The ultimate spanish tortilla – you’d never know there were no eggs in it!

The ultimate spanish tortilla

I remember in the earliest days of my plant-based conversion having almost daily little stabs of nostalgic grief as I remembered yet another dish I used to love that I would never again be able to enjoy. As my knowledge of amazing little vegan hacks grew, these feelings were replaced with joy as I discovered and created yet another recipe that I thought was consigned to history. I worked as a professional chef for a fair few year – and I hope not a shabby one. I worked around and with many world-class, decorated, and feted chefs. And I still wonder how many knew that you could make amazing meringues from chickpea water and sugar? I certainly didn’t. I mean who on earth worked that one out?! It’s nothing short of alchemy and I had to do it before I truly believed it. I swear the pavlova (with a coconut-based cream) that I made for our Christmas dinner last year was the best I’ve ever had.

Who would have thought a combination of blitzed-up dates and almond butter could replicate a mind-bogglingly delicious caramel for Millionaire’s shortbread? When I need eggs for a recipe now, my thoughts no longer default to scrapping the dish, but rather – shall I replace them with flax seed, chia seed, chickpea flour, coconut milk – or a combination, depending on the dish?

And so I come to this week’s recipe: Spanish tortilla. A dish traditionally bound by eggs – and a lot of them! So, while you are more than welcome to get to work whisking up the requisite proportions of chickpea flour and water, you can actually – these days – just pour a ready-made and delicious alternative straight out of a bottle. My wife is adamant she prefers this egg-free version to my old one. What I love about plant-based cooking – apart from the health and environmental benefits – is how it allows you to share and embrace the inspirational and entrepreneurial spirits of the people who have created the ingredients – based on their shared passion to avoid animal products. A vegan version of a traditionally non-vegan dish must never be an inferior tasting version of the original. It must stand on its own (fortunately never on two feet) in every way. I’m certain I’m a better cook now than I was before as a direct result of this challenge. Give it a go and please, let me know what you think.


600g potatoes (Maris Piper or similar)
1/2 tsp garlic granules
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for greasing
1 medium onion finely sliced.
4 tbsp chickpea flour
200ml water
1/2 tsp Kala Namak (optional)
1 tsp flakey sea salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper.


  1. Preheat the oven to 200 C.
  2. Peel and slice the potatoes to the thickness of a fifty pence piece.
  3. Mix the sliced potatoes with 2 tbsp of the olive oil, the onion powder and garlic granules until evenly coated.
  4. Spread the potatoes out in a thin even layer over a large baking tray and cook in the oven for 20 – 25 minutes – or until just tender.
  5. In the meantime, heat the remaining 1 tbsp olive oil in a heavy based frying pan over a medium heat. add the sliced onions and cook for 15 – 20 minutes, stirring regularly until they are  and very slightly caramelised.
  6. Whisk the chickpea flour, Kala Namak if using and the water until smooth – or use a liquid egg substitute product such as ‘Just Egg’.
  7. Mix the potatoes, onions, chickpea or egg substitute mix and seasoning until thoroughly and evenly combined.
  8. Line an ovenproof dish (approximately 17cm x 17cm x 6cm deep) completely with baking parchment and grease with a little olive oil. Pour the mixture into the dish and spread until even.
  9. Place in the oven and bake for 25 minutes.
  10.  Remove from the oven and when cool enough to handle, turn out carefully by upturning onto a plate, and then turn back again onto a chopping board so the golden brown side is uppermost.
  11.  Allow to cool before storing covered in the refrigerator. Serve at room temperature.

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