Besan flour (or chickpea/gram/garbanzo bean flour) is surprisingly versatile. After my success with the savoury pancake, I began to wonder what else I could make with ground chickpeas?*

The flour I use is actually chickpea and fava bean flour, but I’d doubt there is much (if any) difference.

Anyway, I had invited the girls over for dinner a few weeks back and I’d decided I was going to make dumplings. Not just any dumplings of course – these were going to be nutritious, plant-based, vegan, gluten & grain-free dumplings.

Challenge accepted.*

Ravioli filled with pumpkin and chives

This recipe makes approximately 20 truffle-sized dumpling balls…or 15 dumplings and 6 ravioli…or you could just use the dough to make them into all ravioli! I learned the hard way that you definitely shouldn’t over-cook the dumplings. The smaller the dumping (in circumference and density), the quicker they cook. Once you’ve made the dough and rolled them into balls/ravioli, instead of cooking them in water it’s best to cook them in whatever stew/sauce you’ll be serving them with. This bumps up the flavour (and less pots required reduces the washing up..!) Of course, if you wish to serve these with a dipping sauce, go ahead and cook them for about 2-4 minutes (again, depending on the size) in water and then dish up as you require. I haven’t baked or steamed this dumpling dough, so I can’t vouch for the effectiveness nor taste of those cooking methods – sorry!

Grain and gluten-free, vegan ravioli filled with pumpkin

Dumpling Ravioli filled with Pumpkin (Vegan, grain & gluten-free)

  • Servings: 3-4
  • Difficulty: Medium
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1 CUP chickpea flour
1/2 TSP baking powder
1 TSP vegetable oil (I used grapeseed)
1 TBSP water
2 TBSP chopped chives
Generous pinch of himalayan salt flakes
1/2 TSP chilli flakes
1/2 TSP cayenne pepper
1 TSP garlic powder


Roasted pumpkin
Generous pinch of himalayan salt flakes
Chopped chives

In a large mixing bowl, add all of the ingredients except the water and vegetable oil. Stir so that the seasoning is evenly distributed with the flour. Then, add the oil and water. Mix together with the flour until it forms a dough. You want the dough to be malleable enough so that it comes away from the bowl easily; after kneading for a few minutes you should be able to play with the dough – it shouldn’t stick to your fingers.  Getting the correct flour/water consistency can be tricky here, if you feel that 1 TBSP is not enough, add a bit more water (1 TSP at a time max) until it is. Similarly, if your dough is too wet – add more flour.

Once the dough is soft and workable, leave in the bowl and cover with cling film to let it prove for 10 minutes.
If you’re not making ravioli – once the dough has proved, simply form into desired sized balls for the dumplings and then either cook in hot boiling water or sauce for 2-4 minutes.

For the pumpkin filling – you just next to mix all of the ingredients together and add salt to taste. To make the ravioli – take a good sized amount of dough and flatten into the size circle with about a 2.5″ circumference. Place approximately 1 TSP of filling in the centre of the ravioli dough, and then fold the dough over so that the filling is covered, and the ravioli is now a half-moon shape. Press the edges together and ensure that the sides are sealed – used a teensy bit of water to help seal the edges if need be. Once desired number of ravioli are made, cook as above for regular dumplings.

Please leave a comment below if you try this recipe – I really enjoyed them! It’s a bit too hot in Melbourne now to be eating hot dumplings, but this is a great recipe to try for all you northern hemisphere readers if you fancy something a little bit different! 🙂

*I sorted of cheated – I had made something that resembled chickpea flour dumplings about a month ago using a slightly modified recipe for the pancakes.

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