Chickpea Patties with Yogurt Sauce

November 26, 2010 § 2 Comments

Hey guys,

So my boyfriend is a pretty awesome cook.  He’s actually the one who got me into cooking in the first place, and gave me the idea (and name!) for this blog.  He’s been doing quite a bit of cooking up in New England and since he has a super snazzy camera, he’s been taking some pretty great photos, so we decided that he should step in and do a few guest posts.  We’ll be switching off now and then in the future as well.

Without further ado, here’s his first post!  Enjoy.

– J.

The finished product (+ salad)

So I’ll admit up front that I was intrigued by this recipe because of its closeness to falafel. It really is a different beast, but the concept is certainly similar: mash up chickpeas &c. and fry in oil. Simple. Easy. And though I fried up everything all at once, you could easily keep the “batter” in the fridge for a day or two and fry up fresh patties as you want them (something that has become more important to me recently, spending much of my time living in an apartment with a microwave but a notable paucity of microwave-safe plates).

Logistical stuff: I’ll cover the yogurt sauce first, because that could be made pretty much as much before hand as you’d like–minutes, hours, or the day before, though that much planning ahead probably isn’t necessary. It takes a little over 15 minutes. I have to admit that I’m not really a yogurt sauce fan, though I did find this one good as they go. The other people I served really liked it, so I suppose their endorsement makes up for my ambivalence. The patties are delicious, but they are not as heavily spiced as falafel, so if you were looking for something a bit stronger you could up the garam masala even more (the source doubled it from 1 tsp. to 2 tsps.) or add spices to your liking.

So, down to business.

Chickpea Patties: (Source Recipe)
2 (15-ounce) cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed (see the patties section for other options)
2 tsp. garam masala (or more if you like, the original uses 1 tsp., I used 2 tsp. in mine as per my source recipe)
2 tbsp. olive oil
 (more for frying)
2 eggs
1/2 c. toasted bread crumbs
1/2 c. Greek yogurt
4 scallions, minced
3 tbsp. cilantro, minced
Salt to taste

Tzatziki Sauce:
1 c. Greek yogurt
1 cucumber, shredded
2 tbsp. scallions
1 tbsp. cilantro
Salt to taste

Without further delay, the sauce:

Peel your cucumber and scoop the seeds out with a spoon.

Scooping out the seeds

It is advisable to do this over a large countertop or a sink, as the seed have this annoying tendency to fly everywhere–the counter, the floor, your face–and it’ll be easier to clean up if you can keep them contained. Alternately, you can probably just use a European cucumber and not worry about the seed issue at all.

Shred the cucumber with the medium sized holes of a grater (like the size you would use for a medium-soft cheese like cheddar) into a colander, salt lightly, and set aside somewhere where it can drip a little and not cause a huge mess. Leave it there for about 10-15 minutes.

Shredded cucumber

While you are waiting chop up your scallion & cilantro–if you are going to do the patties on the same day it is worth just doing the extra chopping at the same time. I did about 6 scallions, 4 for the burgers and 2 for the sauce.

Then just mix everything up in a bowl when your cucumber is ready.

Yogurt sauce

I used plain lowfat yogurt because I had an exceedingly large amount on hand; a good Greek yogurt would have made the final result that much tastier but we work with what we have. Once it is done put it in the fridge to keep it cool, and when you are ready get working on . . .

. . . The patties:

First, toast your breadcrumbs. I don’t have a picture of how they ought to look, but a nice golden brown is what you are going for. These are almost there:

Breadcrumbs nearly there

If you want to you can sort of set them goldening as you work on the next step, but keep a careful watch on them so you don’t let them go too far. Mix them around a lot so they get evenly browned. (Another note: I had a ton of panko breadcrumbs on hand so I used those. It certainly changed the final result a bit but it worked fine, so if that’s what you have then go for it.)

Whisk together the spices, eggs, oil, and some salt in a small bowl. How much salt you use is really up to you. I thought the patties could have used a little more (I put about 1/8th teaspoon in), but I tend to like things a bit saltier than average.

Take your chickpeas, drain them and rinse them, and put them in a fairly large bowl. Then get mashing. You have a lot of options here. If you use canned, you can just mash them up a bit with a fork or probably a pastry cutter (Nick of Macheesmo suggests a potato masher, but I can’t confirm or deny its efficacy), or you could food-process/immersion blend them into a paste if you wanted less texture in the burgers.

Mashed-up chickpeas

You could also use dried chickpeas, left to soak in water overnight. In that case you’ll find mashing with a fork doesn’t really work, and the options with whirling mechanical blades will be most effective. That’s how I usually do falafel. For this I got it about as even as was worth doing with a fork.

Everything in a bowl

Then stir in the rest of the ingredients to form your patty paste. It should look like this:

Mixed-up paste

Put some olive oil (about 2 tbsp, though you may have to add more for your second batch of patties) in a reasonably-sized frying pan (my pictures show a 12-inch which has space for 4 patties with plenty of room to spare) and heat it on high. Either form the paste into 6 to 8 patties beforehand, or just wing it. I just took the “batter” a handful at a time, patted it into a burger-shaped blob and set it in the pan as I went.

When the oil is hot–but not in flames–set your first patties in the pan.

First four patties cooking

Cook a few minutes each side (try 4) until they are a nice brown color. They hold together fairly well, but it depends on how big they are. Some may decide to fall apart when they get flipped the first time. Don’t worry, mine didn’t all come out perfect! I chose my pictures carefully.

Two patties flipped

You can set them on a paper towel for a minute or two to let a little oil soak out of them. Then serve.

Delicious!

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