Spanish omelette is so popular because it is a simple dish, it is tasty and traditional, however vegans in Spain have been making this without eggs for some time. It may seem like a bit of an impossibility but using chickpea flour gets the texture quite close to the regular version and using black Himalayan salt gives it an eggy taste. Black Himalayan salt, or kala namak, can be found in health stores. It has a distinct taste of cooked egg yolks and this is due to the sulphur content of the salt which is of volcanic origin. Sulphur compounds are what give eggs their distinctive taste, so using this salt when substituting eggs in savoury dishes makes sense. If you don’t have this salt or you can’t find it where you live then don’t worry too much. You can add some Himalayan pink salt or a pink of turmeric for added flavour and colour. it really isn’t the end of the world.
So is this just like the regular Spanish omelette? Well, it’s close. I like it, it’s a nice change that I think non vegans would enjoy eating too. If you want to avoid eggs because of health reasons (cholesterol) then this is a very viable alternative. This recipe is inspired on this vegan Spanish omelette video by Centro Dietético Víquez.
- 175g chickpea (gram) flour
- 2 tbsp cornflour
- 1 ripe tomato
- 750g potato
- 1 large onion
- 250ml water
- 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 1.5 tsp coarse black Himalayan salt (kala namak) – half that amount if the salt is fine
- Peel the potatoes, cut into quarters lengthwise and slice thinly to a few millimetres thick. This will make it easier to fry and will save time in the long run.
- Put the potato slices in a colander and add about 1 tsp of salt and mix with your hands. This will draw out any excess water before frying.
- Cut the onion in half and thinly slice the onions.
- In a medium to large non stick frying pan (it is very important that it is non stick) add enough oil to cover about half it’s depth. I usually mix sunflower and olive oil because that way you get the taste of the olive oil but the sunflower oil prevents it from becoming smoking hot. Set to a high heat.
- Mix the onions with the potatoes and when the oil is hot enough add half of the onions and potatoes to the oil and gently fry. I usually turn down the heat a bit to a medium-high heat.
- You know when the potatoes are ready because the slices become soft. It is important to fry them enough to soften them but not for them to go crispy or any browning to develop.
- Once they are done take out of the oil and place on a plate lined with kitchen paper to absorb the excess oil.
- Repeat the last few steps with the next batch.
- In a large bowl add the chickpea flour, cornflour, and Himalayan salt. Mix with a whisk.
- Add the water and mix until it forms a batter.
- Cut the tomato in half and grate each half into the batter. You will be left with the skin. The tomato not only gives it a bit of colour but also helps with the texture, making the chickpea flour more spongy when it cooks. Mix well.
- Add the fried potatoes and onions to the mix. It doesn’t matter if they are still hot.
- In a large frying pan add enough oil to cover the bottom and set to a medium to high heat. Add the mixture and it will soon begin to set on the bottom. After about 7-8 minutes it should be ready to flip over.
- Place a large plate on top of the frying pan and in one clean move flip it over. Remove the pan and slide the contents of the plat back onto the frying pan and place back on the heat.
- Pierce the top all over with a fork or a knife so that it cooks though evenly.
- After another 5 minutes or so the bottom should be set once more and should be cooked through. You can flip it over once more if you wish to be thorough.
- Once it is cooked flip it onto a plate lined with kitchen paper to absorb the excess oil, and place some more kitchen paper on top.
- Allow to cool and serve warm or at room temperature.