My friends and students know by now that I’m an inspirational, improvisational cook, but if there’s ever been a better of example of a food which encapsulates my style, this is it!
Some leftover veggies from an Asian class I taught Monday night in Westfield, plus the incentive to get creative for my vegetarian daughter, were the motivation for my latest veggie based creation. I’m a meatball and patty crazed cook, so whenever I see chopped anything, I start by tossing everything into a big bowl and just started mixing and adding various flavors. So in went some chopped onions, garlic, mushrooms, carrots and zucchini. I then needed something to bind it all, so I threw in can of chickpeas (after rinsing, draining and chopping of course) an egg — but one wasn’t enough — so in went two with a bunch of seasoned panko.
Finally, the patties needed flavor! I threw in a handful of parsley and turned to my starved teenagers and their friends for some input on the finishing flavor. Since we already have a winning veggie burger in the house seasoned with Garam Masala that was out. My older son joined me at the spice drawer, taking out jars which were so old they landed in the garbage, to find the right spice. We must be feeling the Jamaican groove since we’re headed there next week, so we settled on a Jamaican curry powder, which proved to be the ideal spice to create a mellow, yet sweet and spicy blend to pull our patties magically together. (As an aside, I like Jamaican curry powder since it isn’t quite as potent as Indian curries and also incorporates allspice which adds a unique twist.)
A few minute cook on each side in a bit of olive oil, with a finishing bake in my toaster convection oven and we had something scrumptiously delicious to add to the repertoire. Crispy on the outside and creamy on the inside, these patties, fritters or burgers — whatever you’d like to call them — are addictive! I served them with some Tatziki sauce I had from Whole Foods which I think worked perfectly but you could also try some hummus.
And the taste test proved successful as my older two children, their friend, my boyfriend and his son said they were great! And as you know, it’s not always easy or successful pleasing a crowd and these seemed to do just that. I’ll be bringing them to Suzy’s house today for a quick lunch and biscotti bake before headed to teach middle schoolers strawberry shortcakes. Hopefully she’ll like them just as much!
Jamaican Curry Veggie Chickpea Patties
Makes 8 Patties
1 onion, diced finely
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 ½ cup chopped carrots
2 cups chopped zucchini
2 cups chopped mushrooms
1 ½ cups seasoned panko bread crumbs
1/4 cup flour (more if the mixture is too wet)
1 can chickpeas, drained, rinsed and chopped
2 eggs, lightly beaten
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
3 teaspoons Jamaican curry powder
¾ teaspoon salt
Freshly ground pepper to taste
1/8 cup olive oil
In a large bowl, combine the onion, garlic, carrots, zucchini, mushrooms, panko, chickpeas, eggs, parsley, salt, pepper and curry powder. Mix with your hands until the mixture can be formed into patties. With damp hands, take a small handful and mold into patties. Set aside. Meanwhile, heat a non-stick skillet with olive oil until medium hot. Cook the patties about 6 minutes on each side until crispy and golden. Keep warm in a hot oven until ready to eat. Serve with a tatziki yogurt sauce or hummus.