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Who knew that chickpea on chickpea action could turn into such a deliciously hot and crunchy mess? If someone suggested that you combine aquafaba (the viscous liquid you get when you drain a can of chickpeas), with the chickpeas themselves, you probably wouldn’t anticipate that the result would be these Spicy Chickpea Cakes. They have the texture and appearance of a an egg-battered and deep-fried fritter but contain no egg and are pan-fried in coconut oil. Crunchy on the outside and creamy like a good potato croquette on the inside, they’re infused with red Thai chilis, ginger, and mint.
If that sounds like it might need a cooling and complementary sauce, then consider making the Melon, Mandarin, and Mint salsa to go with it. For the melon, I used Piel de Sapo, which has white flesh and a mildy sweet, almost sweet and salty flavour. I liked that combo but other melon would work well here too – anything from honeydew to watermelon. I just learned that the Piel de Sapo is also called Santa Claus melon or Christmas melon, so it would be a fun choice for a holiday meal.
I think you’ll be happy with the chickpea cakes and salsa combo, but if you want to amp it up a notch and aren’t vegan, go fully indulgent with the honeycomb and crème fraiche topping too.
These are vegan if made without the garnish and gluten-free if made with the chickpea flour option.
They would make a delicious lunch, dinner, or side. I hope you try them. I’d love your feedback.
For some background on aquafaba see my Buckwheat, Oatmeal, and Maple Syrup Muffin recipe.
Crunchy on the outside and creamy like a good potato croquette on the inside, these Chickpea Cakes pack a spicy punch.
Spicy Chickpea Cakes
Makes about eight 3 inch cakes
- 19 ounce can of chickpeas. Keep the liquid! (I used unsalted. If yours are salted, taste before salting below)
- 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon of chickpea water (this is called aquafaba)
- 1/2 cup flour (wheat or chickpea flour)
- 2 thai chili peppers, finely diced. Remove the seeds unless you want it really really hot.
- 2 tablespoons minced ginger
- 2 tablespoons fresh mint, minced (Chop up 4 tablespoons if you are making the salsa as you’ll need some for that recipe as well)
- salt to taste
- 2+ tablespoons coconut oil, for frying
- crème fraiche, optional
- honeycomb or honey, optional
Equipment note: Ideally you need a frying pan with a lid because this gets quite splatter-y.
- Drain the chickpeas and reserve the liquid.
- Put the chickpeas in a large bowl. Add in the chickpea liquid. Using a potato masher, mash until about half to two-thirds of the chickpeas are mashed.
- Mix in the minced chili and ginger and the mint.
- Stir in flour. The mixture will be quite soft and loose.
- Taste and add salt as necessary.
- In a large cast iron skillet or heavy frying pan, heat 2 tablespoons of coconut oil, or enough to leave a 1/8 inch or so of coconut oil in the pan. Heat the oil until sizzling.
- Pour the batter, using about 1/3 rd of a cup for each cake. Don’t flatten them in the pan.
- Fry them for about 3 minutes on medium high heat.
- Turn them over with a slotted spoon or metal spatula.
- Fry for another 3 minutes.
- Ideas for serving:
- pile salsa on top
- top with a small piece of honeycomb or about 1/2 teaspoon of honey
- add a dollop of crème fraiche
Melon, Mandarin, and Mint Salsa
- 1 cup of melon, diced into 1/4 inch pieces
- 1 cup of mandarin, diced into 1/4 inch pieces
- 1 tablespoon of fresh lime juice
- 2 tablespoons of mint, minced
Combine all ingredients. Let sit for an hour or so if possible, to allow the flavours to mix.
Chickpea on chickpea action turns into a hot crunchy delicious mess.