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Dom's Fennel Seed Panelle

Panelle are traditional Italian street food snacks, popular in many different regions of the country and all have their own variations. This fritter is made from chickpea flour and can contain other ingredients like pea flour, eggs and cheese or herbs. It is commonly served between slices of bread or focaccia and offers a great alternative to meat in a sandwich. It is also delicious served with a seasonal veg stew. I have been testing many different variations, but for me the most basic recipe stands a strong favourite and also happens to be gluten free and vegan!


Line a baking tray with parchment and get a 2nd parchment sheet ready. Put both to one side.

Crush your cooked garlic cloves into a paste and put aside.

In a sauce pan, slightly toast the fennel seeds in the olive oil, you will smell them become fragrant when they’re ready.

In the meantime whisk the, crushed garlic, salt, vegetable stock and the chickpea flour together until it becomes a smooth batter without lumps, then pour the mixture straight into your pan with the fennel seeds.

Keep stirring vigorously while the mixture comes up to a simmer and continue to do so until the batter thickens. Pour the thickened batter straight onto the baking tray lined with parchment and press down using the second sheet of parchment to flatten and shape the panelle. It will only take about 10 minutes for the panelle to fully set.

Once set, cut into portions as desired, heat up a dash oil in a frying pan to a medium heat and then fry the panelle until it’s golden and crispy on the outside and fluffy in the centre.

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For 4 generous servings:

20ml good olive oil and some oil for frying the panelle

1.2 litres flavoursome well-seasoned vegetable stock (cold or room temperature)

400g chickpea flour (or a 50/50 blend with yellow pea flour)

4 teaspoons fennel seeds

4 cloves of roasted or boiled garlic

Salt to taste

This recipe is taken from...

River Cottage HQ