Chickpea Croquettes

Posted in Food, Recipes by Elizabeth on February 27, 2011

A few months ago I started what has become an addition of buying dried beans to cook rather than canned.  Not that I still wouldn’t use a can of beans in a pinch, the taste difference between the two is pretty substantial.  Chickpeas for instance, once soaked and cooked, are exceptionally earthy and nutty.  Cannellini beans are also nutty while also tasting a bit like pasta (israeli couscous or orzo I might say).  Black beans are definitely earthy and subtly strong (if I can put those two words together) – its no wonder they is often paired with spicy seasonings and bold meats. I now continually stock dry beans.  Most beans do take some planning ahead, however, as they often need to be soaked.  To know which beans need the overnight soak and which don’t, I use this site’s chart as a guide.  I recommend taking the plunge into the dried bean world.

For a protein packed dinner the other night, I opted to put some freshly cooked chickpeas to use.

Chickpea Croquettes (from So Good and Tasty)

  • 3 cups cooked chickpeas
  • 3/4 cups hot water
  • 1 cup spelt flour
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • juice of half a lemon
  • 1/2 red onion, diced
  • 1 jalapeño, seeded and diced
  • 1 grated carrot
  • a handful of cilantro, chopped
  • 3 cloves minced garlic
  • 2 eggs

Combine the flour, ground cumin, and a healthy pinch of salt in a large bowl.  Add the hot water and lemon juice and mix.  This comes out to be the texture like cream of wheat.  In another bowl, mix the chickpeas, onion, jalapeño, garlic, carrot, and cilantro.  Add this mixture to the flour and stir until combined.  Crack the eggs in a bowl and whisk before adding to the chickpea mixture.  I waited to add this because I did not want the eggs to cook in the hot water.  The eggs are there to bind.

In a saute pan over medium heat, add vegetable oil.  Once the oil is shimmering, add a spoonful of the chickpea mixture.  Even with the egg and flour, the mixture is still a bit loose so one spoonful at a time is about what works.  I still had a few rogue chickpeas floating around the pan.  Cook until the bottom is brown, about 3-4 minutes, and flip to brown the other side.

This is one of those recipes that I’d probably change up the next time I make it. I’d probably take out some of the flour, maybe just use 1/2 a cup.  I’d also then smash about half of the chickpeas so that they served as a bit of a paste.  It is nice to bite into the chickpeas so I would certainly leave half whole.  I’d also add another jalapeño.  You might also experiment with other kinds of peppers.  The end result is a little chickpea pancake, similar to the texture of a potato latka.

I served these on a bed of arugula with some cherry tomatoes dressed in a spicy vinagrette (white wine vinegar, oil, lemon juice, honey, and cayanne).  You could do a chipotle mayo or spicy aioli on top as well.  Salsa could also work as a bit of a garnish.


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