This recipe is quick, easy, cheap and delicious. It can be fed to vegans and veggies alike and will be eagerly consumed by meat eaters too. The only difficult bit is finding chickpea flour but an Asian grocer will have it, so look there first if you have such a shop handy. The recipe blends chickpea flour (known as gram in India) with a generous helping of defrosted frozen peas and spices or herbs of your choice. It’s not fussy. If you like mildly spicy food, use the recipe here. If your taste tends more to herby flavours then use any fresh leafy herb you have to hand – use enough to make one to two tablespoons of the finely chopped leaves, depending on how powerfully flavoured the herb is.
This would be a good contribution to a buffet lunch as it can be served hot, warm or cold. The patties are moist but they benefit from a fresh tomato salsa or a yoghourt and mint dip – use whatever you fancy. For everyday eating, they make a wonderful light supper or lunch dish.
Serves 2: makes 6 patties
2 banana shallots
2 garlic cloves
1 heaped teaspoon ground cumin
1 heaped teaspoon mild curry powder
Breakfast mugful of frozen peas – the exact quantity is not important
100g chickpea flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
Olive oil for frying
Lemon wedges to serve
Chop the shallots as finely as possible so that you have almost reduced them to a mush. Sweat them briefly in oil until they just begin to colour on a moderate heat in a little oil. Meanwhile crush the garlic and then add it to the onions for about a minute of cooking. Add the spices and let them cook for a minute only with the onions and garlic. Take the pan off the heat and let it cool while you make the rest of the patty mixture.
Pour boiling water over the frozen peas to thaw them. Let them stand for a few minutes then drain them. Ideally puree them in a food processor or mini chopper. Alternatively mash them by hand.
Combine the chickpea flour, cooled onion and spice mixture, salt, pepper, pea puree and baking powder. Use a fork to mix it thoroughly, adding a tablespoon of lemon juice to slacken it a little. Divide it into 6. Roll each into a ball then flatten it and use the palms of your hands to smooth the edges.
Heat some olive oil in a non stick pan on a moderate heat. Transfer the patties gently to the pan and have a spatula ready to lift them. About two minutes on each side will probably be enough, depending on thickness. Turn them over carefully.
Serve with some lemon wedges, the salsa of your choice and a salad: green beans and avocado in a tangy dressing would be a good choice.