Archive for Air Fryer

Chickpea Fries {Vegan}

What foods are you really missing in this pandemic? I miss Cartem’s donuts, of course. I miss the truffle fries at Lift or at Joey’s, which I usually share with my BFF and a side of gossip. I miss trying out new-to-me places.

One of my favourite vegan treats in the city are the Chickpea Fries from Chickpea. I actually think they are probably doing takeout so I could get some if I wanted, but I’m hardly leaving my neighbourhood these days. I’m pretty much restricting myself to what I can walk to (and Costco). Thankfully, my neighbourhood has lots of small places where I can stock up on produce and other perishables.

The Chickpea Fries from Chickpea

Besan or chickpea flour, has been a pantry staple for me for many years now. It’s high in protein, and has both sweet and savoury applications (as anyone of South Indian or Persian descent can attest). It’s also gluten free. In vegan cooking, it makes great, creamy sauces without butter or milk. So, yeah, it’s something that’s always in my cupboard.

I’ve made polenta fries before (I loved them so much I put them in my first cookbook), but I’d never even considered doing something similar with chickpea flour until I tried the chickpea fries from Chickpea. I was immediately hooked! Soft and creamy on the inside, crispy on the outside… these are so good.

Chickpea Fries

Of course, it was the kind of treat I could only have at a restaurant, since I don’t deep fry at home, but! Then I got the Breville Smart Oven Air with an air fryer setting, and now all my chickpea fry dreams are coming true, and yours can too!

The concept here is the same as polenta, you just sub out besan for cornmeal.

Chickpea Fries Airfyer

Chickpea Fries


  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup besan or chickpea flour (sifted)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp cumin


  1. Prepare a 7″ square pan by brushing it with vegetable oil.
  2. In a small-medium saucepan, bring the water and salt to a boil. Add the cumin and stir. Now slowly stream in the chickpea flour, using a whisk and whisking all the time.
  3. Once all the flour is added, reduce the heat and continue to cook for a few minutes, stirring constantly, until the mixture is smooth and thick.
  4. Pour the hot mixture into the prepared pan, and smooth the top as best you can.
  5. Place in the fridge for at least an hour or overnight to set.
  6. Remove from the fridge when set, and turn out onto a cutting board. Cut into “fries.”
  7. Preheat your airfryer to 400, and arrange the fries on the fryer basket. Spritz with oil the parts that don’t have any oil on them.
  8. Fry for 10 minutes, then shake/flip and cook for 5 minutes more.
  9. Remove from fryer, season while hot and serve with a drizzle of balsamic reduction or pomegranate molasses. I serve mine with vegan aioli for dipping.


Smashed Potatoes

Potatoes may be the ultimate comfort food. They’re carby, fluffy, and crispy. I mean, when was the last time you had a great heart-to-heart talk over a salad? No. You need some wine, you need some french fries, then the good gossip can begin.

Potatoes, I might add, are a great food to have around during a pandemic. They’re not exactly a pantry item, but if stored properly, can last a really long time. And there are few vegetables more versatile than the humble potato.

Smashed Potatoes

This recipe is a bit of a fancier, elevated potato, though. To make smashed potatoes, you want to use medium-sized new potatoes, not the huge baker ones. If you wanna get super fancy, you can mix yellow and purple potatoes for extra pizazz!

While I’d classify this as a side dish, I think in a pinch, smashed potatoes, along with a side salad would make a satisfying meal. I also save any leftovers and fry them up the next morning for some killer hash browns.

I make these smashed potatoes in my Breville Smart Oven Air, using the airfryer setting for that extra crispness…. You could easily bake them, though, in a shallow roasting pan or a cookie sheet, in a hot oven.

One more thing to love about the Breville Smart Oven Air: my teenager is actually cooking in it. It’s one of the ironic realities of my life that I am a food blogger and a cookbook author and I love to cook, and my child has never shown any interest.

Well, this past semester I was teaching on Thursday nights, and class goes from 5:30 to 8:30, so he started to need to be responsible for his own dinner. At first, I’d make him stuff he could microwave, but then we got this oven, and suddenly he was interested in how it worked. It’s super easy and not intimidating for him, so now he uses the microwave AND he uses the Breville Smart Oven Air, you guys! He makes himself bagels for breakfast, and for his solo dinners, I started buying him TV dinners. I know, not the healthiest choice, but there are some out there that are much healthier. He reads the package, figures it out himself, and honestly, you guys, we’re both way happier. Yay for independence and life skills!

Smashed Potatoes


  • 2.5lbs new potatoes, yellow or red or mixed
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • Chopped fresh garlic (2 cloves)
  • Chopped fresh or dried rosemary (1 tsp)


  1. Wash the potatoes. Place the potatoes in a pan big enough to accommodate them all without crowding, and fill with enough water to cover. Add about 1 tsp of salt to the water, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook until you can pierce them with a fork, about 15-20 minutes.
  2. Place the potatoes on a baking sheet, and smush them with the bottom of a glass. Drizzle olive oil over each of the potatoes, then flip them a few times until they are thinly coated in olive oil. Transfer to the airfryer basket, and sprinkle them with salt and pepper.
  3. Preheat the air fryer to 400 degrees and set the timer for 15 minutes. Pop the potatoes into the oven once it is preheated, and flip/stir once or twice while they are cooking.
  4. Meanwhile, in a small pot on the stove, place 3-4 tbsp olive oil, and add the garlic and rosemary. Heat gently. You don’t want it to boil, you just want the garlic and rosemary to infuse the oil.
  5. Once the potatoes are done and are crispy on the edges, remove from the oven and then remove to a platter. Brush/drizzle the potatoes with the garlicky olive oil, season again with salt and pepper, and add a sprinkle of parmesan if you like.
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