These are sort of like falafel, I suppose, and I already have two falafel recipes up on the site. Why am I putting this up, then? They sounded good, and they were unlike both my falafel recipes – one of which has eggs and one of which uses raw chickpeas and this does neither – so we made them.
The patties are from A Year in a Vegetarian Kitchen, but I did something different with the dressing. The cookbook called for a olive oil-lemon juice dressing (4 T. olive oil, 1 T fresh lemon juice), but we made that up and I found it overly acidic. Instead, I mixed a half-cup of plain yogurt with a couple tablespoons of oil and added a little salt and pepper. Yes, we’re getting closer and closer to falafel, aren’t we?
Additionally, the cookbook called for the patties to be served on the dressed arugula. I had the patties over raw arugula for dinner, but for lunch today I nuked some for a minute with a dash of olive oil, salt and pepper, and I thought the cooked arugula was a much better companion to the patties than the raw had been..
This originally called for all-purpose flour, and you could certainly do that if you are not me and currently on the boring ol’ wheat avoidance kick. It also originally called for 2 15 oz. cans of chickpeas…instead of doing that, we used about 3 c. cooked chickpeas.
My poor husband tried to cook these according to the specified directions, and his first batch went to pieces in the oil. He thought maybe the problem was the oil, so he switched from olive to canola. I came in at that point and deduced that the problem must be something other than the type of oil. I tried using more oil (they still disintegrated), then using less oil, (they disintegrated less). I added a little more liquid to the patties. That helped some. Then I dredged them lightly with chickpea flour and fried them in a very little oil in a non-stick skillet. That worked.
So my advice to you is if you try these and they disintegrate, try that – adding a small amount of moisture, dredging (for which you’ll need additional flour), and frying in a very small amount of oil. I think part of the problem also may have been the lack of binding provided by the flour – the chickpea flour would bind some, but maybe not quite like the wheat flour does.
We made smaller patties, too, so as to make them more manageable in the pan.
Basically we futzed around with this thing a lot, so any resemblance of our dish to the original recipe is purely coincidental at this point.
2 15 oz. cans chickpeas or 3 c. cooked chickpeas, drained
1/2 c. packed fresh parsley leaves
2 medium garlic cloves, peeled
1/2 t. ground cumin
1/2 t. hot red pepper flakes
1/4 c. chickpea flour (check the bulk section at your health food store or use wheat flour)
1. Place the chickpeas, parsley, garlic, cumin, and pepper flakes in a food processor. Process, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed, until smooth. Scrape the mixture into a medium bowl and stir in the flour and salt to taste. Shape the mixture into 8 3-in. patties.
2. Heat 1 1/2 T. of the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Add the chickpea patties and cook until golden brown, about 4 minutes. Carefully turn the patties and drizzle 1 1/2 T. of the remaining oil around the edges of the pan. Continue cooking until the patties are golden brown on the second side, about 3 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, place the arugula in a medium bowl, drizzle with the remaining 1 T. oil and the lemon juice, sprinkle with salt to taste, and toss gently. Divide the arugula among four individual plates.
4. Once the patties are cooked, transfer 2 to each plate with the salad and serve immediately.