Chickpea Cakes with Indian Spices

Last night we had an amazing dinner at Saffron–my favorite Indian restaurant in Tucson. We left in curry-food comas and I was inspired to create my own meal using spices reminiscent of our experience: Chickpea Cakes with Indian Spices

Chickpea patties with Indian spices like garam masala, turmeric and curry

Our date night mentality has changed a bit after having a little one. The Pilot used to ask me if I wanted to go out to eat or see a movie and sometimes we’d be too tired and end up chilling at the house, and other times, we might spend part of dinner on our cell phones. Now, since date nights are more rare, we live them up pretty fiercely. We put on real clothes -aka no more lulu out to dinner for this girl. Last night I even painted my nails before leaving- and we put all technology aside to fully enjoy each other’s company.

Saffron Indian Bistro

I left the camera at home and didn’t take any meal pics, but we had incredible chicken dishes (spicy for me, medium for the mister), saffron rice, and I had a lovely glass of Malbec. It was glorious.

Then the two of us did what any new parents on a date night would do:

karate kicking a karate statue 

find a karate kid statue and take ninja pictures with it. Obviously.

I thought my pic was pretty good, until the Pilot took this gem:

Pilot and karate statue 

that, my friends, is what legends are made of. Hahah.

When we first walked into the restaurant and my nostrils were flooded with the glorious aroma of curry and fluffy bread, I felt like I was back in Valdosta at our favorite dinner spot. It made me realize how much I’ve missed Indian food since we’ve moved here, and it inspired tonight’s little dinner recipe. (Plus, I wanted something to serve with the leftovers.)

Chickpea Patties with Indian Spices

I would do anything to be able to make REAL Indian food (Sana, come teach me the ways!) but for now, I’ll just throw some turmeric, curry powder and garam masala and call it good. And it was actually very, very good.


Chickpea Patties with Indian Spices


  • -1 can organic garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
  • -1/2 C cooked brown rice (I cheat and use the frozen pre-made rice from Trader Joe’s)
  • -6 grape tomatoes, chopped
  • -1 T olive oil
  • -1/4 yellow onion, diced
  • -1/2 t curry powder
  • -1/2 t cumin
  • -1/4 t tumeric
  • -1/8 t garam masala
  • -1/8 t coriander
  • -cayenne (as much as you like)
  • -salt (I used 1/4 t) and pepper


  1. In a food processor, add 1/2 of the chickpeas, oil and the spices. Puree until you have a hummus-type mixture. Pulse in the onion and tomatoes until well-chopped.
  2. In a bowl, stir in the remaining ingredients and place the mixture in the fridge to chill for about 10 minutes. Divide into 4 servings and shape into patties.
  3. Cook the patties in a skillet (I used some olive oil) on medium heat for 4-6 minutes per side.
  4. Enjoy atop salads with a drizzle of olive oil, squeeze of lemon juice and your favorite veggies (we had roasted green beans and carrots). Also amazing with Indian food leftovers πŸ™‚


  • Serving Size: 2

Chickpea patties with Indian spices

Chickpea mix

Chickpea patties with Indian spices

(If you’re interested in the nutrition stats, check it out here)

Time to get in a little PM workout! Who’s joining me for the Shape Up circuit? Don’t forget to check in!

See ya in the morning!


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  1. Sana on June 12, 2012 at 10:21 pm

    <3 <3 cooking with tumeric it's soo good for you!

  2. kaila@ healthy helper blog! on June 12, 2012 at 10:21 pm

    Mmmm those cakes look delish! Kind of like a falafel variation! I am a sucker for indian spiced dishes so I know those would taste amazing.

  3. Stephanie @ Legally Blinde on June 12, 2012 at 10:24 pm

    Oooh, this sounds delicious! Definitely bookmarking this recipe. Thanks for sharing!

  4. Kailey on June 12, 2012 at 10:24 pm

    love the ninja pics! haha πŸ™‚ and especially love your dress!

  5. Heather (Heather's Dish) on June 12, 2012 at 10:43 pm

    i am DYING at the picture of your hubby with the karate kid statue…classic πŸ™‚

  6. Lindsey on June 12, 2012 at 10:43 pm

    Yum I will have to try those! And I totally think I have that dress! Target? I bought it when we were in AZ in March if so, and love it! Cannot wait until Target comes to Canada.

    • Fitnessista on June 12, 2012 at 10:44 pm

      yes target! $25!

      • Tasha on June 12, 2012 at 11:00 pm

        I was just about to say the same thing! I have that dress. πŸ™‚

  7. Liz @ Tip Top Shape on June 12, 2012 at 10:54 pm

    Those pictures are hilarious!! Love these chickpea cakes. I will definitely be making them soon!

  8. Abby @ Change of Pace on June 12, 2012 at 11:40 pm

    Such a cute date night! I love that you guys go out, look great, and have fun!

  9. Tt on June 12, 2012 at 11:46 pm

    I once cooked with a wonderful cook visiting from mumbai, she taught me the technique of taking the indian spices of the recipe ans first frying in a teaspoon of oil to fully release the flavor bf proceeding with the rest of the recipe (do this with any recipe!) the spices “bloom” and release soooo much more flavor!

  10. Caralyn @ glutenfreehappytummy on June 13, 2012 at 12:31 am

    hahahahha oh my gosh I actually laughed out loud at the Pilot’s picture….so priceless!! and that dish looks amazing…love the colors! thanks for sharing!

  11. Averie @ Averie Cooks on June 13, 2012 at 1:09 am

    Glad you guys still make it out for date night from time to time and whoop it up in style when you venture out. And who said parents never have any fun? πŸ™‚

  12. Whitney @ thefitwhit on June 13, 2012 at 6:37 am

    Indian food is a type that I have never really tried but always heard so many good things about!!! What are your favorite types of Indian dishes, and are they healthy? Thanks!

  13. Jess on June 13, 2012 at 6:54 am

    Those chickpea cakes look amazing! So great you guys get out for date nights!

  14. Simply Life on June 13, 2012 at 7:07 am

    haha, oh I love those pictures of you two out! too fun!

  15. Courtney @ Outrunning Insecurities on June 13, 2012 at 7:13 am

    I’ve never had Indian food before, but recently I’ve been curious about what it tastes like. Neither of my parents like it and almost none of my friend like it (or like me they haven’t tried it) so I’m kind of weary to try it. I figure I’ll give it a go eventually. I’ll try anything once.

  16. Kelly @ My Love Affair with Running on June 13, 2012 at 7:51 am

    Love date nights πŸ™‚ We make dinner time a tech-free, wi-fi free zone. Well we try to anyway. I would imagine it is harder when you have a baby-on-call.
    I’m thinking i may give these chick-pea cakes a try, but serve them with some homemade wholemeal naan bread in place of the rice.. Thanks for the recipe!

  17. Chelsea @ One Healthy Munchkin on June 13, 2012 at 7:54 am

    Haha you guys are hilarious! And I’m glad you guys still find time to have date nights – you deserve it! πŸ™‚

    Also, these chickpea cakes look amazing. As soon as I get tested for my allergy to curry (I’ve gotten a rash/swollen lips from it twice this year!) and figure out what spice I’m allergic to, I’m going to make these!

  18. Lindsay on June 13, 2012 at 8:40 am

    I finished my third workout of the week around 6 15 AM. 45 min of steady state (running) MW, 20 min HIIT + workout 1 yesterday. I must say… Workout 1 is a sneaky little thing! I workout regularly so while it didn’t look intimidating, my buns are burning today!

  19. Catalina @ Cake with Love on June 13, 2012 at 9:05 am

    I love indian food an these chickpea cake look delicious and authentic!

  20. Ashley @ Sweat for Sweets on June 13, 2012 at 9:29 am

    You guys are too cute for words. I love that you put in the effort to make date night happen! So admirable πŸ™‚

  21. Abby on June 13, 2012 at 11:04 am

    Oooh those sound great! I have almost all of the ingredients. I am going to sub the tomatoes for red pepper though so I don’t have to go to the store. I’m guilty of going to the grocery store roughly 5x/week so I’m trying to do a big trip and then make do with what I have. πŸ™‚ Thanks for the recipe!

  22. Melissa (Better Fit) on June 13, 2012 at 11:14 am

    hehe- that date night is too cute!

    It’s funny that you get spicy and the Pilot gets medium. It makes me think of the way my husband and I have certain tastes that servers always assume are the other way around. I like coffee, he likes tea. I like red vino, he likes white. We’re always swapping what’s automatically placed in front of us! πŸ™‚

  23. corrie anne on June 13, 2012 at 11:14 am

    Y-uuum! And I have almost everything for that on hand! Woohoo!!

  24. Mer on June 13, 2012 at 11:58 am

    Hey, I know that martial arts uniform! I think it’s an American Taekwondo Association uniform! My husband owns an ATA school in Massachusetts. Small world! Sign Olivia up when she’s old enough! They have a great kid’s program!

  25. Anna @ The Guiltless Life on June 13, 2012 at 1:03 pm

    I LOVE the look of these patties. What did you serve on the side (other than rice)? That looks equally yummy, so I’m curious πŸ™‚

    • Fitnessista on June 13, 2012 at 1:06 pm

      leftover indian chicken, roasted green beans and carrots

  26. Michelle.Workitout on June 13, 2012 at 1:11 pm

    These patties look like a great idea! I never thought about making a patty out of chickpeas!

  27. Amanda on June 13, 2012 at 1:20 pm

    Those look incredible!

    What program do you use to get the nutrition stats? Thanks!

  28. Maddy on June 13, 2012 at 4:08 pm

    Love the ninja photos. That sounds like something my husband would find hilarious too. I am all over that chickpea recipe. May have to make those this week since I already have most of the ingredients. Does the chickpea bind everything together well or should I add egg?

  29. Andrea on June 14, 2012 at 1:49 pm

    oh man..we (and when i say we, i really mean my husband) made these last night for dinner, and they were AMAZING!!! Thanks so much, we love chickpeas and are always trying to find new ways to make them into a meal.

  30. kay on June 24, 2012 at 11:29 am

    I made these last night and we loved them. I served them over Ina Garten’s sauteed spinach w/ garlic – great combo. These are definitely going into the rotation!

  31. Amanda on July 8, 2012 at 1:19 am

    Gina, I’ve made these twice now, and they taste divine! Especially with a squeeze of lemon. BUT mine don’t want to stick together?

    Do you think it would it help if I blended the whole amount of chickpeas, instead of adding half the quantity whole? Or would throwing an egg in there be too weird?

    • Fitnessista on July 8, 2012 at 12:00 pm

      hmmm, yeah try blended almost all the chickpeas and see if that helps!

  32. Kelly on July 12, 2012 at 1:33 pm

    Those pics of you guys fighting that statue were hilarious! Thanks for the laugh!

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