Chilli, Carrot and Chickpea Fritters with Chilli Yoghurt Dip

Chilli, Carrot and Chickpea Fritters with Chilli Yoghurt Dip

Completely moreish with a chilli kick. What more could one want? Pretty simple to make and perfect for any occassion – even breakfast.

I pretty much ate all of these, and I’m not even sorry.

Ingredients:

For the fritters:

  • 3 medium carrots, peeled and sliced
  • 200g tinned chickpeas, drained
  • 1 medium white onion, finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 1 red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
  • Sprig of fresh mint and of parsley, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon allspice
  • ½  teaspoon ground cloves
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¾ teaspoon tumeric
  • 1 ½ tablespoons tomato paste
  • Salt, pepper
  • Vegetable oil (for shallow frying)

For the chilli yoghurt:

  • Thick plain yoghurt, Greek or Lebanese style
  • 1 red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon chilli paste

Method:

In a saucepan bring water to the boil and add the carrots and cook for around 15 minutes until tender. Add the chickpeas and cook for a further 5 minutes or so.

Meanwhile, heat some vegetable oil on a medium heat in a frying pan and add the onion, garlic and chilli – gently sweat for around 5 minutes. Next add the spices, a generous seasoning of salt and pepper, and the tomato paste, mixing well until you are left with a thick paste. Remove from the heat and set aside.

Once the carrots and chickpeas are cooked and tender, drain well then transfer to a large bowl. Crush the carrots and chickpeas with a potato masher until combined but don’t worry about there being little bits of chickpeas left in halves or whole. Add to the bowl the spice paste made earlier along with the fresh mint and parsley. Using your hands mix well until all the ingredients are combined.

Wet your hands slightly and roll the mixture out into small balls. Shallow fry in vegetable oil for around 3-5 minutes or until slightly crispy on the outside, drain on kitchen paper.

For the chilli yoghurt:

Combine the chopped chilli and chilli paste with the yoghurt and voilà!

Then…nom nom nom…

Makes 12-14 fritters

Houmous

Houmous

Houmous for me is an extremely personal thing. Everyone has their own style of houmous, whether it be thick and chunky, smooth and whipped or with/without garlic.

The first houmous I remember trying was in Cyprus where my father is from. I have no recollection of what exact age I was when the holy dip was first introduced into my diet, but let’s just say I don’t remember life without it – and I have a scarily excellent memory. Houmous in Cyprus always had a lot more tahini in it than most, which effected the consistency making it smoother and thinner. When I taste that houmous I know I’m home!

However, although that little trip down memory lane was lovely, my houmous is not that houmous at all. I prefer a balance of ingredients and flavours, a thick yet smooth consistency with an indulgent garnishing of chickpeas, smoked paprika and of course my beloved – olive oil.

Grab some khoubiz people, it’s houmous time.

Note: Unlike my other recipes I shall be displaying units of measurement in cups. This is purely because whenever I make houmous I whack out my measuring cups and forget about those uptight, precise scales.

Ingredients:

  • 1 ½ cups precooked chickpeas, plus a handful reserved for garnish (I recommend jarred instead of tinned)
  • ¾ cup tahini
  • ½ – ¾ cup lemon juice
  • 2 cloves of garlic, crushed with some salt
  • Salt and pepper (unorthodox – I know)
  • Olive oil
  • Smoked paprika
  • Water

Method:

Drain and rinse chickpeas then purée in a blender. Add to the chickpeas around 3 tablespoons of olive oil, crushed garlic, a sprinkle of salt and pepper and blend.

Add half the tahini and half the lemon juice and blend, add the rest then blend again. Transfer the houmous to a bowl to finish the job by hand.

Taste the houmous, add more olive oil, lemon juice, tahini or salt as preferred. To thin the houmous add tiny splashes of cold water until the desired texture is achieved.

Serve by garnishing with the reserved chickpeas, a healthy drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkle of smoked paprika.