Chickpea Tofu Recipe

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This plant-based, 3-ingredient, chickpea tofu is packed with protein but low in fat, and it’s soy-free. Make it in minutes!

If you are vegan, (and even if you aren’t!), you’ve heard of tofu. But have you ever heard of Burmese tofu? It’s super easy to make and it can be used just like regular tofu. That means you get all those fun, plant-based, tofu-centered dishes without the soy!

A closeup view of cubed chickpea tofu gathered on a wood cutting board.

Before anybody comes at me, I’m not trashing soy. But for anyone like me who can’t tolerate soy and therefore needs soy-free alternatives, this is a fabulous replacement! (Soy-free, plant-based cheesecake, anyone?)

What Is Chickpea Tofu?

This is a simplified version of Burmese tofu. It is tofu made with chickpea flour (aka, garbanzo bean flour) instead of soy. It is fast and easy to make, and gives you plenty of plant-based protein. The texture is ever so slightly grainier than soy-based tofu, but it can be made to be firm, medium or silken, just like regular tofu.

You can read more about Burmese tofu by clicking here to get to Wikipedia.

Is Chickpea Tofu Healthy?

If you consider beans to be healthy, then yes! It’s quite healthy!

Is Chickpea Tofu High In Protein?

Chickpea flour has approximately 20 grams of plant-based protein per cup. Pair that with a grain, and you’ve got a complete protein! This recipe uses 1 full cup of chickpea flour. So you’ll have 20 grams of protein per batch of chickpea tofu. Not too shabby!

Is Tofu Made From Chickpeas?

No traditional tofu, no. Typically, tofu is made from soybeans. But many people cannot have soy. That’s where this Burmese version comes into play. Plus, it has way better flavor than soy-based tofu!

Can You Get Soy-Free Tofu?

Not in stores. At least not that I’ve seen. Tofu is always made from soy unless you make this version of it.

Cubes of Chickpea Tofu sit gathered on a wooden cutting board.

Where To Buy Chickpea Tofu?

I personally have never seen it in any of the grocery stores I have been to. There may be some specialty stores that carry it, but I have never seen it. Of course, at the time, I wasn’t looking for it either. So if you’ve seen it in stores before, please share in a comment below!

Are Chickpeas A Good Source Of Protein?

Yes. However, the amount of protein can vary based on whether you purchase your chickpeas canned or dried. 1 cup of dried and cooked chickpeas has approximately 15 grams of protein, while canned chickpeas can run as low as 10 grams. So check the packaging when you buy them!

Can You Color Chickpea Flour Tofu?

You can! The best ingredient to color it is turmeric. It gives it a nice, yellow color not unlike some cheese.

Can You Flavor Chickpea Tofu?

You can! While chickpea tofu has far more delicious flavor than soy tofu, you can add different flavorings to this to keep things interesting. A few ideas are:

  • Ginger – add approximately a quarter teaspoon of ground ginger to the flour and salt mixture at the beginning of the recipe.
  • Garlic – add approximately a half teaspoon of garlic powder to the salt and flour mixture
  • Curry – Add a quarter to a half teaspoon of curry powder for a more spicy tofu.
  • Black pepper – add approximately a quarter teaspoon to the flour mixture.
  • Any other spices – once you’ve made this according to the recipe, you can add pretty much any other spices you wish to add. But I recommend making the basic version first so you can get a feel for the flavors before you add anything to it.

What Is The Best Thing To Prepare With Chickpea Tofu?

Pretty much anything you can make with regular tofu, you can also make with chickpea tofu. Here are a few ideas:

  • Scrambled “eggs”.
  • Plant-based cheesecake
  • Chipotle Grilled tofu
  • Add to smoothies for extra protein
  • Tofu stir fry
  • Tofu sandwiches
  • Lettuce wraps
  • Taco meat
  • Air fryer tofu
  • Baked tofu
  • Kebabs
  • Lasagna filling
  • Protein for soups and stews
  • Veggie tofu wraps
  • Hummus wraps – yes, that’s chickpeas on top of chickpeas. But dang, it’s good!)
  • Grain bowls
  • Curry
  • Noodle dishes
  • Add to salads
  • Make corn-free polenta
  • And more!
A side view of chickpea tofu cut into cubes and gathered on a wood cutting baord.

About The Ingredients

Chickpea flour – Also known as Besan flour, this can be found at most mainstream grocery stores. Look for the baking aisle where they have other gluten-free flour. Read the ingredients to make sure it only contains chickpeas.

Salt – I used pink Himalayan salt. But you can use whatever salt you normally cook with.

Water – Use a good, filtered water. See notes at the bottom of the recipe for the amount of water you should use to get your desired level of firmness.

How To Make Chickpea Tofu

A glass dish being sprayed with oil from an oil sprayer.

Oil the dish that you will pour your chickpea tofu batter into and set aside. I use a glass, 6½ x 8 inch food storage container (pictured here). You don’t have to oil the container, but it helps to get the tofu out when it’s done firming up.

Chickpea flour sitting in a glass mixing bowl.
Salt being added to chickpea flour in a glass mixing bowl.
Whisking salt with chickpea flour in a glass mixing bowl.

Whisk together the flour and salt in a large mixing bowl.

Pouring water into a glass mixing bowl that has chickpea flour and salt in it.

Then whisk in 1 cup of water.

Chickpea Tofu batter being whisked in a glass mixing bowl.

Whisk until smooth.

A pot of water simmers on a stove top.

In a saucepan or pot, bring the other cup of water to a boil. Reduce to medium heat to keep the water at a medium simmer

Whisking Chickpea Tofu batter into simmering water in a pot.

Whisk the flour mixture into the boiling water and reduce the heat to medium. You want this to cook at a soft boil. Continue to whisk for about 3-8 minutes, more or less constantly. (Whisking time will depend on how much water you use. See notes on the water amounts at the end of the recipe card below.)

Chickpea Tofu batter being poured into an oiled, glass dish.

Once it thickens, you can pour it into a dish or mold.

Spreading out Chickpea Tofu batter with a spatula in a glass dish.

Using a spatula, spread it out and smooth it out the best you can. It firms up pretty quickly. Cool this to room temperature for 1-2 hours. Then transfer to the fridge for another hour. It should be quite firm, like firm tofu.

Turning firm Chickpea Tofu from a glass dish out onto a wood cutting board.

Turn the tofu out onto a flat work surface.

Patting excess oil off the bottom of a loaf of Chickpea Tofu.

Use a paper towel to dab off any excess oil from the dish.

Slicing Chickpea Tofu into cubes on a wood cutting board.

Cut it into your desired shape.

How To Store Chickpea Tofu

Pack this in an airtight container and store it in the refrigerator for up to 4 or 5 days.

Can You Freeze Chickpea Tofu?

Yup! In actually freezes quite well. Simply wrap it well and store it in the freezer for up to 3 months.

Recipe Supplies

For this recipe, you’ll need a pot (at least 3 quarts or larger), a whisk and a dish for setting the tofu. You will also need a mixing bowl. You can click any of the images below to be taken to that product on Amazon. (Affiliate links)

A sauce pot sold on Amazon. (Affiliate link)
An OXO whisk sold on Amazon. (Affiliate link)
Glass food storage containers sold on Amazon. (Affiliate link)

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Cubes of Chickpea Tofu sit gathered on a wooden cutting board.

Chickpea Tofu Recipe

Delicious tofu that is completely soy-free!
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Course: Base Recipes
Cuisine: Burmese
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Rest Time: 3 hours
Total Time: 3 hours 10 minutes
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 116kcal
Author: The Gracious Pantry

CLICK TO WATCH THIS RECIPE IN ACTION!

Ingredients

  • 1 cup chickpea flour
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2 cups water (divided – see notes below)

Instructions

  • Oil the dish that you will pour your chickpea tofu batter into and set aside. I use a glass, 6½ x 8 inch food storage container (pictured here). You don't have to oil the container, but it helps to get the tofu out when it's done firming up.
    A glass dish being sprayed with oil from an oil sprayer.
  • Whisk together the flour and salt in a large mixing bowl.
    Whisking salt with chickpea flour in a glass mixing bowl.
  • Then whisk in 1 cup of water.
    Pouring water into a glass mixing bowl that has chickpea flour and salt in it.
  • Whisk until smooth.
    Chickpea Tofu batter being whisked in a glass mixing bowl.
  • In a saucepan or pot, bring the other cup of water to a boil. Reduce to medium heat to keep the water at a medium simmer
    A pot of water simmers on a stove top.
  • Whisk the flour mixture into the boiling water and reduce the heat to medium. You want this to cook at a soft boil. Continue to whisk for about 6-9 minutes, more or less constantly.
    Whisking Chickpea Tofu batter into simmering water in a pot.
  • Once it thickens, you can pour it into a dish or mold.
    Chickpea Tofu batter being poured into an oiled, glass dish.
  • Using a spatula, spread it out and smooth it out the best you can. It firms up pretty quickly. Cool this to room temperature for 1-2 hours. Then transfer to the fridge for another hour. It should be quite firm, like firm tofu.
    Spreading out Chickpea Tofu batter with a spatula in a glass dish.
  • Turn the tofu out onto a flat work surface.
    Turning firm Chickpea Tofu from a glass dish out onto a wood cutting board.
  • Use a paper towel to dab off any excess oil from the dish.
    Patting excess oil off the bottom of a loaf of Chickpea Tofu.
  • Cut it into your desired shape.
    Slicing Chickpea Tofu into cubes on a wood cutting board.

Notes

  1. Amount Of Water To Use
 
  • 2 cups water = firm tofu
  • 2½cups water = medium firmness
  • 3 cups water = silken tofu
 
2. Note that you may have to play around with the amount of water you use to get the desired consistency. These are suggestions. But flour can vary from batch to batch and supplier to supplier. So you may need more or less to get the right consistency.
3. More water also equals longer stirring time in the pot until the batter thickens.
4. Please note that the nutrition data given here is a ballpark figure. Exact data is not possible.

Nutrition

Serving: 0.25the recipe | Calories: 116kcal | Carbohydrates: 17g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 2g | Saturated Fat: 0.2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0.5g | Sodium: 606mg | Potassium: 254mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 12IU | Calcium: 17mg | Iron: 1mg
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