Easy Vegan Chickpea Fries With Pea Sauce (GF)

Chickpea fries, a.k.a. shan tofu.
A Burmese dish, which was first introduced to me by Demuths Cookery School. Whilst it is often referred to as ‘tofu’, there is no soy in shan tofu. The ingredients are really quite simple – gram flour and water. And spices and other yummy flavourings of course!

Shan Tofu

Shan tofu is made by mixing gram flour and water together, cooking it into it turns into a thick gloop, and then leaving to set. Once it has cooled you can slice it and eat it as it is, or you can bake/fry it to make them crispy (like fries!)

vegan chickpea fries recipe (shan tofu)

Bright & Fresh Vegan Chickpea Fries (a.k.a. Shan Tofu)

served with coconut pea sauce and pickled veg

Vegan Fries

As I am sure most vegans would agree, we tend to live off a diet of fries. Mostly french fries.

But why, you ask?

Because for years, fries were the only option for vegans on a restaurant menu. But that doesn’t mean that vegans don’t love fries. Anything deep fried, crispy, and yummy.

Well, these fries, made using chickpeas, are a much healthier version. When coated in polenta and baked, they go super crispy. And they taste great!

What does Shan Tofu (chickpea tofu) taste like?

Like soy tofu, it has quite a neutral taste. But if you’ve ever tried gram flour before you’ll know that it has a slight bean-y kind of flavour.

Have you tried our vegan socca pizza recipe also using gram flour?

It can be easily flavoured with strong spices like Indian curry powder, or Chipotle and Paprika.

What do you eat with Shan Tofu?

Depending on the flavours you add to it and the style you cook it in, shan tofu can be served with many things.

chickpea fries recipe vegan and gluten-free

In my house we love to eat it with a homemade vegan sriracha mayo or a spicy ketchup. But when we are feeling a bit more summery, this coconut pea dip works perfectly. Particularly if you add in some Indian spices to the fries.

On that note, I’ve used Indian spicing in my chickpea fries recipe, but you can change this up to suit you!

Got any awesome flavour combinations to use with shan tofu? Share them in the comments below!

vegan chickpea fries recipe made using shan tofu

Chickpea Fries With Pea Sauce (Vegan and Gluten-Free)

a.k.a Shan Tofu
Course Appetizer, Side Dish, Snack, Starter
Cuisine Burmese, Indian
Servings 4 people
Calories 203 kcal


  • Blender


Chickpea Fries

  • 140 g gram flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp curry powder
  • 600 g water same as ml
  • 2 tbsp polenta for coating

Pea Sauce

  • 200 g peas frozen
  • 20 g desiccated coconut
  • handful mint leaves fresh
  • 1 sprig curry leaves
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 lime the juice
  • 1 green chilli chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic chopped
  • 100 ml water just-boiled

Serve With:

  • pickled veg


Prep Chickpea Fries

  • Prepare a baking tray (about brownie tin size) with some baking paper
  • Mix together all the dry ingredients for the chickpea fries (all but the polenta) in a large saucepan
  • Add in about 200g of the water and whisk until smooth (this may take a few minutes and some strong arms, but it is worth getting it as smooth as possible)
  • Gradually whisk in the remaining water
  • Put the saucepan on to a medium high heat and whisk until it comes to the boil, at which point you will want to swap your whisk for a wooden spoon as the mix is prone to sticking
  • Stir continuously for another 6-8 minutes on a lower heat, until the mixture is thick and gloopy.
  • Pour the mix into the lined baking tray
  • Leave to cool for about 10 minutes and then place into the fridge for about an hour (until it has set)

Pea Sauce

  • Place all the pea sauce ingredients into a heatproof bowl
  • Pour over the just boiled water and set aside for about 10 minutes
  • Blend the ingredients together until smooth (or you can leave it chunky if you prefer)
  • Taste the sauce and season. Set aside until serving

Chickpea Fries

  • Heat the oven to 200°c (fan)
  • Take the set mix out of the fridge and pull the mix from the tray using the baking paper and set on to a chopping board
  • Slice the mix into fries, I normally make about 20 pieces
  • Sprinkle the polenta on a plate or board and roll the individual fries in it until they have an even coating
  • Line a flat baking tray with some more baking paper or foil and then place the fries on to it
  • Put the tray into the oven and cook for about 20 minutes (make sure to turn them over halfway through) – you can coat them with a little oil if you want


  • Serve up the fries with the sauce, I also like to serve them with a pickled veg side