Chickpeas, also known as garbanzo beans, have a delicious nutty flavor and a texture that's both buttery and somewhat starchy. You'll find this versatile legume in many Middle Eastern, Indian and North African dishes. This simple recipe pairs the toothsomeness of chickpeas with fresh corn, bright spices and zingy tzatziki (a light Greek sauce) for an excellent first course or appetizer or serve with a green salad for a light lunch.
1 15-oz. can chickpeas (rinsed and drained)
2 tablespoons scallions (finely sliced)
2 tablespoons cilantro (minced)
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
1 1/2 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tablespoon water
2 cups freshly shucked corn kernels
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 small cucumber (peeled, seeded and diced)
2 cups plain, whole-milk Greek yogurt
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 medium garlic cloves (minced)
12 fresh mint leaves (cut into ribbons and divided)
kosher salt (to taste)
freshly ground pepper (to taste)
Make the tzatziki
Put the cucumber, yogurt, lime juice, cumin, garlic and half of the mint leaves into a large bowl. Using a silicone spatula, stir the ingredients until thoroughly combined. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside.
Make the fritters
In a food processor, pulse the chickpeas, scallions and cilantro into a paste. Add the spices, baking powder, flour, egg, salt, lemon juice and water. Process the mixture until smooth. Fold in the corn and set mixture aside.
Add the oil to a large nonstick skillet and heat over medium heat. Once the oil is shimmering, drop large spoonfuls of the fritter mixture onto the skillet, one at a time, and press to form round patties. Cook until golden-brown on both sides, turning once with a spatula (about 3 minutes per side). Transfer to a plate lined with paper towels.
Divide the fritters among four plates, dollop with tzatziki and scatter with the remaining mint leaves.