I think it was my dad who helped nurture my love for tea, and although it took me years to become a ‘real tea drinker’, I always had a revering fascination with tea.
My dad spoke wistfully of tea back when we couldn’t afford it, and when we could, he ordered it from the special duty-free catalogue we received each year.
He called it the tea of the Czars; it may have been Kusmi tea, not that I remember. For all his faults, my dad was never a boastful man; he was humble to a point of self-deprecation, yet he talked about his tea with such pride and passion, I knew it was something special.
We had it on special occasions only, on its own or with nuts or savoury pastries – that’s how he preferred his tea.
I’m not a daily tea drinker, just because I like a little ceremony to go with my tea; I do tea and chickpea cakes often, the savoury (chickpea cakes) and soothing (tea) pairing makes me a little nostalgic and comforted.
The cakes are a little spicy, they melt in your mouth and the tea is cooling, it’s a deliciously unique and complimenting combination.
These chickpea cakes are my favourite teatime snack; the thing I love most about them is their versatility; an assortment of vegetables can be baked into them – onions, carrots, peas (pictured), cauliflower, bell pepper, cabbage, potatoes… etc and it always turns out wonderful.
It’s best enjoyed right out of the oven, when it’s still hot and crispy on the outside, and it’s perfect for tea anytime.
Chickpea Cakes with Peas
- 2 cups chickpea flour (garbanzo flour/gram flour /besan)
- 1/2 small onion, chopped finely
- 1/2 cup frozen peas
- 1 tablespoon dried chives
- 1 tablespoon crushed red pepper flakes
- Pinch of turmeric, (optional)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt (or more or less to taste)
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 2 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 – 1 cup water or more
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. grease or line muffin tins with baking cups (or use sturdy baking cups on a baking sheet)
- In a large bowl, mix chickpea flour, onions, peas, chives, pepper flakes, turmeric, salt and baking powder
- Add olive oil, mix and add water 1/4 cup at a time, mix to create a thick smooth batter (thicker pancake consistency)
- Spoon batter to fill muffin tins or baking cups up to 3/4 full
- Bake for 20 – 25 minutes or until the cakes turn golden brown
- Let them cool on tray for a few minutes before transferring them to serving plate
- Serve with tea and a side of chutney, ketchup or your favourite dip