Gluten Free Chickpea Bread, and a Tasty Express Giveaway!


Well, it’s been a little while between posts, but I’m SO happy to be writing this today! Hello!! I have so many things to share with you, probably the most exciting (for me anyway) is that our little family is expanding and I’ll be having another baby in July. Yay!! Which is partly why I haven’t posted for so long as looking at the phone or the computer was pretty nauseating there for a while…

So, now that I’m back on board, how about a giveaway. Lovely Sneh Roy is a food and lifestyle photographer, stylist and creator of the wonderful blog Cook Republic. She is also the author of Tasty Express – a fabulous cookbook full of simple and incredibly delicious recipes, all with a story to tell.

tasty express

Wonderful, whole food suggestions for any time of the day or night, Tasty Express is packed with stunning photographs to inspire and stories to entertain. I have been making quite a few recipes from the book, and they are all delicious. I cooked the cover the other night – yum!

tasty express 2

But probably my favourite thing so far – which is a big call when you’re competing with chocolate fudge cake, is this amazing savoury chickpea bread. It does take some time to prepare, but I was enchanted by the long resting time, leaving the bread time to ferment and giving a fantastic savoury, almost sour flavour. I also loved the back story of the loaf being inspired by Sneh’s childhood in India, and her mother’s amazing savoury spiced nut cakes.

Don’t be put off by the long list of ingredients – hopefully you will have most of them in your kitchen already! In fact, I’ve probably chosen one of the more complex recipes in the book, but I just had to include it as it’s such a unique and nutritious take on a savoury loaf. The loaf is gluten free and is, as Sneh recommends, wonderful toasted and served with chutney – yum!

[headline]Gluten Free Savoury Chickpea Bread[/headline]

1/2 cup chickpea flour (besan)

1/2 cup rice flour

1 cup cornmeal

1 1/2 cups yoghurt

1 1/2 tsp salt

1/4 tsp turmeric

1/2 cup grated zucchini – squeezed to remove as much liquid as possible

1/2 cup grated carrot

1 1/2 tbs finely grated ginger

2 garlic cloves, minced

2 tsp dried chilli flakes

juice of 1 lemon

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp bicarb soda


2 tbs oil

1 tsp mustard seeds

1 tsp sesame seeds

1/4 cup whole hazelnuts

2 tbs pepitas

1 tbs shredded coconut

1 tbs raw sugar

Combine the chickpea flour, rice flour, cornmeal, yoghurt, salt and turmeric in a large bowl. Add 1 cup (250ml) hot water and mix until smooth. Cover with a tea towel and rest in a warm place for 2 hours, until the mixture looks lighter with bubbles and smells sour.

Add the zucchini, carrot, ginger, garlic, chilli flakes, lemon juice, baking powder and bicarb soda to the flour mixture. Whisk until the mixture feels light and airy. Cover and rest in a warm spot for 20 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius. Grease a 23cm x 15cm loaf tin (or 20cm round cake tin) and line with baking paper hanging over the 2 long sides. Gently spoon the bread batter into the tin. Take care not to mix or handle the mixture too much at this stage in order to retain the airiness of the batter.

To make the topping, heat the oil in a small frying pan and add the mustard and sesame seeds. When they start crackling, add the hazelnuts, pepitas, coconut and sugar. Mix once and remove from heat immediately. Pour evenly over the bread batter. Bake for 40-50 minutes or until risen, golden and a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean.

Turn off the heat and leave in the oven to cool completely. I served it toasted, with a green chutney from Sneh’s book, but it would be delicious with any chutney, or even straight up. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!


So, to win a signed copy of this fabulous cookbook, simply leave a comment below and tell me your favourite tasty meal from your childhood.

I will announce the winner on Wednesday 11th February – Australian residents only, sorry. Thank you to Sneh and Random House for the use of this recipe.

111 thoughts on “Gluten Free Chickpea Bread, and a Tasty Express Giveaway!”

  • My mother’s self-saucing chocolate pudding….. Technically not a meal in itself, but as a child, isn’t dessert the best part! This was a rarity for special occasions only, but it’s rich, oozing sauce made it worth the wait. Thankfully I have been able to “healthify” it so I can still enjoy it today!

  • Hi Meg, I can’t wait to try this bread. My mum would make a variety of dishes to be served with steamed rice for dinner – my favourite would be steamed whole fish served with ginger and shallots – after the fish had been steamed, I loved to watch her heat the oil up and pour it over the fish and listen to it sizzle, she would then top it off with soy sauce, fresh ginger, shallots and coriander and a tap of white pepper. It was a real comfort and bought the family together.

  • I loved a delicious salad my parents would make together every weekend for our family, made with onion, basil, fresh tomatoes and tuna with a simple but divine dressing made with lashings of olive oil and a splash of vinegar. We would enjoy it with crusty homemade bread and to me it represented the slower pace of the weekend and precious family time.

  • I would have to say hands down my mums chicken or shank soup.
    Both the same but using different broths. And I have to say I don’t know
    Which is my fave. She would load the broth with every seasonal
    Vege she could find and add egg noodles. I was the luckiest kid in
    School when my mum would rock up at lunch time with a Tupperware of this
    Steaming hot soul comforting soup. I know make this for my son
    And he loves it. He says mum can you make me bone soup!

  • This chickpea bread looks soo good, I can’t wait to try it!

    Hm so many yummy meals to choose from , my childhood was filled with beautiful traditional Egyptian homecooked meals, and with a multicultural twist at times from all the friends my mum made when she migrated to Australia. My favourite would probably be “mahshi”, a beautiful dish of rolled cabbage filled with a mix of rice, herbs (dill, coriander, mint, parsley), spices (dried coriander, cumin, pepper, chilli), sautéed onion and tomato and tomato paste. At the bottom of the pot she cooks this in, slices of onion and tomato are added which turns into a caramelised mess! We often have this meal with stuffed capsicums and zucchini using the same rice dish. It’s a labor of love which is served as a special meal, with a roast leg of lamb and an array of colourful, flavourful salads.

    • Oh yum Mariam – you’re so lucky having a childhood full of traditional Egyptian meals! And I love the caramelised mess of onion and tomatoes. 🙂

  • Ulala this chickpea bread is mouth watering!!!
    I remember the beautiful walnut cake grandma and mum used to make for xmas, it brings back sweet memories of a sweet childhood with my beautiful family!
    I love your recipes!

  • It’s going to sound strange … but my Grandad and I used to have mashed potato, butter and pepper made into a sandwich on Grandma’s home made bread. It was sensational .. and to this day I still love mashed potato sandwiches (now on Gluten Free bread as I’m a coeliac) … it brings back wonderful memories of my late Grandfather and the wonderful times I spent in their home.

    • Oh Carly I had a little giggle – it’s not strange – it’s just lovely that you can always have that memory of your beautiful Grandad. I bet Grandma’s bread was rad! x

  • Congratulations on the new soon to be family member… Recipe looks delicious. My favourite childhood meal would be anything with spaghetti – I would demand this several times a week! All the usual toppings, bolognaise sauce etc but probably my favourite was my mums simple onion, carrot and tomato sauce with lots of fresh herbs and some Parmesan…. Mmm…..

  • My tastebuds have changed dramatically since my childhood however I continue to have a soft spot for the humble pancake… Though nowadays the toppings satisfy me in a whole new way.

    Now I’m planning on adding this recipe to my repertoire… Looks delish!

  • This bread looks A-mazing;-)

    My favourite childhood meal was dumpings with Sauerkraut and mushroom filling and mushroom sauce…i couldnt Have it nor( can’t and Don’t want to eat gluten).. It tasted Even more specjał Xmas time;-)

  • I’m not in Australia so don’t enter me in the giveaway. But I love socca, the French chickpea flatbread, and I’ve recently been trying to find a good bread recipe with chickpea flour as well. I think I just found it! And congratulations on your baby on the way too. 😀

  • We had a big mulberry tree growing out the side of our chook house that would become full of juicy fruit in season. We’d get so messy as kids collecting them in buckets staining each other with mulberry moustaches. But the best part was mum’s rich, deep mulberry jam – thickly smeared over buttered sourdough, we couldn’t get enough!!

  • After hating the taste of tomato for many of my childhood years, I couldn’t resist my mother’s “Spanish casserole”. I have tried without success to recreate this iconic family meal which consisted mainly of strips of seared blade slow cooked in a pool of “Big Red” tomato soup, green capsicum and onion rings. Served with rice and imbued with “Moth’s” unique magic it was truly delicious.

  • Bread and butter pudding, that never tasted exactly the same ever time, but all tasted amazeing.
    Gran would make her own sweet bread, treacle bread and currant bread.. and use the stale scraps to make the pudding.

  • Hi Meg,
    Congratulations! I can’t believe that you were pregnant when I saw you at my last appointment. How very exciting! All the best for the new little addition to your family.
    Mmm it’s hard to say as my mother is such a fabulous cook, but perhaps lentil “shepherd’s” pie with mashed potato – so many spices and herbs (including curry spice, for a great twist) – and sooo good!

  • Hi Meg! Congratulations! I have been tossing up which of my childhood favourites to write about, but I would have to go with the most simple & comforting meal: garlic rice. The scent of garlic sautéed in butter, (weird, because now I’m vegan) brings me back to looking up at my Mum as she prepared the meal. She would add copious amounts of fresh parsley, sometimes with other veg on the side. I think it was just a really quick easy thing she could throw together. I can totally relate now, being a mum myself!

  • Sooooo simple but my favourite childhood meal is egg and soldiers! Even when I eat it now it evokes such warming, comforting memories – funny how food can do that hey?

  • My Mum was raised with a “meat and three veg” diet, nothing wrong with that, but as Australia became multi-cultural, she embraced as many different styles of cooking as she was exposed to. So our meals would range from stirfry, Dutch pot roast, Indonesian soups and noodle dishes, through to lamb roast and baked vegetables, all in one week. I can’t think of one single dish as a favorite, it’s the culinary journey that stands out. Our family table abounded with rich aromas, flavor, color, texture and lots of happy talk and laughter!

  • My mum has always been an adventurous cook & exposed us to different foods before they became mainstream in Australia. Her cooking usually was a healthier and more economic version of the traditional dish including adding lentils/legumes to meat dishes. When I was thinking about this the first thing that came to mind was an apricot lassi style drink. Just apricot nectar and yoghurt. So refreshing!

  • Congratulations Meg! I love your recipes and blog.. and your pictures are so appealing… see them on the SGS site too!

    My mom made some wonderful gooey chocolate cookies that she gave us right out of the oven. Not the healthiest recipe as we did not eat healthy growing up, ate a lot of meat and cooked foods. I enjoy salads these days and green smoothies… love them! I am trying to eat more raw foods and hoping to find more easy recipes for those.

    Have a lovely day!


  • My nan’s caramel tart. She’s getting on now so I decided to make one for a family celebration to which she usually supplies with a few caramel tarts. She was so proud of me, she was beaming and couldn’t stop talking about it.

  • my treasured meal from my childhood is a chicken broth made from scratch and love by my mother. She would add tortellini for a normal family meal or little baby pastina (which I had to choose) when I was sick. I make this broth for my own children every week.

  • Congrats Meg! That’s really exciting news.
    My favourite childhood recipe was a dish mum made called ‘peppers and onions’ which sounds quite ordinary now! It was basically capsicum, onions, mince, and tomato paste mixed with rice, baked, served with toast! It always makes me think of our childhood lounge room which is much different to how my parents have it now.
    Thank you for the chance to win.

  • A favourite childhood meal for me would be pumpkin soup. We liked to add some toasted coconut or some chilli, and we always served it with crunchy bread! We would always fight for leftovers the next day. We still make lots of soups, especially in winter, but pumpkin has to be my all time favourite! Delicious!

  • My dad’s Swedish meatballs and mash with creamed gravy and lingonberry jam. Sometimes the sautéed chanterelle mushrooms to go on the side (he picked them himself, en masse, and popped them into the freezer so we could enjoy them throughout the fall and winter). The ultimate warming comfort food after having been outsite skiing or ice skating all day!

  • I discovered your blog a few seconds ago and I just want to say that all the food looks amazing! About my childhood… My father rarely cooked, but sometimes he made us his favourite (Dutch) pea soup with carrot, celery and a lot of other ingredients… It was a thick and tasty soup and we ate it with ryebread and cheese. Wonderful memories 🙂

  • You are an absolute inspiration and your recipes look amazing and super delicious ! I am going into my first year studying nutrition and really excited … I hope I can create food art one day like you . Keep inspiring others x

  • Favourite tasty meal from my childhood would be my Grandparent’s pate. Every Christmas my Grandpa would bring out a bowl of it with some homemade crackers and I would dive in. I tried for a while to emulate what I thought the recipe was….but finally 23 years later, just after my Grandmother passed, my Grandpa handed me the recipe after finding it in a draw full of her things. Last Christmas I made that pate to the recipe, and I was that child again. Amazing how food can do that to you!! (It was a chicken liver and brandy pate to be exact LOL).

  • Awesome giveaway; love Sneh and Cook Republic. Do not yet have a copy of her book, so hoping I will win. My favourite dish from my childhood has to be the shawarma; growing up in Dubai, this was a daily feature of my diet.

  • My favourite childhood meal would have to be sultana sandwiches. They were a rare treat, eaten when not feeling well and we wouldn’t eat anything else… I can remember my Mum slicing the bread, spreading it with a layer of butter and then sprinkling the luscious sultanas before slicing it into triangles. 🙂

  • My Mom’s Apple Crisp! She never used a recipe and I have spent my adult life trying to replicate it; she died when I was 24 so can no longer pass on her wisdom. I have come close several times but I think the real secret ingredient may be Canadian apples. They are hard to come by in NSW!
    Thanks, jennifer

  • Hi Meg,

    Yummm I can’t wait to taste this bread! Thanks for sharing it with us 🙂 my favourite from my childhood was bread and butter pudding, I can still taste it on my lips. My dad used to make it in small little cups for each of us most Saturday nights. He would start in the morning go get the bread perfectly stale 🙂

  • Oh it’s a toughie but it would have to be the comforting bowl of my mum’s roasted pumpkin soup with rosemary& garlic. Dad would also make his own croutons for us to put on top… being the texture junkie that I am, it would always win me over in our cool winter nights with the log fire going. Ah thanks for timing back the memories Meg! X

  • My all-time favourite treat from my childhood is my mum’s Mango Upside-Down Cake. It was somehow the perfect combination of sweet with the slightest bitter tang, and it is the most delicious moist cake with a yummy crunchy outside. Mmm, I think I’m drooling just thinking about it! YUM!
    Ps the chickpea bread looks amazing, I’m new to glutenfree and trying new things so thanks so much for sharing the recipe! 🙂

  • First of all, love your work… It’s inspiring!
    Secondly, I can remember the first time Mum made her first batch of coconut yoghurt…
    We couldn’t believe you could make yoghurt from scratch, but low and behold!
    We used to love topping the yoghurt with out homemade ‘sprinkles’ which consisted of toasting up some dried fruit, nuts, more coconut, tahini and mashed banana!
    Couldn’t make a little cherub more excited for breakfast!

  • If you ask me my mum could sign up for Swedish Masterchef, everything she makes is delissshh! But favourite from back in the days.. her quiches! Every Friday she finished work earlier and there was more time for dinner cooking. She always threw different stuff in there, the older me and my sister got the more veggies she dared to put in. And now my oven here in Australia is half broken and baking or making quiches is a no-go.. First thing I’ll ask for when I go back home and visit!

  • HI Meg, love your site and your instagram feed – I’m 4 years into my Nutrition/Naturopathy degree (studied part time/on and off as I’ve had children) and you are a great inspiration!

    My mum always made the most beautiful quiche, very homely 🙂 xx

  • Anything from mom’s kitchen! She is a fab cook and I it realise that all the more now as I don’t have access to her food everyday.

  • I always looked forward to my mom’s Hawaiian chicken with grilled pineapple, tasty rice and veggies. Thanks for the giveaway opportunity!

  • Congratulations on your new addition! What a wonderful time! How great is Sneh! I’d love love love this cookbook, I’ve borrowed it from the library and had a good look. It’s on my ever growing cookbook wish list now. My mum is such a good cook, but the thing I remember most is our cooked desserts. Every night we’d have golden syrup dumplings, chocolate self saucing pudding, and even on nights where she couldn’t be bothered, she’d make us hot chocolate sauce or custard to eat with ice cream.

  • Chickpea bread! Can’t wait to try out this recipe. My favourite thing my mum made growing up was her famous (well, among all that know her anyway) rum balls at Christmas time. she would let my brother and I help out at every stage, but rolling the balls in cocoa and coconut was always the best because we got to get our hands dirty (plus we got to dip fruit into any leftover cocoa). To this day my mum still makes a quadruple batch of these bad boys for our family and friends!

  • This looks delicious, can’t wait to give it a go! Would love LOVE a copy of Sneh’s book so fingers are crossed. My favourite was something sweet, my mum was (still is) a wonderful cook but my dad would always manage to secure a fresh load of crusty bread come the weekend and we would sit around and lather slices with homemade jam and double cream- the best!

  • Thank you for sharing Sneh’s recipe. I’ve not cooked with chickpea flour before so look forward to trying this.

    My fave childhood meal would have to be freshly cooked whole lobster with soy, ginger and shallots. I know, right! How lucky was I to be able to experience lobster as a child. Whilst it was an infrequent dish, reserved for those most special of occasions, it conjures many happy memories of feasts shared with family and friends.

  • Congratulations Meg!

    Thanks for sharing the recipe. Looking amazing. Can’t wait to try it….

    The dish from my childhood which takes me down memory lane is ‘pakoras’ (fritters make from chickpea flour along with finely cut onion, coriander, potatoes, spinach and sometimes even cauliflower) made by my mum.
    We lived in Bombay then and when the monsoons set in the first rains would bring with them the lovely smell of wet mud…….mmmmmm…….there could be nothing better than a plate of hot pakoras then….

    I would love to receive a copy of Sneh’s book and try out the recipes and see how she has blended the Indian flavours with modern style cooking to create healthy wholesome food.


  • Congratulations on your lovely news!!!

    Hailing originally from Singapore, my childhood memory is full of simple hawker food that I’ve now learnt to cook myself. A dish I enjoy revisiting time and time again is called Mee Siam, which has a dried prawny, tamarind, fermented soy beans gravy base immersed in simply fried rice noodles topped with half a boiled eggs and sambal (chilli) on the side. The winning garnish is chopped chives. Yum!!

  • Hi everyone – thank you for all your absolutely beautiful comments. It was a real privilege to peek into your food memories – there were some wonderful meals and memories and stories – thank you! I wish I could give you all a book, and I had a lot of trouble choosing, so I went with a random selection in the end – congratulations to Sharda! Can you please email me at meg@mywholefoodromance at your earliest convenience. Thanks again everyone who commented, I hope you enjoy the recipe. xx

  • Thanks – I will. I have a batch of oatghurt fermenting now so should be able to make this soon! Also – I’m just wondering – why do gluten free recipes still include baking powder / soda? I never add it because it seems to ruin the taste but just wondering if my breads are missing out then – I can’t see how it would impact the “rising” as there is none, since there is no gluten to make it rise. Thanks for your clarification on this! Does it impact it if you leave it out?


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