Beetroot, chipotle and feta fritters with Asian style cucumber salad

29 Sep

Beetroot, chipotle and feta fritters

Beetroot, chipotle and feta fritters

Our taxi driver confidently lead us down a shabby lane in Cairo. It was such a hot and dusty day and the atmosphere around the roads was subdued. We dodged the rocks and stones that had dislodged from the road and buildings and skipped over small mounds of stinking rubbish. I shot huffy expressions towards my explorative and overly-polite husband who simply adjusted the cap on his head, mopped his face and said, ‘come on babe, lets just see’.

Lets just see? What did he mean? What if something happened to us? I’m a natural worrier and this, together with having had regretful holiday experiences in the past, had fired off dozens of atrocious images in my mind from being food poisoned to being shot.

I reassured myself that our driver was in fact a lovely, pious man. He had gelled quite well with my husband and he told us lots of stories to pass the journey times during out holiday. Whilst we stumbled and hopped along the path he was leading us along, towards this supposedly acclaimed restaurant, he was telling us why men in his hometown wore a bruised forehead. Apparently it demonstrated their religious devotion and credited them to be god following people because you could see that they bowed down for prayer regularly.

So, we weren’t shot. We arrived at the restaurant and it had a feel of the rainforest cafe in London. The roofs were leafy and crowded in a fun sort of way. Fake birds bobbed up and down above us, but they added to the rainforest feel. Fish swam beside us and whilst we settled ourselves at our table and my inner child was tickled. As you can imagine, I was smiling and that unrequited, ‘I told you so’ naturally blurted at me.

So I wondered off to watch this giant man rub his hands a couple of times and produce perfect falafels into the biggest wok I had ever seen. It was bubbling with steaming hot oil and none of the chickpeas escaped. Perfumes of tahini and parsley dominated the smoke above him. But then I saw his hands appear blood stained. Flutters of panic seared through me..he wasn’t cooking with meat was he? Was I right all along?

It was beetroot. He was stuffing grated beetroot into the falafels. He was watching my expression and then he and his big toothy grin handed one to me on a plate.

It was sweet, nutty and slightly spicy. Probably the way I’d describe my favourite friends and oh my goodness they were crispy and addictive. I wanted more. I couldn’t believe how fluffy they were, so light. They taste a bit like little burgers, I’d happily stick them in some pitta with dollops of hummus.

So I came back and I created these beauties. You know I like spice so I’ve whacked in some beautiful smokey chipotle, it makes the whole combination more sensual. I’ve got salty feta in there too and it works in harmony with sweet beetroot. I love these because they are moist without being pasty. I don’t add plain flour because it gives it that texture that sticks to the roof of the mouth. Instead I have used gram flour and chickpeas to give that nuttiness. Whether you eat these with salad or as a burger, you’ll find them easy to make and freezer friendly.


300g cooked beetroot, grated
75g breadcrumbs
100g chickpeas, squashed
2tbsp finely chopped parsley
1tbsp finely chopped chives
1/2 tbsp chipotle paste
1 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
1 egg lightly beaten
3 tbsp gram flour
50g feta cheese, crumbled
2 spring onions finely chopped
Oil for shallow frying
Salt to taste
1 tsp toasted cumin seeds
Salt to taste


1. Squeeze as much if the juice out of beetroot as possible
2. Add the onion, feta, spices, herbs and add the chickpeas by imagesquishing them between your fingers. Use the salt carefully because feta is salty.

3. Add the chipotle paste, gram flour and the egg. Mix it all together before adding the breadcrumbs. If you feel that the mixture is too wet add a bit more gram flour
4. Form golf sized balls before dropping them into the warmed oil. Shallow fry them until they are golden brown on each side and serve with an Asian style cucumber salad.

Beetroot, feta, chipotle, chickpeas

Frying golf ball sized parities of Beetroot, feta and chipotle with chickpeas for nuttiness

For the cucumber salad

Peel one whole cucumber and stir it together with

1 tbsp toasted sesame seeds
2 cloves of minced garlic
1 tsp minced ginger
3 tbsp rice wine vinegar
2 tbsp sesame oil

17 Responses to “Beetroot, chipotle and feta fritters with Asian style cucumber salad”

  1. veggiereviews September 29, 2013 at 9:53 pm #

    Wow.. Not only a great story but also a fantastic recipe. We will be re-tweeting these for sure. Beetroots are very good for health we came across this recently Thanks again and keep posting the gorgeous recipes.

    • Deena Kakaya September 29, 2013 at 9:54 pm #

      Hello! Thank you for the kind words, I really appreciate it. I’m so pleased that you enjoyed reading my story, I love telling them. I hope that you’ll try the recipe out x

  2. Roberta Briffa September 30, 2013 at 4:57 pm #

    Really like the recipe. I love beets but am not brave enough to cook with them yet! These little cakes look delicious!

    • Deena Kakaya September 30, 2013 at 4:59 pm #

      Thank you Roberta! They are so easy to whip up and I love easy. Even I was surprised at how light they are..,gram flour helps! Oh, why don’t you like to cook with beetroot..,is it the risk of staining…they can be messy! Xx

  3. Catherine Taylor October 1, 2013 at 9:29 am #

    These look fantastic!!!! Awesome story, as always, attached to it!! x

  4. Catherine Taylor October 1, 2013 at 9:31 am #

    Look delicious, can’t wait to give them a try. Thank you Deena for sharing!! x

    • Deena Kakaya October 1, 2013 at 9:33 am #

      Thank you so much Catherine, that’s very kind. Please let me know what you think when you’ve tried them! X

  5. Dipti Morjaria October 1, 2013 at 10:13 am #

    Hi Deena, I love the sound of these fritters. Would love to make them but my husband has an egg allergy. Could you suggest something else I could use to bind them? Dipti

    • Deena Kakaya October 1, 2013 at 1:53 pm #

      hi Dipti, I’m so glad that you want to try them, that’s great news. I’d use an egg replacer that you can get from health food shops. They have potato starch and raising agents in them I believe. If the texture is still sticky use more gram flour and breadcrumbs. Please let me know how it goes! X

  6. Kate Veggie Desserts October 1, 2013 at 9:59 pm #

    These look amazing. I can’t wait to try them soon!

    • Deena Kakaya October 1, 2013 at 10:00 pm #

      Hi Kate, I’m so glad to see your comment, I love your site. I’m really pleased with these fritters, they were so light and balanced, I hope you enjoy them! X

  7. Karen October 2, 2013 at 2:10 pm #

    I LOVE beetroot, and these fritters are so pretty as well as sounding delicious too! Karen

    • Deena Kakaya October 2, 2013 at 2:13 pm #

      Karen, it is such a pleasure and delight to see a comment from you-thank you! I’m really pleased with these fritters, not sticky of pasty at all, quite fluffy on fact! I hope you’ll try them xx

  8. Lisa Turner October 2, 2013 at 2:15 pm #

    Lovely recipe with some of my favorites. Thanks for dropping by my space.

    • Deena Kakaya October 2, 2013 at 4:58 pm #

      Thank you Lisa! That’s so kind of you. I hope you’ll try these out and let me know what you think…visit soon x

  9. Franglais kitchen, Nazima October 2, 2013 at 8:05 pm #

    these sound delicious, and the cucumber salad makes a lovely light contrast to the rich flavour of beetroot and feta. Yum!

    • Deena Kakaya October 2, 2013 at 8:12 pm #

      Hi Nazima! It’s great to see a comment from you, thank you so much. Yes indeed, the sweet, salty and nutty fritters work well with the tangy cucumber salad. I hope you’ll try this one. Xx

Let me know what you think about this recipe

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