During the Manhattan Cocktail Classic, you cannot live by drink alone. If you do, things will get very messy very quickly. There were artisanal pickles and popsicles galore at the opening night gala, but at a Campari event at the Lower East Side bar/performance space The Box, the food was a more substantial part of the evening. The house chef and guest bartenders were presented with a muse and a challenge: make a drink and dish pairing that was inspired by Padma Lakshmi and her cookbook Tangy, Tart, Hot, and Sweet. Chef Sean Scotese came up with these Crispy Chickpea Cakes with Passion Fruit Raita to go with a tart East Indian Negroni made by Jim Meehan of PDT.
- 1 quart water
- 2 teaspoon olive oil
- 2 tablespoon Madras curry powder
- 1/2 white onion, diced
- 1 teaspoon coarse salt
- 2 1/4 cups chickpea flour
- vegetable oil, for frying
- Salt and pepper
Passion Fruit Raita
- 1 cup Greek yogurt
- 1 , minced
- 1 lime, zest and juice
- 1 teaspoon, sugar
- 1 tablespoon browned butter
- 1/2 clove garlic, minced
- 6 mint leaves, minced
- 2 tablespoons passion fruit syrup or puree
- Lightly oil a 9-inch square cake pan.
- Cook onion in small amount of oil over low heat until tender.
- Heat water, olive oil, curry powder, and salt in a saucepan.
- Once water is almost boiling, whisk in the chickpea flour.
- Add cooked onion and whisk constantly over medium heat until the mixture thickens, about 3 minutes.
- Continue to cook, stirring constantly, for 10 minutes, until thickened.
- Spread into the oiled pan in one even layer (1 inch thick) and cool.
- Cut cool batter into small 1-½ inch squares or use round 1-½ inch diameter ring cutter.
- Fry the rounds in hot oil until crispy, approximately 4 minutes.
- Season crispy chickpea cakes with salt and pepper and reserve on a paper towel until ready to assemble.
Passion Fruit Raita:
Combine all ingredients until thoroughly mixed. Refrigerate until ready to assemble.
Spoon small amount of passion fruit raita onto each fried chickpea cake.