147 – Karane / Karantita / Calentita – Savory Chickpea Flan Recipe

My grandmother is from Oujda, which is a city located in the Easter side of Morocco, not far from the Algerian borders. When I used to visit her as a child, she would take me out and buy me my favorite street food called Karane! Karane is a sort of a flan made with chickpea flour. Althought it is very popular in the Eastern region of Morocco and Western region of Algeria, it is actually the national dish of Gibraltar where it is called “Calentita”, from the Spanish word “Caliente” which means hot. Probably because the street vendors used to shout out “Calentita, Calentita” to let people know that their product was hot, fresh out of the oven! Karane is super easy to make, you just have to make sure not to overbake it. It is supposed to have a crusty bottom and a smooth top layer, that makes it so special. You have my word that this is going to become your favorite street food!

Ingredients

  • 3 cups milk
  • 1 cup chickpea flour
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon cumin powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Directions

1- Preheat your oven to 350 F degrees.
2- Grease your baking pan with softened butter. I am using a 9-inch round ceramic pan.
3- Lightly beat the 2 eggs.
4- In a food blender, mix all the ingredients (chickpea flour, milk, olive oil, eggs, and spices). Mix all the ingredients until you get a smooth mixture. Note that the mixture is liquidy.
5- Pour the mixture in your baking pan.
6- Bake for 40-45 minutes.
7- After 40 minutes, Karan should be done. It’s very important not to overbake it. it should be set but still soft. It’s cooked enough to get a kind of crust at the bottom, however, the top layer is very soft and creamy. It should not be hard.
8- Place the baking pan in the top rack of the oven, and broil for 3 minutes until the crust becomes brown.
9- Karane can be eaten hot or warm, either as is with a spoon or  as a sandiwch. It is usually served in a baguette with some Harissa, which is a very popular spicy sauce made of red peppers. People also like to sprinkle more cumin powder on top!
Bonne appetit!