curried potato chickpea patties

Personally, I think November can be a real jerk of a month. I do love early autumn, with the crispness in the air and the leaves turning colour, even the leaves falling and the slightly bittersweet melancholy atmosphere. But there’s not all that much I like about November. The weather is bleak and cold, the clocks have changed (or are about to change, depending on where you are) and the darkness is coming ever earlier. For students I think November sucks just a little bit more because it’s the final push of the semester and all of the work you knew was looming but have been putting of since the beginning of September because November seemed so far away is suddenly piling  up and is seemingly impossible to get through. I am a student myself, and November is normally around the time in the semester when, unless I’m really organized, I lose the ability to feed myself beyond eating crackers straight from the box or melting cheese on something in the microwave.

To combat the November syndrome, I’ve got some great recipes coming up that are easy to make in bulk and have stashed in your fridge or freezer so there is something you can grab when you’re too tired to think about feeding yourself. I had planned to start the month a little differently, but it is November after all, and I am a student and the work I knew was looming since the beginning of September is piling up and I’m not certain I’m going to get through everything I need to get done this week. So I’ve  have to do a little bit of a shuffling with my November plan. *Sigh* In any case, here we go.

These curried potato chickpea patties were born out of frustration with trying to get veggie burger patties to hold together without using a tonne of filler. After a few tasty but failed attempts, it occurred to me that perhaps the patty should be *about* the filler instead of trying to dance around it. I thought mashed potato would hold together without much help, as earlier versions had necessitated lots of egg and bread crumbs or grated cheese. The result here is less something I’d stick between a bun and eat like a burger (unless the idea of eating a potato sandwiched between bread is appealing to you) and more like a samosa without the pastry around the outside. I think the possibilities are endless; you could mix up different combinations of legumes with potatoes, add in vegetables, or change the spice profile. I like the crunch of the breadcrumbs around the potato patty, which is a nice contrast to the softness of the potato inside. Leftovers freeze well separated by parchment paper, and are a quick and tasty meal re-heated with a simple salad or some steamed veg on the side.

Nutritionally, I think it’s important to note that potatoes and legumes do not combine to make a complete protein, so if you’re eating a vegetarian diet, you’ll need to get some grains in to complete the bouquet of amino acids. You don’t, however, need to have your grains and beans at the same meal – your body can store the amino acids for later. So say if you had some cereal or toast (or pretty well any grain) earlier in the day, then these potato and chickpea patties for dinner, the amino acids from the cereal grains and the chickpeas would then combine to form a complete protein, just like that. Magic.

I like to cook my beans from dried, rather than using canned beans. They’re considerably cheaper, and I think taste way better when you cook them from dried. It’s pretty rare that I have the foresight necessary to soak my dried beans overnight, so more often than not I end up using the hot-soak method; put your rinsed beans in a pot with plenty of water, bring to a boil for 10 minutes, then turn off the heat, cover, and let sit for about 1 hour. Then either drain and add fresh water to the pot, or top up the soaking water (there are arguments for either, I tend to do the latter because I want the water soluble B-vitamins and proteins that have been leeched into the soaking water, but if you’re worried about gas you can opt for the former), bring to a boil again, reduce heat and simmer for about 40 min, or until the beans are tender.

Curried Potato Chickpea Patties Recipe:

I leave the skins on my mashed potatoes because there are a lot of nutrients in the skin I don’t want to lose, but if you’d prefer to peel your potatoes, do so before you boil them. The spice in these patties is fairly mild, so if you’re after a spicier patty then add some more chili flakes. If you wanted to make these vegan, you could easily sub out the butter in the mashed potatoes for olive oil, and skip the egg dip. I like the crunch of the egg/breadcrumb coating, but it’s not necessary. Smaller patties would make for great cocktail party finger food. We served these with creme fraiche because that’s what we had on hand, but a nice spicy chutney would be a great accompaniment.

2 cups cooked chickpeas (1 can, or from 1 cup of dried beans)

1 1/2 lbs potatoes (about 2 cups when mashed – I used a waxy varietal)

2 Tbsp butter

2 Tbsp fresh chopped chives

1 tsp salt

1 Tbsp curry powder

1 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp red chili flakes

1/2 cup bread crumbs

2 eggs, beaten

oil for pan frying

Dice the potato into chunks, put into a medium pot and cover with cold water. Bring to the boil, reduce heat to medium, and simmer until the potatoes are just barely tender. Drain off the water, add 2 Tbsp of butter, and mash the potatoes. You should have about 2 cups. Add chickpeas to the potatoes, and give them a bit of a mash as well so there are some that are mashed into a rough paste, and others that are still intact. Add chives, salt, curry powder, and cumin, and stir to combine. Line a baking sheet or large plate with parchment paper, and set aside. Using clean hands, form the potato mixture into patties about 2.5cm (1 inch) thick, and about 7 cm (~ 3 inches) wide. Set on the parchment paper. You could refrigerate the patties at this stage if you are not ready to cook them.

When you are ready to cook the patties, heat a large skillet over medium heat, and add a bit of oil to the pan. You’ll need two bowls – one for the beaten eggs, and the other for the bread crumbs. Try to keep a dry hand and a wet hand for the breading part. Using your wet hand, place a patty into the egg bowl, and turn over to coat. Lift up and allow excess egg to drip off, then transfer into the bowl of breadcrumbs. Using your dry hand, toss breadcrumbs over the patty and turn to coat. Lift it out of the bowl and shake off excess, and then transfer either into the waiting skillet, or onto a fresh sheet of parchment. Pan fry the patties for a few minutes on each side, until the outsides are golden brown, and then transfer onto a plate. Serve immediately, or cool and toss into a freezer bag for another meal. Or both.

This recipe made about 10 large patties.


All text and photos © The Muffin Myth 2010


  1. Allison says

    Just made these for a potluck – so easy to make (i formed the patties the night before and fried day of) and they were totally a hit! Served them with chutney. Will def be making these again soon

  2. Tom says

    I made these tonight and I can’t wait to have them again. I did add a few items, a bit of ginger, garlic, and some cumin seeds sautéed for a minute before adding to the potato mixture and a little finely chopped red pepper. Served with a bit of tamarind chutney – yum!

  3. Kevin says

    Made these beauties to spec and they were absolutely delish!

    I thought I’d try a little taste test while I was forming the patties and it was so good that I took several additional tastes… just to be sure, right? As a result I ended up with 9 patties. I should have seen it coming, but this eventually led to a fierce battle with my wife for the last one (which of course I lost).

    These will be a new regular on the home menu, but will make sure that from now on I always make an even number of them. Thanks for the recipe!

  4. adam says

    i made these last night for dinner … some with yam, some with russet potato … some breaded, some sans crispy deliciousness. DELICIOUS in all forms! the yams are considerably softer, so require less boiling time and are a bit stickier to work with (i think i’ll try dredging them in flour before the egg/crumb crusting next time). i also used panko bread crumbs for an extra crispy crunch. the sweetness of these orange spuds is a perfect pairing to the spices and heat of the chilies!

    i think the next time i make these, i may serve them as a base for braised short-ribs (blasphemy i know, but i can’t help myself!). they would also be delish served alongside many vegetarian indian dishes. mmmmmmmm

    thanks katie!

  5. Cammy says

    I’ve been looking forward to these for a while. I have some spare yams in the counter, do you think they would work as the potato?

  6. meg says

    Katie, these looks delicious and easy! Just wondering if you have tried baking them to reduce the fat, or do you think they would fall apart? meg.

    • themuffinmyth says

      Meg, they are delish and easy! I haven’t tried baking them, and I don’t think they would fall apart, but I do think they would be a little dry. The amount of olive oil I used for pan frying was pretty marginal, I don’t think that baking them is going to dramatically reduce the fat content. Give it a try though!

      • Norine says

        Hi Meg

        Re the complete protein – I often add cooked quinoa to my recipes as it is a complete protein and also not fattening – not sure if you have researched its amazing properties but it does not cause gas either so I think it is amazing. I am going to make these with brown lentils and quinoa instead of the chickpeas as I find them more digestible than chickpeas and am sure they will be divine.

        Many thanks for your recipe.



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