Here’s something I’d be happy to serve at any time of day. An added bonus is that it doesn’t involve that much work. The creamy sauce makes a harmonising contribution to the dish, but leave it out if you prefer, though in that case I’d add some crumbled feta into the fritter mix. Serves four as a starter.
For the Fritters:
250g cooked beetroot, coarsely grated
100g cooked chickpeas (tinned are fine), roughly chopped
2 tbsp chopped mint
2 tbsp chopped parsley
1 tbsp chopped dill, plus a few picked leaves to garnish
2 spring onions, chopped
Grated zest of ½ lemon
½ tsp ground cumin
1 tbsp tahini paste
1 free-range egg
½ tsp salt and some black pepper
Vegetable oil for frying
For the Yoghurt Sauce
Large pinch of saffron threads
250g Greek yoghurt
2 tsp olive oil
1 tsp lemon juice
1. Start with the sauce. Soak the saffron in 2 teaspoons of hot water for 5 minutes. Transfer to a mixing bowl and add the yoghurt, oil, lemon juice and salt to taste. Stir well. The sauce will keep well in the fridge for a few days.
2. Squeeze the grated beetroot to remove some of the liquids and transfer to a large mixing bowl. Add the rest of the fritter ingredients, bar the frying oil, and mix to combine.
3. Heat up enough oil in a large frying pan to come 1cm up the sides of the pan; the oil must be hot but not so much as to burn the fritters. Use the palm of your hands to make compact balls, then flatten them into patties, roughly 7cm in diameter and 1cm thick. Fry in the oil for 2-3 minutes on each side until you get a nice dark colour golden. Transfer onto paper towel.
4. To serve, arrange the warm fritters on serving plates, spoon cold yoghurt sauce on top and garnish with dill.