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Socca with Biltong

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I love food with a story! Socca is one of those happy accidents that came into existence when the Turks invaded Nice in 1543. Apparently, when the Niçois ran out of ammunition, they got cooking, and poured a concoction of hot oil and chickpea soup over their enemies. While it was not the most effective ammunition substitute, when the Turks licked their fingers to figure out what it was, they found it so delicious that it brought the battle to an abrupt end. But Socca as we know it today only gained popularity in the early 20th century. Today, it’s the most popular street food in the city of Nice. After calling this city home for almost a decade, I’ve come to love this local street delicacy almost as much as bazaar pannekoek, and I’ve always wanted to try it with biltong.

SOCCA WITH BILTONG

TIME: resting time 4 hours or overnight + 30 minutes | SERVES: 4

INGREDIENTS

for the socca

250 ml chickpea flour

30 ml olive oil

250 ml water

2,5 ml salt

1 ml ground cumin

olive oil


for the topping

freshly ground black pepper

80 g biltong powder

freshly grated parmesan cheese

fresh coriander

olive oil

METHOD

for the socca

Whisk the chickpea flour, water, olive oil and salt together in a bowl until smooth. Let it rest for 3 – 4 hours (or overnight) to give the flour time to absorb the water.

In the oven place the oven rack below the grill element and heat the oven to 210 °C. Place a cast-iron or non-stick saucepan in the oven and turn on the grill.

Remove the pan from the oven and add 30 ml oil to coat the bottom of the pan when the pan is swirled. Pour the batter into the centre of the pan. Tilt the pan so the batter coats the entire surface of the pan, if needed.

Place under the grill for 5 – 8 minutes. The socca should be flexible in the middle but crispy on the edges. Move the pan to a lower oven rack if the top is browning too quickly. Use a flat spatula to work your way under the socca and ease onto your serving plate. Repeat with the rest of the socca batter.

for the topping

Season with black pepper. Sprinkle ground biltong and finely grated parmesan cheese on top. Garnish with fresh coriander and drizzle with olive oil.

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