Butternut Squash and Chickpea Cakes with salsa, raita and red onion maramalade

2 Mar

It’s so good to be back in the kitchen after three weeks of eating out every day. The first recipe inspired by our trip to South Africa is for these beautiful Butternut and Chickpea Cakes that we enjoyed at Ile de Pain in Knysna. You can read my review of this fantastic place here.

Light, spicy and delicious they are fantastic with the trio of sauces. The spicy tomato and chilli salsa, the cool and creamy cucumber and coriander raita and the sweet red onion maramalade. They all compliment each other so well to create a perfectly well balanced combination of flavours that really dance in your mouth.

You can use any sweet fruit chutney you have knocking around instead of the marmalade if you don’t have the patience, time or inclination to make you own. But if you do have the time it is a great thing to have in your fridge. Serve it with any burgers or patties, with a grilled goat’s cheese salad or transform a cheese sandwich into a gourmet experience by topping it with a spoonful of red onion marmalade and a handful of rocket or watercress leaves.

Butternut Squash and Chickpea Cakes Recipe
Serves 4 (12 patties), vegetarian, gluten-free, dairy-free. Adapted from the Ile de Pain recipe.
Prep Time: 30 mins (plus 1 hr in the fridge if possible) Cooking Time: 10 mins

400 gr butternut squash, peeled & cut into 1-2 cm cubes
1 tbsp palm sugar (or brown sugar)
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1 tbsp olive oil

1 tin/jar (400 gr) cooked chickpeas, rinsed & drained
40 gr (1/3 cup) polenta/cornmeal (or breadcrumbs) plus extra for coating
1 tbsp garam masala
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tbsp finely chopped garlic (about 3 cloves)
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 egg
a handful of fresh coriander, chopped
2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/4-1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

Preheat the oven to 190 C and line a baking tray with baking paper. Tip the squash cubes onto the tray and drizzle with the olive oil. Mix the cinnamon and sugar together and sprinkle it over the squash. Toss it all together with your hands so it is evenly coated. Roast for 15-20 minutes until golden and soft when pierced with a knife.

Meanwhile, put the rest of the ingredients in a large bowl then tip the cooked squash into the bowl as well. Mix everything together well with your hands, squishing the squash and chickpeas to create a mushy but still a bit chunky mixture. Squish until the mixture comes together and holds it’s shape.

At this point you can cover the surface of the mixture directly with cling film and refrigerate for an hour or until needed. It will firm up in the fridge and be easier to work with but you can make them straight away if you can’t wait. Meanwhile make the sauces (see recipes below).

Divide and shape the mixture into 12 equal patties (about 60 gr. each). Pour some polenta (or breadcrumbs) onto a large flat plate and lightly dip the patties into the polenta on each side as well as rolling the sides in it too.

Heat about 1/2 cm of olive oil in a frying pan until hot then turn it down to medium and cook the patties for 4-5 minutes on each side until golden and crispy.

Serve immediately with the trio of sauces and some salad leaves.

Red Onion Marmalade Recipe
Makes 1 big jar (about 500 ml), vegan, gluten-free.
Prep Time: 10 mins Cooking Time: 90 mins

1.25 kg red onions, peeled, halved and thinly sliced
65 gr raw cane sugar (or white sugar)
185 gr brown sugar
280 ml cider vinegar
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
a few sprigs of fresh thyme, leaves removed and chopped

Put the onions in a large pan on a low heat, stir occasionally and cook gently for 30-40 minutes until soft.

Add the sugars and cook for another 10 minutes.

Add the vinegar and cook, stirring occasionally until thick and jammy (about 45 mins).

Stir in the salt, pepper and thyme and spoon into sterilised jars. Leave to cool then store in the fridge.

Cucumber, Coriander & Lemon Raita
Serves 4, vegetarian, gluten-free. The Washer Up’s recipe.

Prep Time: 5 mins

250 ml Greek yoghurt (2 pots)
about 10 cm cucumber cucumber, deseeded & finely chopped
1 small clove garlic, finely grated (or to taste)
4 tbsp finely chopped coriander
the juice of 1/2 a lemon
salt & black pepper to taste

Mix all the ingredients together in a small bowl and taste. Adjust salt & lemon juice as necessary.

Tomato & Chilli Salsa
Serves 4, vegan, gluten-free. The Washer Up’s recipe.

Prep time: 5 mins
2 small tomatoes, deseeded and finely chopped
1/2-1 chilli, finely chopped (depending on you and the chilli)
2 spring onions, green & white parts, finely chopped
2 or 3 tbsp olive oil
a squeeze of lemon juice
salt & black pepper

Mix everything together in a bowl and taste. Adjust seasoning as required.

I hope you enjoy these as much as we did, they’re really good, thanks Ile de Pain!



46 Responses to “Butternut Squash and Chickpea Cakes with salsa, raita and red onion maramalade”

  1. dassana March 2, 2012 at 7:44 pm #

    i am sure these must be tasting damn good. butternut squash and chickpeas cakes with a trio of salsa, raita, marmalade….. toooo good…. and lovely pics, natalie.

  2. frugalfeeding March 2, 2012 at 8:12 pm #

    They are so pretty and bloody well presented. Delicious recipe too – definitely my sort of thing!

  3. Marina@cowboycountryvegetarian March 2, 2012 at 11:38 pm #

    This cakes are perfect, I love the flavor of it. Beautiful presentation!

  4. Suzi March 3, 2012 at 2:15 am #

    This is wonderful, I am going for the whole meal and all sauces. But then I really want to make the onion marmalade and then of course the tomato and chili salsa. I love your photos and presentation. Have wonderful weekend.

  5. Kim Bee March 3, 2012 at 6:57 am #

    This is one gorgeous meal. Your photos are stunning and really showcase this lovely meal.

  6. Three Well Beings March 3, 2012 at 7:32 am #

    Amazing recipe for the chickpea cakes! What a crowd pleaser! You definitely have an artistic flair with staging your photos! So beautiful I could taste them! Debra

  7. Chica Andaluza March 3, 2012 at 11:48 am #

    Beautiful – I often have problem with chickpea cakes as they tend to fall apart but I can see that made this way, they make a better mixt. Love all the sauces too…I knoew you wouldn´t disappoint with your first post trip recipe!

  8. Rufus' Food and Spirits Guide March 3, 2012 at 5:53 pm #

    Your food is always a work of art.

  9. Alli@peasepudding March 3, 2012 at 9:16 pm #

    Beautiful pics Nat. I only had to read the title and knew I would to eat them, I have just bought a jar of Kasundi from the farmers
    market which would be perfect in these.

  10. musingmar March 4, 2012 at 4:07 am #

    This looks delicious, and the photography is stunning! Looking forward to trying the squash and chickpea patties.

  11. Rosie's Country Baking March 4, 2012 at 5:55 pm #

    these look wonderful!

  12. sprint2thetable March 4, 2012 at 6:05 pm #

    These cakes are genius! I love butternut squash, and the flavors you paired with the cakes sound just perfect.

    Congrats on the Top 9!

  13. Tammy March 4, 2012 at 11:27 pm #

    Gorgeous pics and gorgeous food! I will bookmark for when butternut squash is back in season.

  14. Kiri W. March 5, 2012 at 12:24 am #

    This looks beyond fantastic 🙂 I love raita, and chickpeas, and butternut squash is such an interesting ingredient to throw in the mix 🙂

  15. Isabelle @ Crumb March 5, 2012 at 1:08 am #

    Oooh.. what a gorgeous presentation!
    I just happen to have some leftover roasted butternut squash in the fridge… wonder if there’s enough for me to use for these cakes. I have a feeling these taste even better than they look!

  16. Amy @ FragrantVanillaCake March 5, 2012 at 5:13 am #

    These sound seriously amazing! I am loving all of the ingredients you have combined in these cakes especially the squash! Congrats on the Top 9 :)!

  17. AvocadoPesto March 5, 2012 at 4:58 pm #

    Sounds delicious! And your photos and food styling are both absolutely amazing!

  18. Tony Ward March 7, 2012 at 9:41 am #

    These sound and look fabulous guapa. They are on the agenda for this evening, watch this space !! xx

  19. Kathy March 7, 2012 at 8:25 pm #

    These look awesome!

  20. kita March 9, 2012 at 3:41 am #

    First – your pictures blew me away!
    I love chickpeas and am trying to branch out on what I use them to create. I love the sound of these little cakes and can see me really enjoying them!

  21. Virginia March 9, 2012 at 6:00 am #

    Can’t wait to try these scrummy cakes! Could you substitute sweet potato for the butternut squash in a pinch?

    Thank you Natalie for the wonderful South African Food & photo tour! Absolutely Brilliant!

  22. Lindsay @ Rosemarried March 11, 2012 at 11:57 pm #

    I found you via foodbuzz, and these look amazing! I just made a butternut squash and chickpea flatbread pizza recently, funny enough. This is another great twist on the two ingredients. I will definitely be making these. Thank you!

  23. Choc Chip Uru March 14, 2012 at 7:51 am #

    This recipe looks so delicious – these patties are bursting with great flavours 😀

    Choc Chip Uru
    Latest: Rich Sticky Date Pudding w/ Butterscotch Sauce

  24. Chris McMahan March 18, 2012 at 7:14 pm #

    I just found your blog and really like your recipes and pictures. I am vegan so I wonder if you have any suggestions on what to use instead of the egg? I am making your cabbage,leek,potato soup tonight (we have had lots of rain too)!
    Thank you !

    • foodblogandthedog March 18, 2012 at 7:20 pm #

      Hi Chris, I think these may be ok without the egg you know. You may have to add a few more breadcrumbs/polenta to make it hold but it shouldn’t be too much of a problem. I hope you enjoy the soup tonight, let me know how it goes if you try the squash cakes!!

  25. Sonyanijntje April 1, 2012 at 11:27 am #

    These look delicious! I’m saving your recipe!

  26. heatherscreativeconcoctions April 19, 2012 at 3:44 am #

    These look so good and not to mention I’m a sauce spaz- this has my name all over it!

  27. vanwaffle May 26, 2012 at 5:09 am #

    Made these for dinner tonight and they are delicious. We’re not vegetarians but I’m delighted whenever I find a satisfying vegetarian recipe we both enjoy and find satisfying. I’ll definitely make these again. I didn’t have any lemons so I had to substitute white vinegar in places, and that worked fine.

    • foodblogandthedog May 26, 2012 at 10:42 am #

      I’m so glad they worked out & you enjoyed them so much! It is my mission to get meat eaters to realise that vegetarian food isn’t boring & can sometimes actually be better than a meaty meal, so thanks!!

  28. Verity February 15, 2013 at 9:55 am #

    Made this yesterday for Valentines dinner – absolutely superb! thank you so much, so easy to do and so tasty!

    • Natalie Ward February 15, 2013 at 10:17 am #

      So glad they were a success for valentine’s! They are one of my favourites!

  29. Charlotte Collins July 12, 2013 at 5:39 pm #

    why would you condone using ANY form of Palm oil/sugar any thing?As a vegetarian surly you are aware of the genocide of millions of Urangutans and other animals due to this horrific Palm industry?

  30. Robin Mitchell Cranfield September 28, 2013 at 8:31 pm #

    Hi, this looks amazing. How long does the marmalade keep in the fridge approximately?

  31. Lena October 14, 2013 at 10:35 am #

    What a fantastic looking vegetarian dinner idea. I am always on the lookout for things to cook for guests, that are more impressive than the usual things I make for quick dinners, and this would definitely impress.


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