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Thai-style chickpea and cashew nut cakes

publication date: Jul 30, 2011
author/source: Fiona Beckett
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A veggie equivalent of the ever-popular Thai fish cakes. Not difficult but it does involve a fair amount of chopping so rope in someone to help.

Serves 6-8 in theory though I suspect 4 of you could make short work of them
Time: about an hour, if I'm honest
Cost: about 80p-£1 a head depending what ingredients you've already got in your storecupboard

100g broken cashew nuts
1 large carrot (about 125g) peeled and roughly chopped
1 400g can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1/2 a bunch of spring onions, trimmed and very finely sliced or a small onion, peeled and very finely chopped
3 lime leaves finely shredded or the grated zest of a fresh lime
Juice of half a lime
3 heaped tbsp finely chopped fresh coriander leaves
1-2 tbsp vegetarian red Thai curry paste
1-2 cloves of garlic, peeled and crushed (optional)
1 small to medium egg, lightly beaten
25g gram (chickpea) flour + extra flour for dusting
Vegetable oil for frying.

Finely chop the nuts, carrot and chickpeas in a food processor or using the chopping attachment of a handheld blender. Don’t make it too smooth - you want some texture. Tip into a large bowl and add the sliced or chopped onion, lime leaves or lime zest, lime juice, fresh coriander and curry paste plus extra garlic if you think it needs it. Stir in the gram flour and beaten egg and set aside for 15 minutes. Scoop out tablespoons of the mixture and form them into little cakes about 5-6 cm in diameter. (You’ll find this easier with wet hands) Dust them with flour and lay them on a baking tray then refrigerate them for at least an hour.

Pour about 150ml of oil into a wok or deep-sided frying pan and heat for about 4 minutes until hot enough to make a cube of bread sizzle when you chuck it in. Carefully lower about half the patties into the pan, fry for about a minute then turn them over and fry the other side (about 2-3 minutes in total) until they’re brown and crispy. Drain on sheets of paper towel and serve with the Thai dipping sauce below.

Thai style dipping sauce
5 tbsp sweet chilli sauce
2-3 tbsp lime or lemon juice
2 tbsp water
1-2 tsp light soy sauce
1/3 of a cucumber, peeled, seeded and chopped into fine dice
2 tbsp finely chopped fresh coriander leaves
Mix the chilli sauce with the lime or lemon juice and water. Season to taste with soy sauce and stir in the cucumber and chopped coriander.


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