Pitaroudia - Chickpea Fritters with Tahini Sauce
Greek recipes for plant-based fritters abound and this one, with chickpeas, from the island of Rhodes, is a classic. Enjoy this wonderful Greek vegan and Greek vegetarian recipe any time of the day. It goes perfectly with the tahini dip, too!
- ½ pound dried chickpeas picked over and rinsed
- 1 cup finely chopped onions
- 1 medium firm ripe tomato, grated
- ¼ cup finely chopped fresh mint
- 1 heaping teaspoon ground cumin (optional)
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 2 to 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour plus
- ¾ to 1 cup for dredging the patties
- olive or other vegetable oil for frying as needed
For the Tahini Sauce
- ⅔ cup tahini
- 3 garlic cloves finely chopped
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin Greek olive oil
- A few tablespoons each of water and/or more, as needed
- 2 to 3 tablespoons strained fresh lemon juice and/or more, as needed
- Dash of hot sauce or Aleppo pepper
- Pinch of ground cumin
Soak the chickpeas for 8 hours or overnight in ample water to soften them. Drain, place in a pot with ample fresh water, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer the chickpeas until soft, about 1 ½ hours. Remove from the heat, drain, and rinse.
Place the chickpeas in a food processor fitted with the metal blade and pulse on and off until they are coarse and mealy.
Combine the ground chickpeas with the onions, tomato, mint and cumin, and season with salt and pepper. Add enough flour to make a dense mass that can be shaped into individual patties.
Spread the remaining flour on a large plate. Take about 2 tablespoons at a time of the chickpea mixture and shape into large, flat patties. Heat about ¼ inch of olive oil in a large, heavy skillet over medium-high heat. When the oil is very hot, dredge the patties lightly in flour, tapping off any excess, and fry until golden, flipping once to cook both sides, 2 to 4 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and let drain on paper towels. Continue until all the chickpea patties are fried, replenishing the olive oil if necessary. Serve hot, warm, or at room temperature.
Make the tahini sauce
Place the tahini, garlic, olive oil, and 2 tablespoons each of water and lemon juice in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until smooth and thick. Add the garlic and olive oil and pulse to puree and combine. Add additional water and lemon juice in tablespoon increments, pulsing after each addition, until the mixture is creamy, smooth, and spreadable. Season with the hot sauce, cumin, and salt to taste and serve.