Fried pea and mint patty sandwiches: pea-lafels

Fried pea and mint patty sandwiches: pea-lafels
  • 1/2 tsp fennel seeds
  • 1/4 tsp coriander seeds
  • 225g plain yoghurt
  • 115g lightly packed mint leaves, finely chopped, plus 170g whole leaves
  • Salt
  • 225g frozen peas, thawed, drained
  • 225g frozen edamame, thawed, drained (if you can't find these, or don't like them, substitute with an extra cup of peas)
  • 1 large shallot, peeled, roughly chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled
  • 2 tbsps extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 generous tbsps chickpea flour (besan, available at Indian stores; regular flour is a fine substitute)
  • Vegetable oil, for frying
  • 2 large pittas, halved
  • 2 large vine-ripened tomatoes, cut into large dice
  • 1 large English cucumber, sliced into 1/4cm rounds
1) In a small skillet, toast the fennel and coriander seeds for a couple of minutes until they're fragrant and slightly darker, about 2 minutes. Don't walk away from the pan! They'll burn! Remove from the pan and throw into a coffee/spice grinder. Grind to a fine powder.

2) Meanwhile, make the yogurt sauce. Mix the yogurt with the 115g finely chopped mint leaves and a generous pinch of salt. Chill in the fridge.

3) Throw the peas, edamame, ground spices, shallot, garlic, remaining whole mint leaves, olive oil and salt into a food processor. Whizz it up and puree until smooth. It won't get completely smooth because of the edamame, but process until it is as smooth as possible.

4) Scrape the mixture into a big bowl and stir in the flour. The mixture will still be pretty soft. Not to worry!

5) Pour enough oil into a large cast iron skillet so that it's 1/2cm deep. Heat over medium heat until shimmering. Meanwhile, with wet hands, shape the pea mixture into 12 small patties the size of a golf ball, and then gently drop into the oil. Fry until the bottoms are dark caramel brown, about 2 minutes, and then carefully flip 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 the fresh veggies and a spoonful of the yoghurt sauce.

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