Chickpea and Beetroot Koftas

A cool, zingy dressing of mint and yogurt accompanies the spicy flavour and vivid colour of Peter Bayless's vegetarian snacks
Chickpea and Beetroot Koftas
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 12
  • Cook Time: 40 minutes
  • Prep Time:
  • Effort: medium


  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2x400 g cans chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 1 cooked beetroot, diced
  • 1 cloves garlic, crushed with a little coarse salt
  • 2 green chillies, seeds removed, finely chopped
  • 2 tsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds, roasted
  • 1 tsp coriander seeds, roasted and ground
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tbsp gram flour
  • vegetable oil, for deep-frying
  • 2 tbsp polenta, semolina, maize meal

For the dressing

  • 2-3 leaves fresh mint, finely chopped
  • 125 ml natural yogurt


1. Bring a small saucepan of water to the boil. Add the chopped onion and boil for 10 minutes, then drain and cool.

2. Put the chickpeas in a large mixing bowl and lightly crush with a potato masher. Add the cooked onion, beetroot, garlic, chillies, spices and a pinch of salt and stir well. Lightly beat one of the eggs and pour it over the mixture. Sprinkle over the gram flour and mix again until everything sticks together. If the mixture is too loose, add some more gram flour to thicken it up.

3. Take heaped tablespoons of the mixture and form them in your hands into balls - you should get about 16 or more from the mixture. As you work, set the koftas out on a plate and allow them to dry for 15 minutes before proceeding.

4. Meanwhile, fill a deep-fat fryer with vegetable oil and heat to 180C. To make the dressing, stir the mint leaves and a pinch of salt into the yogurt.

5. Return to the koftas. In a small bowl, beat the remaining egg. Place the maize meal (or polenta or semolina) on a plate. Dip the koftas in the beaten egg and then coat in the maize.

6. When the oil is hot, deep-fry the koftas in batches of four to six (depending on the size of the pan), and cook for 3-4 minutes or until they are crisp and a deep nut brown on the outside. Drain on crumpled kitchen paper, then serve hot with salad leaves, fresh coriander leaves and the minted yogurt dressing.

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