20 Curried Chickpea Cakes
One of my favorite places in the world is Japan. I love riding my bike through the streets, passing the hunched backs of people working in rice paddies or in their community gardens. Some of my most interesting stories are from my experiences there. It's crazy, but my husband and I found the BEST Indian restaurant there called Ganesh. It's a tiny whole in the wall, family owned, with a tiny open kitchen full of the deepest flavors, oh my gosh I can't even think about it without my mouth watering. You could watch them chopping onion, or "Slapping the Naan" as we jokingly called it. Everything was fresh and made to order. Obvs I can't just hop a flight to Japan, but after my trip to Penzeys Spice store I picked up their Maharajah spice, a blend of turmeric, coriander, cumin, cardamom, fenugreek, ginger, nutmeg, fennel, cinnamon, white pepper, black pepper, cloves, red pepper and saffron, and was inspired.
I served these little cakes on warmed garlic naan and a dollop of cucumber dill yogurt.
Curried Chickpea Cakes
(Makes 6 Cakes)
2 15.5 oz cans of chickpeas, drained
1 cup of frozen carrots, peas, corn, thawed (I used Cascadian Farm)
1 teaspoon Salt
1 teaspoon Black Pepper
2 teaspoons Maharajah Spice by Penzeys
1 8 oz block Paneer Cheese
2 tablespoons Vegetable Oil
1 8.8 oz package of Garlic Naan (two loaves)
1 8.5 oz package of tzatziki 1 tablespoon tzatziki per serving (I loaded up on this stuff!)
1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F. In a microwave safe dish cook the frozen veggies in 1/2 cup of water for about 5 minutes. Just until thawed, not really cooking it - that will come later.
2. Puree the chickpeas, I have a mini food processor and just did small batches until done. You want the chickpeas creamy, but a few lumps is good. It they aren't pureed enough they won't stick together very well.
3. In a large bowl add the mashed chickpeas, 1 cup of veggies, salt, pepper, and Maharajah spice. Stir well.
4. Form into 2 inch wide patties, this seemed to be the best size so that they didn't fall apart during cooking. Place a thin slice of paneer cheese on the bottom patty and then cover with another patty, and seal the edges.
5. In large skillet, add the vegetable oil and heat over medium-high heat. When hot, place the cakes in the pan and cook each side 5-7 minutes. It will get more yellow in color and a crispy outside when close to done.
6. Place the Naan on a baking sheet and sprinkle the top with water. Bake for 3 minutes and remove from oven. Cut into (somewhat) even squares.
7. To build your dinner, put the naan on the plate first, then a finished Chickpea cake and finally top with Tzatziki sauce.