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Best vegetarian recipes: Delia’s chick pea and coriander cakes with marinated red onion

chickpea cakes “How do you know that Delia’s vegetarian recipes are going to be as good as this, when you choose them?”

Danny helped himself to another chickpea and coriander (cilantro) cake, a lashing of red onion salad and a vast dollop of Greek yoghurt. Delia’s recipe is here.

It was tempting to keep my secret. But as I want him to exercise his paws and run up some Veggievore meals in the future, I came clean.
“If she mentions that a recipe was popular in the Norwich City Football Club Restaurant, I’ll pick it out. Regular restaurant dishes have to be sold again and again. If they were popular in her restaurant they must be good..”

I wonder how many people came for the food and became football fans? I’m gradually cooking my way through Delia’s Vegetarian Collection the results are generally are so good that even I might have glanced at the field between mouthfuls. I am not keen on football.

“Can I have more?” Danny slid another cake onto his plate. He’d been a bit iffy when I suggested the chick pea cakes, when I showed him the pretty picture in Delia’s book he clearly silently sniffed. He has an antipathy towards nut roasts and rissoles, and to be honest there was something rissoleish about these.

I dropped the cumin and didn’t use whole spices or fresh chillies. I used a quarter teaspoonful of cayenne pepper – (my hot new best friend) and two heaped teaspoonfuls of ground coriander. I was quite lavish with the fresh coriander. The result was exceptional. Far better than I had imagined.

We both feasted on this superb dish. Light, fragrant and sublime. Next time I would use an egg or another tablespoonful of yoghurt to bind the mixture as the cakes tended to fall apart in the frying pan. It might be worth baking them in the oven on a tray. The accompanying salad that Delia suggests was heavenly too. It does need to marinade for at least half an hour for the flavours to develop. The combination of the cakes, salad and Greek yoghurt was enough to turn a meat eater into a chick pea lover in an instant.

This will definitely star as a small chic starter when we throw our Inaugural Veggievore Dinner Party. I am planning to invite only the old trusties who relished our steak and kidney evenings in the past.

N.B. We tried making these cakes using 0% fat greek style yoghurt and they were vile. You need the extra creamy Greek style yoghurt for this to be tasty.


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6 Comments

  1. Fiona Nevile

    Hi Moonroot

    Danny loved these. I was a bit naughty and served them with chips to tempt him!

    Hi Amanda

    Thanks so much for the recipe. I must try this. I’ve given up buying lettuce as it always seems to end up just lurking in the fridge.

    Hi Sally

    Chilling the cakes seems like a good idea. I’m going to bake them next time.

    Those spicy nuts sound yummy – thanks so much for the recipe.

    Thinking about it I have never seen an Indian restaurant in Italy.

    Hi Kate(uk)

    There was one cake left over and we divided it the next day as a lunch side dish. Still delicious!

    Hi Moonroot,

    Thanks, I’ll enjoy doing that!

  2. moonroot

    Hi, me again! Just to let you know I’ve tagged you for a meme. Details on my blog.

  3. Kate(uk)

    I’m sitting here drooling…best get myself a bowl of my lentil soup straight away!

  4. Dear Folk, That sounds as though it would be a great starter for a curry dinner party. You could make the ‘cakes’ in the afternoon then pop them in the fridge and cook them once friends have arrived (the chilling might also help prevent them from splitting, Fiona, but I think your idea of putting them in the oven is even better).

    I don’t live in the UK any more and really, really miss a good curry. So second, best I do make them from time to time here. And, yes I leave trusty old slow cooker to cope with the main course!

    May I share a great ‘nibble’ here for the same curry dinner? It’s so easy. I found the recipe in the Good Food magazine (Nov 2005).

    Spicy Nuts
    2 tbsp vegetable oil
    100g unsalted peanuts
    100g blanched almonds
    100g unsalted cashew nuts
    generous pinch garam masala
    generous pinch chilli powder

    FIRST: Heat the oil in a frying pan and toast/fry the peanuts for 2 mins. Remove with slotted spoon and place on kitchen roll to absorb excess oil.
    SECOND: Repeat with almonds, then the cashews.
    THIRD: Put all nuts in a bowl and combine with the spices. Add salt to taste.

    You can make these in advance. They really do store well for even 3 days in an airtight ‘quattro staggioni’ jar – or even a jam jar.

    Second tip. I can’t always get the above nuts here and once used just the cashews and whole, unblached hazlenuts – it was even better!

    Thanks again for a charming and very useful site, Sally

  5. They sound excellent as does the salad.

    I often keep a white cabbage and red onion in the fridge for bulking up salads (the cabbage keeps longer than lettuce which seems to wilt before my eyes). My sister in law got me into dressing it with the juice of a lime, some olive oil, a little salt, pepper and fresh coriander. Great when you’re trying to lose a few pounds.

  6. moonroot

    Definitely going to try this – T loves chickpeas so he should be a willing guinea pig!

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