Delia

Chickpea, Chilli and Coriander Cakes with Marinated Red Onion Salad

At the football club we're always trying out new ideas for vegetarians (ie the real ones who don't eat fish). 


This one's a real winner and can hold its own against any meat or fish recipe. If you're serving it as a main course, it's nice with some nutty brown rice.


Serves 6 as a starter or 4 as a main course

This recipe is taken from How to Cook Book Three and Delia's Vegetarian Collection

Chickpea, Chilli and Coriander Cakes with Marinated Red Onion Salad
Ingredients
 8 oz (225 g) chickpeas, soaked overnight
 2 small red chillies, deseeded and finely chopped
 ½ oz or a 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
 1 x 500 g tub Greek yoghurt
 grated zest ½ 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
For the red onion salad:
 1 medium red onion, peeled and thinly sliced into half-moon shapes
 1 level teaspoon grated lemon zest
 juice 1 lemon
 3 level tablespoons picked coriander leaves
Equipment
You will also need a large frying pan.

Method

First pour the soaked and drained chickpeas, together with enough fresh water to cover them, into a saucepan, then bring them to the boil, cover with a lid and simmer for about 30 minutes or until they're absolutely tender. Then drain them thoroughly in a sieve.

Whilst the chickpeas are cooking prepare the red onion salad – mix the onion with the lemon zest, juice and coriander in a small bowl and set aside to marinate for at least 30 minutes.

Next you need to roast the coriander and cumin seeds in order to draw out their fragrance and flavour. To do this place them in a small frying pan or saucepan over a medium heat and stir and toss them around for about 1-2 minutes or until they begin to look toasted and start to 'jump' in the pan. Now transfer them to a pestle and mortar and crush them to a powder.

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. Then stir in the toasted ground spices and turmeric and continue to cook for a further 30 seconds.

Next tip the chickpeas into a food processor along with the fresh coriander and process until everything is evenly chopped, but not to a purée – the chickpeas should still have some of their texture. Transfer to a bowl now and stir in the softened onions, spices, 3 tablespoons of the Greek yoghurt and the lemon zest and juice. Now give it all a really good mix, taste, and add plenty of seasoning.

As soon as the mixture is cool enough to handle, form it into 12 patties for a starter. They should be about 2 inches (5 cm) in diameter and ½ inch (1 cm) thick, or 8 larger patties if you are serving them for a main course.

Now coat each one first with beaten egg then toss them around in the wholemeal or chickpea flour. 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 colour, about 1 minute on each side.

Drain well on kitchen paper and serve as soon as possible with the red onion salad and about 2 rounded tablespoons Greek yoghurt per person.

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