Chickpea and Coriander Cakes with Tahini

Here is a great vegetarian alternative to hamburgers. The recipe comes from Sallie Morris and Lesley Mackley’s book The Spice Ingredients Cookbook, page 135. To serve this dish properly, you need tahini for the dip. Of course you can buy commercial tahini, but we include a video clip for making your own tahini from sesame seeds and olive oil. This recipe is panfried. We have not tried grilling the patties, but if you do, let us know how it turns out.

An alternative sauce can be made from low-fat plain yogurt with a little chopped chili and fresh mint.

15-ounce can chickpeas, drained

2 garlic cloves, crushed

1 bunch scallions (white parts only), chopped

2 tsp ground cumin

2 tsp ground coriander

1 fresh green chili, seeded and finely chopped

2 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro

1 small egg, beaten

2 tbsp all-purpose flour

seasoned flour, for shaping

oil for shallow frying

salt and ground black pepper

lemon wedges and fresh cilantro, to garnish

For Tahini and Lemon Dip

2 tbsp tahini

juice of 1 lemon

2 garlic cloves, crushed

Drain the chickpeas thoroughly. Tip them into a blender or food processor and process until smooth. Add the garlic, scallions, cumin and ground coriander. Process again until well mixed.

Scrape the mixture into a bowl and stir in the chili, fresh cilantro, egg and flour. Mix well and season with salt and pepper. If the mixture is very soft add a little more flour. Chill for about 30 minutes to firm the mixture.

Make the dip. Mix the tahini, lemon juice and garlic in a bowl, adding a little water if the sauce is too thick. Set aside.

Using floured hands, shape the chickpea mixture into 12 cakes. Heat the oil in a frying pan and fry the cakes in batches for about 1 minute on each side, until crisp and golden. Drain on paper towel and serve with the dip and lemon and cilantro garnish.

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