Chickpea Cakes with Cucumber-Yogurt Sauce ♥

Chickpea Cakes with Cucumber-Yogurt Sauce
Today's vegetarian quick supper recipe: Chickpea Cakes aka chickpea patties or chickpea burgers. What is the difference between a "cake" and a "pattie" and a "burger"? Never mind. Served with a little Cucumber-Yogurt Sauce aka tzatziki on the side, these are great, with a nubbly texture, plenty of moistness and lots of fresh flavor. Weight Watchers 4 to 5 points.

One thing's for certain, we each get 24 hours in a day. No matter who we are and where we live. No matter our age, our education, our bank accounts, our weight, our ambition, our baggage, our Facebook friends, our cars, our clothes, our homes, our good intentions. Nobody is shorted for 23 hours, no one can buy 25.

So February 29th is a special day, a day that comes just once every four years, often enough to take notice, rare enough to not waste. Every four years, we get the gift – all of us – of an extra day, a whole day, an entire yet-to-be-explored, yet-to-be-lived day.

How do you spend February 29th? Is it a day of contemplation? of carefree live 'n' let live? Is it a day to play it safe in simple gratitude for oh-so-many gifts or one to toss gifts to the wind, risking plain gifts for gifts with ribbons? Is it a day to step forward or step back? And oh yes, is taking a step back really ten steps forward? Or is it the other way 'round, that a step forward really means slipping twenty steps back? Life math so confuses me.

February 29th. Make it a good one.


Hands-on time: 10 minutes for cucumber-yogurt sauce, 20 minutes for chickpea cakes
Time to table: 30 minutes
Makes 4 chickpea cakes & 1 cup cucumber-yogurt sauce

1/2 an English cucumber, grated
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
6 tablespoons Greek yogurt
1 green onion, white and green parts, chopped fine
1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
Salt & pepper to taste

Arrange the grated cucumber in a colander in the sink and sprinkle with salt. Let drain for 10 minutes or until the chickpea cakes are cooking, whichever is longer. Stir in the remaining ingredients

1 large egg
1/4 cup Greek yogurt
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 - 1 teaspoon garam masala
1/16 teaspoon cayenne
Salt & pepper to taste
15 ounces canned chickpeas (garbanzo beans), mashed fine with a fork
1/2 cup panko (what is panko?)
1 green onion, white and green parts, chopped fine
1-1/2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
Light film of oil, for frying

While the cucumber drains, in a large bowl, whisk the egg, then whisk in the yogurt, olive oil, spices and seasoning. Stir in the chickpeas, panko, green onion and cilantro, combining without overworking. Divide mixture in four, gently form four one-inch thick patty with your hands, compressing the mixture just enough to hold it together.

In a large skillet, heat oil on MEDIUM until shimmery. Add the chickpea cakes and cook without moving for four to five minutes per side or until golden and hot clear through.

Serve immediately with Cucumber-Yogurt Sauce on the side.

ENGLISH CUCUMBERS VS GARDEN CUCUMBERS English cucumbers have tender skins and fewer seeds. If you use a garden cucumber, you may want to peel or "stripe" the skin if it seems tough and scoop out the center seeds if they're large and tough.
WHY SALT & DRAIN CUCUMBERS? Salt and a little time helps a cucumber release its excess water, it's a good step to make time for, otherwise the Cucumber-Yogurt Sauce can be a little watery.
0% VS 2% GREEK YOGURT The inspiring recipe called for 2% Greek yogurt and usually I would agree, since I find that 0% fat products range from awful to so-so. But I'm a fan of the Fage 0% yogurt and since I was buying yogurt especially for this sauce, went for it, no regrets.
GREEK YOGURT SUBSTITUTE No Greek yogurt? Or is Greek yogurt a tad expensive? I hear you on both counts. A decent substitute is to drain plain yogurt through a paper towel lining a colander or strainer, releasing the whey and leaving a thicker, creamier yogurt.
MASHING the CHICKPEAS The inspiring recipe specified using a food processor for mashing the chickpeas. But it was really easy-peasy to smash the chickpeas, half at a time, in a flat bowl with sides to stop the chickpeas from flinging themselves onto the counter. A side benefit? An small upper arm workout.
DRAINING the CHICKPEAS I did drain but did NOT rinse the chickpeas before mashing. But after publishing, a reader asked if the chickpeas should be drained and y'know, I like the idea of saving a tablespoon or two of the chickpea liquid to mash in. Your choice.

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~ Pumpkin Hummus with Honey ~
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~ more recipes with dried beans, lentils & other legumes ~
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from Kitchen Parade, my food column

A Veggie Venture is home of 'veggie evangelist' Alanna Kellogg and the
famous asparagus-to-zucchini Alphabet of Vegetables.
© Copyright Kitchen Parade 2012

Alanna Kellogg
Alanna Kellogg

A Veggie Venture is home of "veggie evangelist" Alanna Kellogg and the famous asparagus-to-zucchini Alphabet of Vegetables.


  1. Are we suppose to drain the chickpeas? I don't think so, but want to make sure. Thanks for all the great posts Alanna.

  2. Anonymous ~ First, thanks for the kind words!

    Second, you know, you are right. I DID drain the chickpeas -- and failed to specify so in the recipe, oops, thanks for careful reading. But I actually like your idea of NOT draining them, or at least incorporating some of the liquid, not all of it, maybe a couple of tablespoons.

  3. YUM! I love the thought of using chick peas for veggie patties!

  4. This is a really nice recipe. It's been ages since I've made chickpea cakes (patties, burgers, etc etc ;-) Nice info in the notes. As I was reading I was wondering whether you'd discuss the difference between English and regular cucumbers, and of course you did. Good post - thanks.

  5. Sounds like a great recipe!

  6. Wow there are really great recipes here!! Glad I found you!

  7. I'm not a vegetarian but you have expanded my repertoire and we now eat meatless suppers about 3 days a week.

    I was awarded a 'Versatile Blogger' award and got the chance to nominate 15 other blogs I enjoy. I was so pleased to have an opportunity to recommend blogs I enjoy that I accepted.


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Thank you for taking a moment to write! I read each and every comment, for each and every recipe, whether a current recipe or a long-ago favorite. If you have a specific question, it's nearly always answered quick-quick. ~ Alanna