I do not remember ever mentioning our pet. We have a Siamese cat named Lisa and she is ten years old.
She is also a Math genius.
You must be wondering what Lisa has to do with revithokeftedes. In a way she does because my love for cats grew when I was about 10 years old.
This is a painting I did of Lisa during the first year lessons. It’s a very naive painting but I definitely paint much better now.
Back then, next door to us lived a nice old couple. The man was Cypriot and the lady was from the Greek island of Chios. They were not blessed with children and Mrs. Ypatia was really fond of me. She also loved cats. She had, I remember, more than ten of her own but she would also take care of all the stray cats.
Although they were just the two of them, she cooked a lot of food and when she had a special treat she would always call me to give me some to try and she was a really good cook as everything she would make was really delicious.
In some occasions when she needed help she would call me, especially during Easter or Christmas to help her make tsourekia, kourapiedes, melomakarona, koulourakia and that was my first love of the Greek cuisine and my love for cats.
Whenever I used to go at her place I loved gazing at some of her house ornaments which were mostly souvenirs she had brought from Greece or from Alexandria, where she and her husband had lived for many years. I remember she had a camel shaped chair which was my favourite but the best part was playing with her cats.
One of the “unusual” things she would make was keftedes out of various dried legumes. I say “unusual” as the only keftedes my mother would make (as well as all Cypriots) was the usual ones with meat. My favourite of all her keftedes, was revithokeftedes.
Unfortunately I do not have any of her recipes, as I was only a child then, but this is a recipe I have been doing for many years and each time I make them, I have very sweet memories of her and the kittens.
Revithokeftedes (Chickpea patties), recipe by Ivy
Preparation time: 25 minutes
Cooking time: 20 minutes
- 1 ¾ cups – 275 grams (0.6 lbs) chickpeas, soaked in water
- 50 grams (1.7 oz), about ½ cup, grated courgette
- 50 grams (1.7 oz), about ½ cup, grated carrot
- 85 grams (3 oz), 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon roasted garlic puree
- 2 tablespoons garlic oil
- ¼ teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon spice mixture
- ¾ tablespoon salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 3 tablespoons finely chopped parsley (plus other herbs like mint or dill)
- ½ cup bran oats
- 75 grams (2.6 oz) cornmeal
- ½ cup sesame seeds
- Put chickpeas in a bowl, covering them with 5 – 8 cm / 2 – 3 inches water on top and soak overnight. (If using leftover cooked chickpeas or canned ones, drain and skip the above step.
- In a food processor pulse the chickpeas. If you have a small food processor, do this gradually but without puréeing them. If you find any difficulty in pulsing them add tablespoon water and continue.
- Empty them in a bowl. Put the bread with the liquid, onion and garlic in the food processor and pulse.
- Add all the remaining ingredients and mix well. Refrigerate for half an hour and form them into balls and then flatten them into patties.
- Dredge them in sesame seeds.
- Heat about 2 ½ cm (1”) of olive oil in a non-stick 30 cm (12”) frying pan or skillet over medium-high heat. Fry patties until golden brown on both sides.
- Place them on kitchen paper to absorb excess oil before serving.Serve with pita bread, salad and tahini sauce.
This and many more meatless recipes are included in my cookbook “More than a Greek Salad”, available on all Amazon stores.
Kopiaste and Kali Orexi,