Chickpea flour is really easy to make at home, especially if you have a high speed blender. We toast the chickpeas until they are aromatic – either the small Indian chickpeas or the regular, larger ones – and allow them to cool. Then grind them to a fine powder in a high speed blender. We are fortunate enough to have a “dry” blender jug, designed for powdering dry ingredients, but I hear you can do this just as easily using the normal blender jugs.
We toasted our chickpeas early this morning, pre dawn, and the house smelled toasty and chickpea-y. They cooled while we had breakfast, and then made our flour – a couple of cups worth. The reason we are doing this today is that we were out of the flour and needed a little for today’s recipe. I love to make my own besan – you know what is in it when you grind it yourself.
The fritters come from an Ottolenghi recipe and I have made some adjustments to it. Firstly the egg is replaced with the chickpea flour as we do not cook with eggs. Secondly – we wondered why Ottolenghi was toasting spices and then adding black pepper separately. So we have used our South Indian tricks to toast and grind black peppercorns along with the other spices. We replaced fennel seeds with ajwain as we love ajwain and were out of fennel seeds.
We have also been used to making this recipe with a fabulous Indian tomato chutney to accompany it. Today we made it with a sour cream sauce but I do recommend it with the tomato chutney – I’ve included the recipe below.
And by the way – a little Indian sour and salty mango pickle sets these burgers off beautifully (we prefer to call them patties).
The broad beans were from our stash in the freezer.
It is Ottolenghi Cooking the Books Day on the blog – a day 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 (this recipe is from Plenty). 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.
Broad Bean Patties
0.5 tspn each whole cumin, coriander and fennel (or ajwain) seeds, and 1 tspn black pepper corns
25g spinach or other greens that can be wilted
4 Tblspn olive oil
350g potatoes, peeled and diced
350g shelled broad beans, fresh or frozen (best peeled as well as shelled, if they are older, white coloured broad beans)
0.5 mild chilli, deseeded and chopped
2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
0.5 tspn turmeric
3 Tblspn fresh coriander leaves, chopped well
40g dried breadcrumbs
1 – 1.5 Tblspn chickpea flour
50g plain flour
Put the spices in a pan and dry-roast until they release their aromas, then grind.
Wilt the spinach in a tablespoon of olive oil, chop and set aside.
Boil the potatoes in salted water for five minutes, then add the broad beans and simmer for 8 minutes more. Drain, transfer to a bowl and add the ground spices, chilli, garlic, turmeric, 2 tablespoons of olive oil, sea salt and pepper, then mash roughly (I use a potato masher to achieve a rough mash). Add the spinach, coriander leaves, breadcrumbs and 1 Tblspn chickpea flour, and mix well. If still a little wet, add the remaining 0.5 Tblspn chickpea flour.
Taste and adjust the seasoning. Shape into fat patties (wet your hands first), coat in plain flour and chill for at least half an hour.
Meanwhile make your sauce (either of the ones below).
Heat the sunflower oil and fry the patties on a high flame for five minutes a side, until golden-brown. Serve with your chosen sauce on the side (see below for 2 options or use sweet chilli sauce) and a lemon wedge.
recipe notes and alternatives
These would also be great made with peas, edamame or sweetcorn in place of the broad beans.
Sour Cream Sauce
100g sour cream
1 Tblspn chives, chopped
1 Tblspn lemon juice
45ml olive or sunflower oil
sea salt and black pepper
Stir together the cream, chives, final tablespoon of olive oil, lemon juice, sea salt and black pepper.
You can also make this with half sour cream and half yoghurt. The chives can be replaced with coriander leaves.
Tomato Mint Sauce
this also makes a great sandwich spread or a dip with corn chips. Using 3 dried chillies makes a chutney that is quite spicy. Use less if you wish.
3 Tblspn olive oil
1 tspn brown mustard seeds
2 medium tomatoes, chopped
1 cup loosely packed mint leaves
3 Indian dried red chillies, or to taste
1 tspn turmeric powder
pinch asafoetida powder
2 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
1 cup coriander leaves, chopped
sea salt to taste
1 tspn sugar
Heat the oil in a heavy pan over medium heat. Add the mustard seeds and allow them to pop. Add the chopped tomatoes and other ingredients. Stir and cook for 10 mins to a thick sauce and allow to cool.
Pulse in the blender or food processor a couple of times to make a delightful chunky sauce.
Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary.
Can be made ahead of time and stored in the fridge for up to 3 days.