Chick pea fritters or pancakes from Rhodes

Chick Pea Fritters from Rhodes / Pitaroudia


Unlike small, meatball-size chick pea fritters elsewhere in Greece and certainly a distant cry from the Egyptian falafel, the Rhodian version turns calls for big, plump filling patties. They are found, in various renditions, all over the island. Pitaroudia with chick peas are by far the national dish of Rhodes.

Ingredients

  • 1 pound dried chick peas
  • 1 1/2 cups finely chopped onions
  • 2 medium tomatoes grated
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh spearmint
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons flour plus 1-1 1/2 cups for dredging the keftedes
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Olive or other oil for frying

Instructions

  1. Soak the chick peas overnight or for eight hours to soften them. Place in a pot with ample water and bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer the chick peas until soft, about one hour for the hulled kind, about two for the more common supermarket variety dried chick peas. Remove, rinse and strain.
  2. Place the chick peas in a food processor and pulse on and off with the metal blade until they are coarse and mealy.
  3. Combine the ground chickpeas together with the onion, tomato, mint, salt and pepper. Add enough flour to make a dense mass that can be shaped into individual patties.
  4. Spread the remaining flour onto a large plate. Take about two tablespoons at a time of the chick pea mixture an shape into large patties. Heat about a quarter inch of oil in a large heavy skillet. Dredge the patties lightly in flour and fry until golden, flipping once to cook on both sides. Remove and drain on paper towels. Continue until all the chickpea patties are fried, replenishing the oil if necessary.

Notes

Variation: In Nyssyros, legume fritters were most often made with yellow split peas. Follow the same basic directions as above, replacing the chick peas with yellow split peas, which need to be simmered slowly in just enough water to cover tem by about two inches. Simmer until the chick peas are so soft they have disintegrated and the liquid has been absorbed. Unlike chick peas, they do not need to be ground. Add enough flour to form a shapeable mass, and continue as above, from step 3, seasoning them with fresh mint or fresh oregano.

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