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.
I am submitting this recipe to Kimi, of The Nourishing Gourmet, who is hosting the event Nourishing Portable Food Challenge.
Revithokeftedes (Chickpea patties)
- 1/2 kilo chickpeas, preferably without skin
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 2 – 3 spring onions, finely chopped
- 1 cup of parsley, finely cut
- 2 spoonfuls of dried mint, crumbled
- 1/2 teaspoon of oregano
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1 large boiled potato, mashed
- 1 tablespoon of flour
- Extra flour for dredging
- Olive oil for frying
Soak the chickpeas in water overnight. Wash them well and remove as much of the peel, if any. Drain, add fresh water and bring to a boil. Skim all the foam that forms with a slotted spoon and then drain. Put them in the pot again and add water and remove any more peels which will float on the surface. Put them back on the heat with water and when they boil add salt and simmer until they become soft. This may take 1 – 2 hours depending on the quality of the chickpeas. You can boil the potato separately or add it half way through.
Drain and mash with a fork. I do not mash them in a food processor as we want some small bits of chickpeas in the patties.
Grate the onion and finely cut the spring onions and the parsley, add all the remaining ingredients except the flour for dredging and mix well.
Shape them into round or oblonged patties, dredge them in flour and fry in hot olive oil.
Remove on kitchen paper to absorb excess oil and serve as a side dish.