- 1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
- 1/4 teaspoon coriander seeds
- 1 cup plain yogurt
- 1/2 cup lightly packed finely chopped fresh mint leaves, plus 3/4 cup whole leaves
- Kosher salt
- 1 cup frozen peas, thawed and drained
- 1 cup frozen edamame, thawed and drained (if don't like edamame, substitute an extra cup of peas)
- 1 large shallot, roughly chopped
- 1 clove garlic
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- Generous 1/4 cup chickpea flour (besan)
- Sunflower oil, for frying
- 2 large pita breads, halved to make pockets
- 2 large vine-ripened tomatoes, cut into large dice
- 1 large English cucumber, sliced into 1/8-inch rounds
- In a small skillet, toast the fennel and coriander seeds over medium heat until they're fragrant and slightly darker, about 2 minutes. Transfer the toasted seeds to a spice grinder. Grind to a fine powder.
- In a small bowl, mix the yogurt with the finely chopped mint leaves and a generous pinch of salt. Cover and refrigerate.
- Throw the peas, edamame, ground toasted spices, shallot, garlic, whole mint leaves, olive oil, and salt to taste into a food processor. Whiz it up, pureeing until as smooth as possible (It won’t get completely smooth because of the edamame).
- Scrape the mixture into a big bowl and stir in the chickpea flour. The mixture will still be pretty soft. Not to worry!
- Pour enough oil into a large cast-iron skillet to a depth of 1/4-inch. Heat the oil over medium heat until shimmering. Line a plate with paper towels and have it nearby.
- With wet hands, shape the pea mixture into 12 small patties each the size of a golf ball, and then gently drop them into the hot oil. Fry until the bottoms are dark caramel brown, about 2 minutes, and then carefully flip them over. Brown the other side, and then remove from the pan and drain on a paper towel-lined plate.
- Serve warm in a pita bread pocket stuffed with tomatoes and cucumber and a spoonful of the yogurt sauce.
For more information on Chef Aarti Sequeira, go to: www.aartipaarti.com
Aarti’s cookbook,: “Aarti Paarti: An American Kitchen with an Indian Soul”, available at bookstores now. (Publisher: Grand Central Life & Style – part of Hachette Book Group)
Aarti is the host of the new web show “10 Minute Meals” on OwnZones (ownzones.com/Aarti)
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