Mark Bittman’s traditional socca recipe is thoroughly delicious as is and needs no embellishment. However, adding a few Indian-inspired spices to the batter enhances the savory tones and unleashes deep flavor. This spiced socca is delightful on its own as a light lunch or as an accompaniment to vegetable curry dishes. See Manjula’s Kitchen for ideas.
1 cup garbanzo bean flour
1/4 cup very thinly sliced onions (optional)
1 t cumin seeds
1 t salt
1/2 t red pepper flakes
1/4 t ground turmeric
1 cup warm water
3 T olive oil, divided, plus more for serving
Put a 12″ cast iron pan in the oven and heat to 450 degrees.
If including onions, see the Variation below.
Sift garbanzo bean flour into a medium size bowl. Whisk in the cumin seeds, salt, red pepper flakes, and turmeric.
Slowly whisk in the warm water. Then, whisk in 2 tablespoons of olive oil. The batter should have the consistency of heavy cream.
When the oven is at temperature, remove the pan and add 1 tablespoon of olive oil, swirling it around to evenly cover the surface. Pour in the socca batter and swirl it around to distribute evenly. Return the pan to the oven and bake for 15-20 minutes until lightly brown on top.
Drizzle a little more oil on top of the socca if it looks dry, sprinkle with salt, slice into triangles, and serve.
Variation: A delicious variation on the recipe includes the addition of deeply cooked onions. Before turning on the oven, combine 2 Tablespoons of olive oil and the thinly sliced onions in the cold cast iron pan and then put it in the oven to cook while the oven comes to temperature and the pan heats up. Stir once or twice while you are assembling the socca batter. When onions are deeply browned and the batter is ready, pour the batter into the hot pan over the onions and bake for 15-20 minutes until lightly browned. Drizzle a little more oil on top of the socca if it looks dry, sprinkle with salt, slice into triangles, and serve.