Thai-style chickpea and cashew nut cakes
A veggie equivalent of the ever-popular Thai fish cakes to celebrate the Thai new year. The recipe isn't difficult but it does involve a fair amount of chopping so you might want to rope in someone to help.
Time: About an hour + resting time (the ingredients, not you!)
Cost: about £1-£1.50 a head depending what ingredients you've got already
100g broken cashew nuts
1 large carrot (about 125g) peeled and roughly chopped
1 x 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 (depending how hot the paste is)
1 fresh green chilli, de-seeded and finely chopped (optional)
2 cloves of garlic, peeled and finely chopped (optional)
1 medium egg, lightly beaten
25g gram flour or plain 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. (If you use the latter you may have to do each of them separately.) 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 and chilli if you think it needs it. Stir in the flour and beaten egg.
Scoop out tablespoons of the mixture and form them into little cakes about 5-6 cm in diameter. (You’ll find this easiest 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 and heat for 3-4 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 immediately with sweet chilli sauce or the Thai-style dipping sauce (below)
Thai-style dipping sauce
This would normally be made with fish sauce but obviously you can’t use that if you’re a veggie. But if you’re not you can substitute it for the soy sauce
5 tbsp sweet chilli sauce
2-3 tbsp freshly squeezed lime or lemon juice
2 tbsp water
1-2 tsp light soy sauce
1/4 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.