chickpea chips – deep fried and AMAZING! They go down really well with just about anyone.

  • Dear Sarah,

    that looks great – do you think this might also work with mung beans? If you grind them into a flour and proceed as with the chickpea flour?

    All the very best,

    Lady Monatgu

  • This looks interesting! I love tofu and I also think people demonise soy because they’re misinformed and unaware that the issue is not with the beans (it’s just a bean!) but rather with us messing about it’s properties. The issues is with soy in processed food, not soy itself.

  • I made the chickpea tofu, and was very pleased! I too, am avoiding soy. I have never cared for the “green” taste of most brands, but my husband really missed some of his favorite recipes. To my surprise there was no “green” taste and I liked it much better. It also makes my husband’s “Nutty butter pudding” with almond butter, almond milk and sweetener, and great smoothies with yogurt and fruit. So far that’s all I have tried, but still have a list to complete. Thanks for another great recipe!

  • I am very bummed. I waited over a month to make this, I have a 6 month old who is getting over whooping cough so planning 12 hours plus 8 in advance was a lot to hope for. Anyway, I finally went ahead and made it, beginning last night. I halved the recipe. it does not work halved. I did not want to waste 3 cups of chickpea flour if I did not like it. What I got out of this is OK, but no where near worth the effort or not looks anything like the results shown in the photos and with no good flavor there is no point in trying again. The cooking time has to be greatly adjusted but since I had never made this before I would not know how much. I even shorten the cooking time and it is playdough and edible, but barley. I usually do not decide to not make a recipe based on one bad experience, but 20 plus hours it too much time to not like something and try it again.

    • So you didn’t follow the recipe, tried to adjust it to fit your needs, and then complain about it being bad? Whose fault is that again?

      • Darren… wanted to let you know I was glad to see Sophia’s post. The recipe specficially suggests making a half recipe, which I probably would do as well since I live alone. I don’t think she was ascribing blame, just feeling really disappointed that the recipe did not turn out well. Sounded like a busy and tired momma with a recently sick child who just wanted this to work for her… and it didn’t.

      • I agree with Patti. I think Sophia was merely expressing her disappointment with something she had high hopes for. I can completely relate. As someone with a very young child myself, know all too well just how trying it can be to make healthful meals that my whole family will eat, not just something a picky toddler will eat. It’s especially tough to nourish yourself when you’re sleep deprived and caring for a very sick child, as MANY parents will attest to. It’s a tough balance for some of us to make healthy choices for ourselves and our children without caving into convenience foods that make mealtimes so much easier. Food is also really expensive for some of us, so investing a lot of precious much time in making food that didn’t turn out is hugely disappointing.

  • I have just stumbled across your blog looking for a lentil salad recipe (going to make your Best Lentil Salad Ever! recipe tonight and can’t wait..). This chickpea tofu also looks fantastic! I am a naturopath and nutritionist, and like you, I get a lot of questions about soy – is it good for you? Or is it just plain evil??? I just wanted to say thank you to you for your balanced viewpoint – this is exactly what I tell my clients and students. Stick with the traditional, non-processed, preferably fermented stuff. As far as estrogens go, if people are worried about soy (which contains very weak acting phytoestrogens as do linseeds, sprouts, all other legumes and green leafy vegetables) they should actually be far more worried about the meat, plastic and non-organic food they eat which is full of the much more harmful xeno-estrogens! Anyway, thanks once again for your wonderful blog – I can’t wait to try out some of your recipes 🙂

  • So, this was delicious! Just a heads up though: does NOT freeze well. I ended up with dry spunges with a faint turmeric flavor. Umm, no thank you.

  • Hi Sara! i know this recipe not as chickpea tofu but as a kind of italian pizza called “farinata” – they make it and serv it hot in slices just like pizza- i make mine with mushroom toping and its an easy family dinner
    love your blog!!

  • Hi Sara,thank you ever so much for your blog on how to make Chickpea Tofu. I was born and
    grew up in Burma.I’ve been experiencing a lot of health issues lately and as such I’ve switched from eating animal protein to Soya based protein.Commercially produced Tofu being top of the list.I used to eat Chickpea Tofu which is called Tohu in Burmese and salad made from it is called Tohudok,while I was still in Burma till 1968.Here in Germany it is unheard of and Tofu made of sojabeans is the only alternative.Since soya tend to be a GMO
    food product I will be making Chickpeatofu at home and will enjoy eating it like in old times.Thank you again.

  • I just finished making this, is it supposed to smell kind of ferment-y/unpleasant during the process/when it’s finished? I’m not sure if I messed something up somehow because the texture is also a little more grainy than silky. I’ll have to try again! I’m not sure what went wrong with mine but I love the idea of chickpea tofu

  • Just tried the recipe…. came out exactly as you wrote. It is delicious. I can just keep eating it for the whole week – the quantity is a lot but it is great for trying out with different things. I am going to try using it in a couple of other recipes and see if that works – will keep you informed if it comes out good. THANKS!!!!

  • My family and I really enjoyed the chickpea tofu, and a half batch was enough to feed the four of us for supper with some left over. In my hands, the tofu came out on the firm side–more like extra firm soy tofu–which worked out fine. I used the besan which I happened to have on hand, and my measuring was probably a bit generous.

  • I still enjoy the occasional tofu meal, but I did swap almond milk for soy milk several years ago, and processed foods were never a big part of my diet. I guess 28 years ago, there was no need for all of that fake meat. My pediatrician said eat beans–and there are dozens (if not more) of those! That said, I love exploring ethnic cuisines like Burmese, and Naomi Duguid’s excellent Burma features Shan tofu. You can even slice it into thin strips and eat like noodles!

  • Hi there! I’m definitely going to try this recipe. And conveniently enough I have red cabbage in the fridge too. I’d like to recreate that yummy looking salad you photographed, because I’m not sure how else to incorporate it into things until I try it. I’m sorry if you’ve posted the recipe before, but would you mind sharing it (like what dressing and such you used)? Thank you!

  • I made a half batch, and it is completely delicious! I used it in a kale salad yesterday, and I am thinking of trying it in a curry sauce today.
    One tip- the half batch doesn’t seem to need near the cooking time recommended, barely 20 minutes really. And it still makes a fair amount, too.
    Thankyou for a lovely recipe!

  • your blog is a delight! uplifts me every time. i voted for you! hope you win 🙂 wishing you goodness.

  • This post is awesome on so many different levels. First, soy has always seemed to affect me in some negative capacity, but I’ve missed the flavor and texture. Second, I absolutely adore chickpea anything, so I’m excited to see it used here. C, you’re just freakin’ funny. 🙂

  • Hi, Sarah,
    I just found your blog and love this idea. However I am confused on number 2 of the directions. It says: “Carefully pour in the remaining liquid….” What remaining liquid. I am very confused by this. The recipe seems easy to make but I just don’t understand what you mean by chickpea sludge and the remaining liquid. Can you pretty please go into more detail about this so I can make it? Anyone else confused by this or know what she means. Please help! Thanks!

    • The line you are reading is number 3 of the recipe. Number 2 is…

      2. In the morning, without moving the pot, carefully remove 6 cups of water from the top of the mixture with a ladle, and discard.
      3. In a medium stockpot, melt the oil over medium heat. Carefully pour in the remaining liquid, without disturbing the bottom too much (what you’ll be left with is a thick chickpea sludge, which will be used as the thickening agent)……


  • Congrats on the nomination! I am happy to read your sane assessment of soy. My dad is Japanese and tofu is an incredibly nutritious part of traditional meals, rich in protein and calcium, that people have been enjoying for generations. Everyone’s body is unique and different and responds differently to foods. For example, I’m allergic to peanuts, but tofu feels good to my body. I often feel that food trends, including fears, can be more harmful than just listening to your body and eating a varied and balanced diet. That said I am in awe of this chickpea tofu recipe! I will have to try it when I have a little more time on my hands. Thanks for a fascinating blog!

  • Thanks, Sarah, I have been staying away from soy for the same reasons for a few years and this is a great substitute, can’t wait to try.

  • WOW. Not to be incredibly dramatic but…you just blew my mind. I have been a vegetarian since 18 and like you, started eating a lot of nasty fake-meat soy because I didn’t know what else to do. Around 20 I developed a soy allergy which was really inconvenient.Since then I have gotten used to eating much much healthier and cooking without soy, but I crave meals with a tofu-like addition here and there. This recipe looks like it will fit that need and expand my recipe options by adding a protein source. Thank you!

  • Sarah, like many others, I follow your blog, your instagram, follow your knowledge and thoughts and aspire to transition from following to doing. living. being. You are not only and inspiration, but a teacher and reminder of the importance of caring for oneself by caring relationally with what one eats and where it comes from; and what purpose it serves in and out of, well, the belly. This particular post, however, made you very human to me…I feel silly even writing this, but here goes! I too am a chef from Canada, and someone whose relationship with food has evolved into what tastes good to people whom I will never see eat (ie: restaurant customers) to how can I help others better their relationship with food by attaching taste with health, flavour, and with understanding and gratitude. To distill my thoughts: as often as I have visited your site etc for advice or inspiration, it is this post in particular that made me smile. The balance of your humorous wit with your healthful integrity is the exact balance I try to live: playful yet aware. …..ok, so basically I love that you are down to earth in more than one sense: as a well grounded, honest, witty woman–and as an admirable gratuitous holistic chef who continually reminds me of the same wholesome feeling I got when I was an organic farmer and winery chef: that a meal should be as flavourful as the earth offered it as; that a meal is more than sustenance, but, nothing less, life. And life is funny. Thank you for inspiring balance and lightness. Because now, as a yoga instructor and food coach, I strive to do so too. peace, love, and so much humble gratitude.

  • Hi Sarah,
    Speaking of husband and junk food, i would love to hear you about how you manage your lifestyle every day with your husband. Does he eat same as you? Does he cooks? I find it not easy to deal with my boyfriend food choices!

  • Looks amazing, what a great share! Will be trying it, definitely. Makes me think of chickpea fry dough – the difference must be that this is more fully hydrated and therefore creamier? Will just have to try and see, I guess ; )

  • Wow, this sounds so unique and as a former soy consumer something I hope I get around to making. I think the husband will be quite pleased too (1. because he’s obsessed with legumes and 2. especially after your husband’s junk food comment!)

    ~Michelle xoxo 🙂

  • Hi Sarah!!
    I’ve been following your blog for months now and I just LOVE EVERY SINGLE POST! Your sense of humour, honest writing and mouth-watering, delicious, extraordinary, incredibly healthy recipes are always my first go – to place! I cannot wait to see your cookbook, I am so very looking forward to it!
    I was wondering if you could make the chickpea flour at home in a blender? I know you’ve posted an “It’s miller time!” article some time ago and I am always wondering if just blending the dried chickpeas really fine was the same deal as buying the packaged flour. Would love it if you’d answer! Keep up the great work – I’ll definitely be voting for you ! Love from Germany, Maike

  • Is it possible to make chick pea flour by grinding up chick peas in my vitamix blender? That is how I make most of the grain flours I use for recipes just wondered if it could be the same for chick pea flour as well. Thank you for the recipe. Can’t wait to try it!!


  • Congratulations on the nomination, no surprise there! Love this chickpea tofu idea AND the salad. I’m studying to be a holistic health coach so I really appreciate you addressing the soy debate and pointing out the difference between naturally process fermented soy products versus over-processed soy products where most of the good-for-you nutrients in soy have been stripped away!

  • Wow, thank you for bringing this recipe to us! I never thought of using chickpea flour in this way. I am going to try this (but cut the recipe in half). And, as always, your photos are stunning.

  • This is such a fun recipe! AND i have a huge bag of chickpea flour at home (of which I got very cheaply at a local ethnic market). Will definitely try this! Is the texture similar to tofu as well???

  • Ooh, another non-soya-eating vegetarian here, thinking YUM (and I’ve got chickpea flour in the cupboard…). I can’t tolerate dairy or coconut oil, though – guessing it’ll be OK to use olive oil?

  • I signed up JUST to vote for you! I personally believe you should be in the best photography category as well!

  • Hi Sarah, first of all – i love your blog! Everytime i see email in my postbox that means u posted a new recipe, both happy and thrilled!

    About the tofu- i have some gainng-on-weight-problems, so i need to be carefull with callories.
    How many callories does this appx contain?
    How much of this tofu can an adult, working out person it for lets say a lunch?

    Greetings from Norway,

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