There are two types of chickpea flour, roasted and unroasted (or toasted and untoasted.) The roasted one is made from dried chickpeas that are briefly roasted first; the unroasted one is just made straight from unroasted dried chickpeas.
In Indian cooking, the flour is used to make fritters, pancakes and savoury balls. In the Middle East, it is used to make falafel. In French Provençal cooking, it is used for items such as Socca, the pancakes made in Nice. In Liguria, Italy, panissa is a polenta made from chickpea flour.
If a recipe wants the roasted chickpea flour, it will specify. Otherwise, assume it means unroasted.
Chickpea flour can also be used as a more flavourful thickener than wheat flour.
To make the roasted flour, toast dried chickpeas in the oven for 5 to 10 minutes until they are golden brown, then grind like flour. To make the untoasted one, just grind dried chickpeas. Do not use boiled chickpeas, or canned ones.
As another substitute, use besan flour (though granted, if you’re having trouble getting your hands on chickpea flour, besan flour may not be much easier to source.)
1 cup = 90g = 3 oz
The Romans made a form of polenta from chickpea flour. It was also used in the Middle Ages.
Throughout Southern Europe, it was used more at a time when wheat flour was expensive.
In Nice, France, they call this flour “socca”. In India, the roasted chickpea flour is called “sattu”.