Perfectly crusty, deep-flavored, with a splash of freshness out of the Greek yogurt dip. These Chickpea Fritters aka Greek version of Falafel are one of the best ways to cook chickpeas.
In contrary to classic Falafel, these are made with cooked chickpeas instead of chickpea flour, or powdered chickpeas (you may also use canned or chickpea soup leftovers). This makes their texture less dense and more soft on the inside with the perfect crust on the outside (a moist fritter mixture does that).
Also unlike Falafel, which is flavored with heavy spices like cumin, coriander, etc., these fritters are flavored with oregano, garlic, and parsley. That's because we like to keep food simple and fresh in Greece. And this way the chickpeas are the true star of the dish! (you can, of course, go ahead and add your favorite spices but I do recommend trying the Greek version first).
In Greece, we call them Revithokeftedes. "Revithi" means chickpea and "Keftedes" is plural for "Keftes" which means a fried ball. It can describe anything from a fried meatball to Kolokytho-keftes (Zucchini fritter), or Domato-keftes (Tomato-fritter) and many more. We do like keftedes in Greece and it's an easy old-school way to create a budget-friendly meal.
Since all you have to do is mix the ingredient of your liking, along with some flour, egg, a fresh herb, and maybe some cheese or onion, deep fry and you're done. No wonder there are so many fritter recipes in Greece.
Just like with Greek pies, roll open some phyllo dough and add whatever you have in hand from cheese to greens like spinach or zucchinis (by the way you just have to try my Creamy Chicken Pie) and make a hearty meal for the family.
How To → Shape & Fry
The Chickpea fritters mixture is like a sticky dough. Firm enough to be able to take a spoonful out of it, but sticky enough so you won't be able to shape it into a ball, without the help of some extra flour. As we said, we need the mixture to be moist so the fritters will get a nice crust and a softer texture inside.
So take a spoonful of that mixture in your hands and dust it lightly with some flour then shape into a ball. You don't need to coat it with flour. Use just enough flour to help you shape it. Then add it into the hot frying oil. And proceed to make the next one the same way. Don't shape a few and set them aside as they will absorb the flour while they sit and start to stick again.
OTHER RECIPES USING CHICKPEAS:
As for the frying, use any neutral frying oil, a small cooking pot (what I prefer) or a pan. Using a small pot means that with the same amount of oil, you get greater depth, and you can fry smaller batches, therefore, you have more time to shape and flip them. I used a small saucepan and cooked them in batches of 5-6 so instead of stressing about shaping and fliping I just got bored watching them fry (can't stand still in a kitchen for more than 5 minutes).
The Yogurt & Mint Dip
- It is made with only 3 ingredients. Greek yogurt, lime zest & juice, and fresh mint leaves.
- It's soo refreshing that you won't believe it. And goes great with these fritters or any fritters really!
- It is just enough to serve with the Chickpea fritters (so you can double or triple the recipe if you want to make some to use in other foods as well).
Chickpea Fritters - Greek Style Falafel (with yogurt & mint dip)
For The Chickpea Fritters:
- 450 grams / 15 oz boiled or canned chickpeas
- ½ small onion very finely chopped
- 1 egg
- 1 garlic clove
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 tablespoon chopped parsley
- 12 tablespoons flour
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- frying oil
For The Yogurt Dip:
- 3 tablespoons Greek yogurt
- ½ lime zest & juice
- 3 mint leaves
For The Yogurt Dip:
- Add the Greek yogurt, lime juice and zest in a small bowl.
- Finely chop the fresh mint leaves and add to the bowl as well.
- Season with salt and pepper and whisk until fully combined. NOTE: Depending on the type of Greek yogurt you are using (strained, light, full-fat) you may need to add a splash of water to make the dip a bit runnier according to your liking.
For The Chickpea Fritters:
- Drain chickpeas in a strainer.
- In a small food processor, add the chickpeas, olive oil, garlic clove, and oregano. Blend until smooth.
- Transfer mixture into a mixing bowl and add the remaining ingredients for the fritters, except the flour. Season with salt and pepper.
- Mix well until fully combined. Then gradually stir in the flour one tablespoon at a time. The mixture should look like a sticky dough.
- Half fill a small pot or pan with frying oil over medium-high heat.
- Take one tablespoon of the mixture in your hands and dust lightly with flour so you'll be able to shape it into a ball.
- Dip the ball in the hot oil and reduce heat to medium. Add a few more balls and deep-fry for 8-10 minutes, flipping them every now and then to cook evenly. Make sure to fry them in small batches so they don't get overcrowded in the pan. Once they get a deep golden color transfer on paper towels to drain excess oil.
- Serve along with the Greek yogurt dip.
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