Monday, October 1, 2012

Chickpea Cakes with Cucumber-Yogurt Sauce

A few months ago I posted a recipe from one of my new favorite cookbooks, ATK Best Simple Recipes and since then I have made several other recipes from this wonderful cookbook.  Just when I think I can't be any more impressed by all of these simple, yet mouthwatering recipes I make another and I am impressed all over again.  America's Test Kitchen (ATK) never ceases to present amazing recipes as well as the information as to what makes these recipes work.  I love, love, love this cookbook and ATK.  This cookbook helps me make tasty and nutritious meals for my family even on those hectic weeknights.  This is definitely one of those tools that all you busy people want to have in your survival toolbox.

Initially this was one of those recipes that I wasn't very sure about.  I had it on the menu for a few weeks before I finally decided to make it, and boy am I glad I finally got around to this recipe.  I love chickpeas and I love hummus, but that was about the extent of my cooking with chickpeas, until now.  These chickpea cakes are tasty, with a light and breaded filling and a crispy outer shell.  They are packed full of flavor, slighlty earthy from the cilantro and onions and a hint of spice from the cayenne and garam masala.  The cake is then pan fried until crispy and golden brown and topped with the cucumber yogurt sauce which lends a light and fresh flavor to the dish.  I served these cakes with a green salad, and it made for a wonderfully light and filling meal perfect for weeknight. 

Chickpea Cakes with Cucumber-Yogurt Sauce

2 Slices hearty white sandwich bread, torn into pieces
1 Cucumber, peeled, halved lenthwise, seeded and shredded
1 1/4 Cups Greek yogurt
6 Scallions thinly sliced on the biased
1/3 Cup cilantro, roughly chopped
2 Large eggs
4 Tbsp olive oil
1 tsp garam masala
1/8 Tsp cayenne pepper
2 (16 oz) cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 Medium shallot, minced
1 Lime, cut into wedges


Preaheat oven to 350. 

Place bread pieces into a food processor and pulse until coarse crumbs begin to form.  Spread crumbs onto a rimmed baking sheet.  Place crumbs in oven and bake 10-12 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Once crumbs are dry and golden remove from oven and set aside allowing to cool.

While the crumbs are baking, combine the shredded cucumber and 1/2 teaspoon salt and toss to combine.  Place salted cucumber in a colander and allow to drain for 15 minutes.  In a small bowl combine drained cucumber, 3/4 cup yogurt, 2 tablespoons scallions, and 1 tablespoon cilantro and stir to incorporate.  Season with salt and pepper and set aside.

In a medium bowl whisk together the eggs, 2 tablespoons oil, garam masala, cayanne pepper, and 1/4 teaspoon salt.

Place chickpeas in the food processor and pulse until mostly smooth, making sure the mixture is not pureed.  Transfer to a large bowl, add bread crumbs, egg mixture, shallot, and remaining yogurt, scallions and cilantro and stir to combine.  Form the mixture into six 1-inch thick patties.

Place a large skillet over medium heat, add 1 tablespoon oil and allow skillet and oil to heat.  Place part of the patties in the pan, being sure not to overcrowd, and cook until well browned, about 4-5 minutes per side.  Transfer cooked patties to a plate and loosely tent with foil.  Repeat process with remaining oil and patties.  Serve with cucumber-yogurt sauce and lime wedges.

Recipe source: Barely adapted from America's Test Kitchen,  The Best Simple Recipes

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