CHICKPEA & SWEET POTATO FRITTERS
This recipe was developed by chance, a lovely little bit of improvisation on a Friday night when I was needing to put together a quick meal for the family. I often make fritters or patties throughout the week as an easy go-to dinner or lunch box filler. For this recipe, I simply added some sweet potato in with a staple chickpea fritter I often use, which are similar to falafel in flavour profile and texture. However unlike a traditional falafel, this recipe is more mild for younger taste buds and baked not fried, making it that little bit lighter on the digestion. The addition of sweet potato also adds further nutrition but because of its sweet and unobtrusive nature, does not take away from the delicious crunch and pop of flavour that a good fritter should have. Serve warm or cold, both lovely options, especially if with some salad and a sauce, hummus or dressing.
WHAT YOU WILL NEED
Makes approximately 16-20
1/2 small onion, peeled, trimmed, and finely chopped
1 small sweet potato roughly chopped, steamed and then allowed to cool
2 cloves garlic, peeled and coarsely chopped
1 tsp cumin powder
1/2 tsp coriander
1 can chickpeas, drained and well washed or 400 gm pre-cooked and cooled chickpeas
3-4 tbs gluten free or standard plain flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
A good handful finely chopped fresh coriander and/or parsley
Salt and pepper to taste
Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius and line a large tray with baking paper.
Place the onion, sweet potato garlic, cumin, and coriander in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse or blend on low/medium speed for a few moments until the onion is well diced, the sweet potato is smooth and everything is well combined with the spices.
Next, add the chickpeas and pulse a few times until only just combined (it is totally ok, if not preferred, that some chickpeas are still in large chunks). DO NOT over blend, this will make the fritter dense and chewy.
Tip the mixture into a large bowl and using your hands, gently combine in the flour and baking powder. Start with three tablespoons of flour and mix, if still too wet, add the fourth tablespoon.
Now add some salt and pepper to taste and stir or knead in the fresh herbs until combined.
Grease your hands with some olive oil. Take roughly a walnut sized portion of the mixture in your hands to make each fritter, roll into balls and place on the baking tray. Allow a small amount of room in between. If the fritters are too large, they won't cook through completely and have a doughy, sticky texture. Smaller is better!
Using your hands, gently press down to flatten each fritter slightly and drizzle a little more olive oil over the top of the whole batch just before baking.
Bake in the oven for 15 minutes and then take the tray out. Gently turn the fritters, put back in the oven, and bake for about 10-15 minutes more, until the fritters have a little crunch and are golden brown.
Serve immediately with a sprinkle of extra salt if desired, some Raita, Hummus or Coriander, Lime and Coconut Dressing alongside a salad or your favourite vegetable dish.
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