Ethiopian Flavored Braised Chickpea Fritters ::: The Food Matters Project

Ethiopian. That’s a new one for me.

And it was pretty good. Interesting, but good.


This week’s Food Matters Project Recipe was chosen by Lena at Mrs. Garlic Head. Maybe a bit labor intensive, but if you are vegetarian or eating less meat I highly recommend this dish.

I love the  FMP recipes that make us expand our comfort zone in the kitchen. The only fried dish I’ve ever made in my kitchen are these pieces of heaven. The fried chickpea fritters didn’t steal the show though, it’s the flavors in the vegetable sauce that make this one a keeper.

I’m late to the FMP partay today ladies. I was tied up last night. { No, not literally you 50 Shades freaks! 😉 }

As you can see I have been messing around with my site’s design.

It’s my cute little blog’s 1 year birthday on Thursday and to celebrate I am gifting it a spa day week/makeover/plastic surgery. I think we are still at the spa, but the plan was plastic surgery? Not sure, but it’s definitely happening.



Ethiopian Flavored Braised Chickpea Fritters     serves 3-4

Adapted from the Food Matters Cookbook by Mark Bittman page 372

  • 1 cup dried chickpeas, soaked in water for 24 hours
  • All-Purpose Tomato Sauce (page 194), made without the 3 optional ingredients {Here you need 1 onion, 1/4 cup olive oil, and two 28 ounce cans of whole tomatoes}
  • 1 tbsp minced ginger
  • 2 tbsp minced garlic
  • 1/2 tsp each allspice, cardamom, cinnamon, and turmeric
  • pinch of cayenne, optional
  • 1 large sweet potato, peeled and cut into small chunks
  • 1/2 a bunch collard greens (about 1/2 pound), cut into ribbons
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1/2 small onion, cut in half again
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley or cilantro
  • salt and black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice, or to taste
  • vegetable oil, for deep-frying

1. Put the beans in a large bowl and add water to cover by 3 to 4 inches. Soak for 24 hours (add more water if necessary to keep the beans submerged).

Meanwhile, make the tomato sauce. Heat 1/4 cup olive oil in the large pot or dutch oven. Add the chopped onion and instead of using the optional ingredients mentioned in the cookbook add the ginger, garlic, allspice, cardamom, cinnamon, turmeric, salt and pepper to the onions and cook on medium for 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes by crushing them with your hands and pour in the liquid. Cook for 15-25 minutes. (You can make the sauce up to this point several days ahead of time and refrigerate; gently reheat before proceeding.)

2. Add the sweet potatoes to the sauce and adjust the heat so the mixture bubbles steadily. Cover and cook until almost tender, 10 to 15 minutes. Stir in the collards and turn off the heat.

3. Drain the beans well and transfer them to a food processor with all the remaining ingredients except the oil; pulse until minced, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary. Add water a tablespoon at a time if necessary to allow the machine to do its work but keep the mixture as dry as possible. Taste and adjust the seasoning, adding more salt, pepper, or lemon juice as needed.

4. Put at least 2 inches of oil in a large, deep saucepan; the narrower the saucepan, the less oil you need, but the bigger the pan, the more fritters you can cook at the same time. Turn the heat to medium-high and heat the oil to about 350°F ( a pinch of batter will sizzle immediately). Carefully drop heaping tablespoons of the bean mixture into the hot fat. Fry in batches, without crowding, until nicely browned, turning as necessary; total cooking time will be less than 5 minutes. As the finish cooking, add them to the tomato sauce.

5. When all the fritters are done, bring the tomato sauce back to a boil, then lower the heat so the mixture gently bubbles. Cook, adding more water as necessary to keep it from sticking, until the fritters soak up some sauce and the greens and potatoes are tender, 5 to 10 minutes. Taste and adjust the seasoning and serve.

Head here to see many creative versions of this Mark Bittman recipe


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::: keelymarie :::


11 Replies to “Ethiopian Flavored Braised Chickpea Fritters ::: The Food Matters Project”

  1. I love your use of sweet potatoes and love the way your food looks! Kinda tricks me into thinking they’re meatballs, but they’re even better! Glad you loved the Ethiopian dish, it is one of my most favorite cuisines.

    1. They totally look like meatballs! I feel like I’ve explored International cuisines, but I can’t believe I have missed out on this!

    1. Yes! Took the plunge. The move to wasn’t so bad because wordpress helped me, it is the theme creation/design and monetizing I am in over my head on. So much fun to learn it all though! We need a date so I can pick your brain and see my beautiful friend! xoxo

    1. Great pick Lena! I think there’s room to get creative with the chickpea fritter filling too. For next time!

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