Spiced Chickpea Cakes with Red Onion and Cilantro Salad

Delia's Spiced Chickpea Cakes with Red Onion and Coriander Salad

Delia Smith's Vegetarian Collection is one of the finest cookbooks on my shelf. This is yet another book that could just as easily serve as a coffee table book, for it contains some of the most beautiful photographs of food I've seen. Surprising, I've had this book for a few years now but I've only just recently started to give it the attention it deserves. Delia presents over 250 recipes of varying complexity for soups and salads, eggs and cheese, starters, pasta, grains and beans, vegetables and baked treats. Although each and every dish is sure to wow your diners, she also includes a section entitled "Food for Friends" should you have the time and inclination to cook up something extra special, such as quattro formaggio pizza, wild mushroom Stroganoff, or perhaps a thick onion tart or savory Feta cheesecake.

I've had my eye on this recipe for spiced chickpea cakes with red onion and cilantro salad for quite some time and after tasting it, I can't believe it took me this long to make. I've modified the recipe slightly to suit my spicy tastes. The texture of these little cakes is much like a baked falafel, although the seasonings are quite different. Delia suggests serving the chickpea cakes with brown rice, and I went one step further and served them alongside mushrooms paprika with brown basmati rice.

Delia's Spiced Chickpea Cakes with Red Onion and Coriander Salad

Spiced Chickpea Cakes with Red Onion and Cilantro SaladSpiced Chickpea Cakes with Red Onion and Cilantro Salad
Recipe by
Adapted from Delia's Vegetarian Collection
Published on March 26, 2008

Soft, golden, fragrant and spicy chickpea cakes with a little tart lemon and tangy yogurt served with a lemony red onion and cilantro salad

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  • 1 1/4 dried chickpeas (3 3/4 cups cooked)
  • 2 teaspoons coriander seeds
  • 2 teaspoons cumin seeds
  • 4 tablespoons butter or olive oil
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 3 to 4 green chilies, seeded and finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons turmeric
  • 2 handfuls of fresh cilantro
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons plain yogurt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt, or to taste
  • fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 1/2 cup chickpea (besan) flour
  • 1 medium red onion, cut into thin slices
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
  • juice from 1 lemon (3 tablespoons)
  • 3 tablespoons fresh cilantro leaves
  • Rinse the chickpeas and soak for 8 hours or overnight in several inches of water. Drain and rinse, then transfer to a medium saucepan and cover with several inches of fresh water. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer for 1 hour or until the chickpeas are tender. Drain and set aside.

  • While the beans are cooking, prepare the salad. In a small bowl, toss together the onion, lemon zest, lemon juice and cilantro leaves. Marinate for at least 30 minutes, tossing occasionally.

  • Now roast the coriander and cumin seeds in a small unoiled frying pan over medium heat for a few minutes until the seeds are fragrant and hav darkened a few shades. Grind to a powder in a mortar and pestle or electric coffee grinder. Set aside.

  • Heat 2 tablespoons of the butter or olive oil in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Add the onion, chilies and garlic to the pan. Cook for 5 minutes or until the onion begins to lightly brown. Stir in the ground coriander and cumin seeds and turmeric, and stir for 30 seconds. Remove from heat and set aside.

  • Process the cooked and drained chickpeas and cilantro in a food processor until evenly chopped. Transfer to a medium bowl and combine with the cooked onion mixture, lemon zest, and 3 tablespoons of yogurt. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Add up to 1 more tablespoon of yogurt if the mixture appears too dry to shape with your hands.

  • Form the mixture into 8 patties about 1/2 inch thick. Brush each patty with the beaten egg and coat with flour.

  • Heat the remaining butter or olive oil over high heat in a frying pan. When hot, fry the cakes a few at a time, about a minute per side until golden brown. Drain on paper towels and serve over a portion of the red onion salad, with a dollop of yogurt on the side if desired.

Makes 4 servings

Delia's Spiced Chickpea Cakes with Red Onion and Coriander Salad


Laurie Constantino said...

Lisa, this is right up my alley - definitely on my list of recipes to try.

Anonymous said...

These sound like something I'd love--great for dinner and lunch the next day. They look so tasty! Nice to find another use for chickpeas (besides my usual hummus). :0

Dori said...

These look really good, and they are made with my favorite bean!

LisaRene said...

Lisa, you need to open up a vegetarian restaurant, you cook up so many good things you should be getting paid for it! These chickpea cakes sound delicious. They are a style of food I really enjoy because you can assemble them in advance and then cook them up for service. The yogurt is an unexpected ingredient, which I imagine helps hold them together.

Anonymous said...

I do love a good Delia Smith recipe. I used to have this book, but it's mysteriously disappeared. I'm sure a friend has it, but they deny it . . .

Anyway I haven't made this one, but looks delicious. And I like the way you've oomph-ed up the spices.

Trekkie said...

I like the original version, but yours looks to be a hit as well.

Thistlemoon said...

I recently made chickpea patties too, but I like the spices in this one, so much better. I will try it this way next time! :)

Annemarie said...

I don't have Delia's veggie collection, and I'm a bit negative on Delia these days, but I like the sound of these semi-burger/semi-falafel patties.

Johanna GGG said...

these look lovely - and just your sort of thing - I have often wondered about getting delia's cookbook but only in moments when my worry about cookbooks taking over my life and my home outweighs my desire for the book!

Sara said...

I do like Delia, although I don't have any of her books. These look great, I'll be trying them soon.

Anonymous said...

I love this idea... the burger/patty/falafel thing. The combination of spices definitely makes these worthy of a try.

eatme_delicious said...

Ooo yummy. I love falafel and have wanted to try making it at home. This is another great idea! Thanks. I'm a bit wary of pan frying things like this though because when I've tried doing it with homemade veggie burgers, they've fallen apart. Depends on the recipe I guess though so I should try these!

basil said...

Another superfine recipe. These were delicious.

Jeanne said...

Ooooh, these look fantastic. I love felafel and these look to be in a similar vein. Also like the idea of the salad as a clean crisp counterpoint to the fried cakes. Thanks for sharing and for contributing to WTSIM this month!