One of the challenges of eating healthfully with a family to feed is indeed those busy weeknights when there is just a lot going on. I don't know about you other moms out there, but things can get hectic with two working parents like us and 2 active school-aged kids. Try though we might to keep things together, there are times when dinner needs to happen quickly.
I stumbled upon this recipe somewhere online and I honestly cannot remember where as I copied and pasted the recipe into my email, but I do recall it originated from Donna Hay, who in my mind exemplifies simplicity & perfection when it comes to food - her style is elegant and everything I have ever come across from her is pretty darned near perfect.
I made a few tweaks to the adapted recipe I found, namely adding chickpea flour in place of regular flour to make these gluten-free, and of course dressed up the ingredient list with my favourite delicious spice of all time: cumin seeds. Of course ground cumin will also do here in a pinch and come to think of it, so would any fresh or chopped herb you fancy. Much like a frittata (another easy dinner we've been enjoying lately), you can add a number of fridge fatigued fresh herbs & such to make these tasty fritters new every time. Cilantro, parsley, basil, dill, they would all be at home in this recipe.
This meal is easy, delicious, and ready in minutes with the help of a few kitchen staples, just pick up a can of chickpeas and a zucchini on your next trip to the store and chances are, you'll recall on your next busy night that you meant to try these (try to pick up those cumin seeds too, if you can). Vegans might find substituting the eggs tricky here, and I'd love to hear if anyone does make them without. They make perfect leftovers crumbled on raw salads too! A perfect meal for anyone who thinks they might just be too busy to make delicious food at home that is healthy (and pretty to look at too). I'd love to hear what you think!
Gluten-Free Chickpea Cumin Fritters with Parsley Chutney
~ Adapted from Donna Hay
- (1) tbsp cumin seeds, toasted
- (1.5) cups chickpeas, one 16 oz. can should provide the right amount
- (1) medium green zucchini, grated
- (2-3) scallions, minced or finely chopped
- (2) cloves fresh garlic, minced (optional)
- (1) tbsp lemon zest
- (1/2) cup chickpea flour (or gram flour as it is called)
- (2) tbsp milk, nut, soy, or regular
- (2) large eggs
- (1) tbsp salt
- (1) bunch fresh curly parsley, washed and chopped roughly
- (1) bunch green onions (greens only), washed and chopped
- (1) fresh jalapeno pepper
- (2) tbsp olive oil
- (1/4) cup water
- (1.5) tsp salt
- the juice of one lemon (use the lemon that you scraped the rind from above)
To start, make the chutney by placing all of the ingredients except the lemon juice in a blender. Using enough water just to get the blender moving, blend on high until smooth. Taste to adjust salt and add the lemon juice, giving it one last whirl in the blender. Transfer to a container and set aside.
Drain & rinse the can of chickpeas well in a colander under cold water. If you have a food processor, the next step will be very easy work, but if you do not (like me), this will still be easy and fun. Start by mashing the chickpeas with your bare hands (that have been well cleaned!) until they are only coarsely smashed. Don't worry about whole beans left in the mix - just try to mash them up as well as you can until they are all stuck together. Of course, if you have a food processor, go to town and mash them up in there, just to be sure to stop before they become smooth.
Next, toast the cumin seeds in a preheated dry skillet over medium heat, stirring to keep them from burning. They will toast up perfectly in about a minute or two, so just remove them before they burn and add to the mashed chickpeas. Grate the zucchini using a medium grater and add to the chickpea bowl. Chop the green onions and prepare the lemon zest and garlic if using. In the same mixing bowl, combine the bean mixture with all of the other prepped ingredients except the lemon and mix gently with a spoon until well mixed. You can simply break the eggs right into the bowl along with the milk & flour & salt. Mix well and set aside until ready to cook.
To cook, heat a skillet to high and add a tbsp (or so, I use a bit more) of oil at a time. Spoon the fritter mixture into the hot pan (about a 1/4 cup at a time) and cook on each side for about 2-3 minutes until golden brown and s little crispy. Continue cooking until all of the fritters are done. This recipe makes about 12 - 14 fritters depending on the size.
Serve hot with parsley chutney and a few shavings of fresh Parmesan if you like. These are also perfect for tucking into pitas if you like a little bread & tomato slices with them :) Great with a vegetable salad too for a healthy light meal. These will keep well (as will the chutney) for a few days in the fridge. They are so so good crumbled into vegetable salads and soak up a delicious dressing well. This has quickly become a staple in the house as I seek to find 'manly' food that will satisfy the husband while being healthy and filling for everyone. Mission accomplished here.
This chutney recipe came from my dad, who still makes this recipe at home with their home-grown stuff. The original came from the same book that taught him how to make chapatti :) Got to love that. YES!