You will adore these green croquettes – how spectacularly coloured they are, especially for Winter when foods can be darker hued. They make great snacks, dipped into the creamy sauce. They will become a favourite, I am sure, and the croquette mixture can be made and shaped the day before you want to cook them. Keep them in the freezer to help with the shaping of the croquettes, and bring them out 30 – 60 mins before cooking.
This is sort of an Ottolenghi dish from Plenty More – we are cooking our way through this book. But his recipes use eggs and we do not cook with eggs. So the recipe has been altered significantly. Yet we still credit Ottolenghi with the inspiration. We replaced the eggs with chickpea flour and used a chickpea flour batter. It is a change that worked extremely well, and the result is amazing. We have not crumbed our croquettes, but you can do that. We did use a little polenta on some to give extra crispness.
Untypically, these taste healthy and fresh, yet still have that addictive, moreish streak of all fried things.
It is Ottolenghi Cooking the Books Day on the blog – one of two days per month where we publish the latest recipes we have tried in our project of cooking from Ottolenghi’s books – those we have cooked directly and those we have been inspired by. Currently we are cooking from Plenty More, but not ignoring his other books completely. Note that I often massage the recipes to suit what is available from our garden and pantry. For the original recipes, check his books and his Guardian column.
Browse all of our Snacks here and our Pea recipes. Our Ottolenghi dishes from Plenty More are here. We have written about our experiences cooking through this book. Or explore our Mid Winter recipes.
We use Australian measurements: 1 tspn = 5ml; 1 Tblspn = 20ml; 1 cup = 250ml.
Pea and Mint Croquettes in Chickpea Flour Batter
4 Tblspn olive oil
6 large shallots, finely chopped, or finely chopped white or red onion (about 300g)
1 Tblspn white-wine vinegar
700g fresh peas (or frozen, defrosted)
20g mint leaves, finely shredded
1 garlic clove, peeled and crushed
8 – 10 Tblspn chickpea flour
sea salt and black pepper
sunflower oil, for frying
150g panko breadcrumbs (optional)
batter made from 4 Tblspn chickpea flour mixed with water to form a batter
1 tspn dried mint
120g soured cream (or use thick Indian or Greek yoghurt)
1 Tblspn olive oil
Heat the olive oil in a frying pan and sauté the shallots on medium heat, stirring often, for 15-20 minutes, until soft. Add the vinegar, cook for two minutes, then take off the heat.
Put the peas in a food processor and briefly blitz – they need to break down but not so far that they turn into a mushy paste. Transfer to a bowl and stir in the shallots, mint, garlic, half a teaspoon of salt and lots of black pepper. Then stir in 4 Tblspn of sifted chickpea flour. Continue adding the flour bit by bit, mixing well, until the mixture is thick enough to form into patties.
Take a tray that will fit in the freezer and line it with parchment paper. Shape the mix into 12 – 16 patties, about 5 – 7cm in diameter and 2cm thick (or into traditional barrel shapes), and freeze for at least an hour. They can be left in the freezer for a couple of days if you want to make them ahead of time.
Remove the croquettes from the freezer and, one at a time and while still frozen, dip them first in the chickpea batter, then optionally scatter the top with breadcrumbs. Leave at room temperature for up to an hour, until mostly defrosted.
Meanwhile, mix together the sauce ingredients and season to taste.
Fill a medium frying pan with enough sunflower oil to come 2.5cm up the sides. Place on medium-high heat and, when the oil is hot, fry the croquettes in batches for about 3 – 4 minutes each, turning once; make sure the oil isn’t too hot, so the heat can permeate the centre by the time they are golden-brown. Drain on kitchen paper and pop into the oven to keep warm while the others cook. Serve as soon as possible with the sauce spooned on top or on the side.
recipe notes and alternatives
The peas can be sprinkled with fine polenta instead of breadcrumbs before frying.
A Mint and Coriander Chutney goes well with the croquettes.
Add green chilli and Indian spices to the pea mixture for beautiful Indian vada. Perhaps, pop some black mustard seeds before adding the onions/shallots, add some coriander to the mint, and add some finely chopped green chilli and amchoor powder to the pea mix (omit the white wine vinegar in this case). Finely chopped curry leaves could also be fried off with the onions. I will report back when I have played with the recipe.