Greek Chickpea Patties with Thick Tomato Sauce – Revithosoutzoukakia

As I have been mentioning, my son has been on a Greek fast leading up to the Greek Easter and so our kitchen has become quite vegan for the past few weeks. Of course the Greek cuisine and diet provides an abundance of vegan recipes, and this is one of them. Greek cuisine is known for all the vegetable patties and one of them are the chickpea patties which are very similar to the famous falafel, but a bit softer in texture. This recipe though is a bit different. It is inspired by a recipe from the famous Greek cook Tselementes. The chickpea patties are made with a combination of the beans along with fresh tomato and then drenched in a rich red sauce made with tomato paste and olive oil. I adjusted it, so it is basically a vegan version of the famous Soutzoukakia, which are meatballs (fried or baked) topped with garlicky tomato sauce. These are called revithosoutzoukakia from the Greek word revithi which mean chickpea.

I have to say these patties are rich and decadent and one of the most delicious dishes I have ever had. I literally ate a whole serving this morning, I couldn’t wait till lunchtime! These taste so good and satisfying that you do not miss the meat at all, and they are pretty healthy. You are getting a good serving of beans with their antioxidants, protein and fiber, plus the good fat from the olive oil and tons of the potent antioxidant, lycopene from that tomato paste.

Tomato paste may seem strange, but years ago it was used as a substitute for tomatoes when fresh ones were not available. Tomato paste was made at home as a way to preserve tomatoes to use during the winter.Heating tomato paste with olive oil and water provides a intense tomato sauce which makes this dish special. Also you are not just pouring tomato sauce on top of the patties, you cover them with sauce and heat a bit more so that the patties are actually softened by the sauce.

The sauce usually contains garlic as well, I chose to omit the garlic in the sauce for a “lighter” flavor.

*If you choose not to make the sauce, serve these with some squeezed lemon.

Greek Chickpea Patties with Tomato Sauce – Revithosoutzoukakia

Yield: About 20 patties

Greek Chickpea Patties with Tomato Sauce – Revithosoutzoukakia

Ingredients

    For the Patties
  • 3 cups boiled chickpeas (canned or boiled from dry)
  • 1 medium tomato
  • ½ cup parsley
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil plus more for frying
  • ¼ cup water
  • ½ cup all purpose flour (or more as needed) plus more for coating
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Pepper
    For the sauce
  • 2 teaspoons tomato paste
  • ½ cup water
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • ¼ teaspoon sugar
  • Salt/pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. In a food processor mix the chickpeas and tomato, do not over mix, the mixture should be grainy.
  2. Add the garlic, parsley, 1 tablespoon olive oil, water, salt, pepper and baking soda and blend. Again do not over mix.
  3. Place the mixture in a bowl (dough will be very sticky) and add flour, 1 or 2 tablespoons at a time. Knead with your hands, the dough should be soft but firm enough to shape into patties.
  4. Roll into balls , flattening them a bit, using about 2 teaspoons of the mixture for each patty. Coat with the flour.
  5. Heat olive oil in a pan (oil should be about ¼ inch deep in the pan).
  6. Fry the patties about 2 minutes on each side.
  7. Remove and place on paper towels to absorb any oil and set aside.
  8. Begin the sauce by heating the tomato paste, olive oil and water along with the sugar, salt and pepper in pan, let it come to a boil and then lower the heat.
  9. Add the chickpea patties to the sauce and spoon the sauce gently over the patties.
  10. Heat for a 1-2 more minutes and serve.

Photos by Elena Paravantes© All Rights Reserved

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27 Comments

  • Reply Jennifer April 21, 2016 at 12:48 pm

    This sounds very tasty. What purpose does the baking soda serve?

    • Reply Elena Paravantes RD April 21, 2016 at 1:25 pm

      Thanks Jennifer. The baking soda helps the patties puff up so that they are light and airy.

      • Reply Linda Paparsenos April 25, 2016 at 10:48 am

        Why not baking powder. That’s what I use in other ‘keftedes’ that use flour with main ingredient like tarama and onion to get the puffiness. does soda have the same effect?

  • Reply pheronixo April 21, 2016 at 1:58 pm

    could you give me a clue what does “overmixing” mean? what’s the difference between well-mixed ingredients and overmixed in this recipe?

    • Reply Elena Paravantes RD April 21, 2016 at 2:13 pm

      You basically do not want the mixture to become like a paste or smooth like hummus, it needs to be a bit grainy.

  • Reply Caroline April 21, 2016 at 2:34 pm

    Looks yummy! What are boiled chickpeas? If I’m using chickpeas from a can – do I then boil them in water? For how long? Thanks

    • Reply demetra koutsoukos April 21, 2016 at 2:58 pm

      Caroline I use the ones from the can all the time…just drain the water and use them;

      • Reply Caroline April 21, 2016 at 3:06 pm

        Thanks! I had assumed that would likely be the case but wanted to check!

    • Reply Elena Paravantes RD April 21, 2016 at 5:44 pm

      Thanks Caroline. Yes canned chickpeas (which are already boiled) or you can boil your own.

  • Reply Tomas Edvardsson April 21, 2016 at 7:24 pm

    So, took 2 cans of beans (roughly 3 cups), drained and mixed following the recipe. To get a firm dough i had to add 1 1/2 cup of flour and even then they were very sticky. Fried them and they tasted like crap. Really really bad. Either I’m dumb or your recipe is off somewhere. Maybe it must be cooked dry beans? Please point that out if that is the case.

    • Reply Elena Paravantes RD April 22, 2016 at 5:20 am

      Hi Tomas, I have used both (canned and boiled from dry). In the photo I have used canned beans. Perhaps you over mixed. Not sure why it did not work for you. The beans need to be drained as well.

  • Reply Lindsay April 21, 2016 at 10:10 pm

    This is a great recipe. Can they be baked rather than fried and if so at what temperature and for how long?

    • Reply Elena Paravantes RD April 22, 2016 at 5:23 am

      You can try baking them at 350 F (175 C) for about 30-40 minutes, spray or brush olive oil over them before baking.

  • Reply Julie April 22, 2016 at 6:11 am

    Thanks for this recipe. I made these without the sauce. Everybody loved them, even the kids who usually avoid beans. I did need to add more flour to get the dough more solid.

  • Reply Kim koutavas April 22, 2016 at 8:37 pm

    Just making these now, the patties by themselves are fantastic. I used 1 – 19 ounce can of chickpeas, got 2 1/2 cups. Can’t wait to try with sauce…..excellent for lent, thanks!

  • Reply Jessica April 25, 2016 at 1:02 pm

    I made these and they were SO good. The next day, I fried a few eggs (in olive oil, naturally!) and put them over a few reheated patties, then poured the last of the sauce (I made extra) on top. Everybody scraped their plates clean! Thanks for a great recipe!

  • Reply Alex April 25, 2016 at 3:03 pm

    I made these last night for the family — delicious! Every morsel was gobbled down. I’ll be doubling the recipe next time. Thanks so much for sharing this and all of your other recipes.

  • Reply Nancy Fain April 26, 2016 at 3:05 pm

    I made these but the small patties did not hold their shape in the oil. They came out more like hash browns which I formed into a large patties. Plus the number of small balls was way more than 20.

    • Reply Elena Paravantes RD April 27, 2016 at 6:20 am

      You may need to mix a bit more, the chickpeas need to be a bit grainy but not chunky, otherwise they will hold.

  • Reply Maria April 27, 2016 at 1:23 am

    Elena, these were so good. I followed the recipe exactly and they did not disappoint! My kids loved them. I had fun telling them about you and your blog. They wanted to know why grownups spend so much time on the internet looking at recipes. 🙂 I love your blog, and I’ve made so many of your recipes over and over. They are fresh, healthy, flavorful and realistic for a family. Thank you!

  • Reply Anne May 2, 2016 at 12:33 am

    These were so delicious. I am an inveterate taster, and once I got the mixture processed, I had a taste. I would have eaten it just like that, as a pureed vegetable, but I carried on with the recipe and it was delicious. Even my husband liked it as a cold puree. (We live in Florida, and when the summer months come, I jokingly say I don’t eat anything that has had heat applied to it. Lots of salad!)

  • Reply Helen May 7, 2016 at 6:11 am

    These were a huge hit and we’ll definitely be making them again. Thank you!

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