Chickpea Cakes with Cucumber Yogurt Sauce

By January 12, 2018January 18th, 2018On the Farm, Recipes

Looking for a quick weeknight dinner that you can make with your teens? Our Chickpea Cakes with Cucumber Yogurt Sauce and Cilantro Lime Slaw were recently featured in a teen class and are simple, yet delicious. 

Like most Sylvia Center classes, the time spent with students is a time to discuss which ingredients are nourishing, delicious and seasonal.  In this particular class, the students were led in a discussion by Maddie Fischer, Program Coordinator for The Sylvia Center at Katchkie Farm about how and when to use each ingredient and how the flavor can change throughout the process. 

Maddie also wanted readers to know, “We also love this recipe for its use of legumes as a source of vegetable protein. The teens proved to themselves that it is possible to create a tasty and filling burger without meat!”  Breaking down the chickpeas gives them a whole new character that yields the foundation for a buttery, nutty, light yet satisfying patty. The yogurt sauce is simple and creamy making it the perfect counterpart to the rich cakes. The slaw adds a delightful tangy crunch with spices that complement the rest of the meal. Teens also worked together make a blend of both sauce and dressing to top off the chickpea cakes. It’s quite surprising that young people would be so adventurous in their eating habits, so how did they like it?

“It was one of those meals that no student had tried before this class, and that all students walked away praising,” Maddie affirmed.  The teens love it and we knew it was a recipe we wanted to share with you — see below for the full recipe. 

This recipe has also been featured in Upstate New York’s Rural Intelligence publication. 

Chickpea Cakes with Cucumber-Yogurt Sauce

Adapted from America’s Test Kitchen

Serves 9


1 large cucumber, peeled, halved lengthwise, seeded, and shredded

Salt and pepper

1 ½ cup plus 6 tablespoons 2 percent Greek yogurt

9 scallions, sliced thick

½ cup fresh cilantro, minced

2 ¼ cup canned chickpeas, rinsed

3 large eggs

¼ cup olive oil

¾ teaspoon garam masala

¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 cup panko bread crumbs

3 shallots, minced

Lime or lemon wedges for serving

Pita for serving



  1. Toss cucumber and ¾ teaspoon salt together and let drain in colander for 15 minutes. Combine drained cucumber, 1 ½ cup yogurt, 3 tablespoons scallions, and 3 tablespoons cilantro in bowl and season with salt and pepper to taste; set aside.
  2. Mash by hand or pulse chickpeas in food processor to coarse puree with some large pieces remaining, 5-8 pulses, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Do not over process- the texture helps the patties stick together and prevents mushiness.
  3. In medium bowl, whisk egg, 2 tablespoons oil, garam masala, ¼ teaspoon salt, and cayenne together. Gently stir in panko, remaining scallions, remaining cilantro, and shallot until just combined. Divide bean mixture into 18 lightly packed balls and gently flatten each ball into 1-inch thick patty.
  4. Heat remaining 2 tablespoons oil in nonstick skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Gently place patties in skillet and cook until well browned on first side, 4 to 5 minutes. Gently flip patties and continue to cook until well browned on second side, 4 to 5 minutes.
  5. Serve by stuffing pitas with chickpea cakes, slaw, and cucumber yogurt sauce with lime or lemon wedges on the side.


Coleslaw with Cilantro Lime Dressing

Serves 6-9 as a side


1 small red cabbage, or a mix of red and green cabbage, sliced thinly

3 carrots, grated

½ onion, sliced thinly

¼ cup extra virgin olive oil

2 limes, juiced

2 T cilantro, minced

½ teaspoon cumin



  1. In a large bowl, combine cabbage, carrots and onion. Toss to combine.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together lime juice, cilantro and cumin. Slowly add the olive oil while continuously whisking. Pour over cabbage mixture and combine thoroughly.