Saturday, September 6, 2008

Chickpeas cake

Ana nabati (I am a vegetarian). Our mudarris (teacher) said "like rabbit"... I had a kilo of chickpeas in my cabinet. Delia Smith gave me this idea of how to use my chickpeas. This recipe is really suitable for vegetarian and vegan, also to those who wish to cut down their meat consumption or on a diet.

We found that it's like eating burger shaped mushy chickpeas flavored with plenty of spices. My friend said it sounds like falafel. Yummy. It's so flexible. Stick it into a burger bun, pita bread or tortilla wrap with some salads, mayonaise, chili and tomato ketchup... emm...emmm... After having this you're ready for the world..... Here is the recipe if you would like to try.

Ingredients (Serves 6 as a starter or 4 as a main course)
  • 8 oz (225g) chickpeas, soaked overnight
  • 2 small red chillies, deseeded and finely chopped
  • 1/2 oz or 15 g pack fresh coriander
  • 1 heaped teaspoon coriander seeds
  • 1 heaped teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 2 oz (50 g) butter
  • 1 small onion, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 small green pepper, deseeded and finely chopped
  • 3 large garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 level teaspoon turmeric
  • 3 tablespoons Greek yogurt
  • grated zest 1/2 lemon
  • 1 dessertspoon lemon juice
  • salt and freshly milled black pepper
For the frying:
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 3 level tablespoons wholemeal flour or chickpea flour (gram flour)
  • 2 tablespoons groundnut oil (I used cooking oil)
  • a large frying pan
  1. First pour the soaked and drained chickpeas, together with enough fresh water to cover them into a saucepan, then bring them to boil.
  2. Cover with a lid and simmer for about 30 minutes or until they're absolutely tender.
  3. Then, drain them thoroughly in a sieve.
  4. In order to draw out the fragrance and flavour of coriander and cumin seeds, place them in a small frying pan or saucepan over a medium heat and stir and toss them for about 1-2 minutes or until they begin to look toasted and start to 'jump' in the pan.
  5. Now, transfer them to a pestle and mortar and crush them to a powder.
  6. After that, put the butter in a saucepan and gently fry the onion and green pepper along with the garlic and chillies for 5 minutes until they have softened and begun to turn brown.
  7. Then stir in the toasted ground spices and turmeric and continue to cook for a further 30 seconds.
  8. Next tip the chickpeas into a food processor along with the fresh coriander and process until everything chopped, but not to a puree, the chickpeas should still have some of their texture.
  9. Transfer to a bowl now and stir in the softened onions, spices, Greek yogurt, lemon zest and juice.
  10. Give it all a really good mix, taste and add plenty of seasoning.
  11. As soon as the mixture is cool enough to handle, form it into 12 patties for a starter. They should be about 2 inches (5cm) in diameter and 1/2 inch (1 cm) thick, or 8 large patties if you are serving them for a main course.
  12. Now, coat each one first with beaten egg then toss them around in the wholemeal or chickpea flour.
  13. Next heat a couple of tablespoons of oil in a frying pan on a high heat and when it's really hot, fry the cakes in two batches to a golden brown color on each side.
  14. Drain well on a kitchen paper and serve.

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