Peruvian Bean Cakes with Cucumber-Radish Salad

At Manhattan's Patria, chef Andrew DiCataldo serves these moist and creamy bean cakes, known as tacu tacu in Peru, with seared lamb sirloin. Dried, peeled fava beans are available at Middle Eastern markets, or you can substitute another 1/2 cup of chickpeas for the fava beans.

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  • Servings: 4 servings as a first course
KEY: Spring, Winter, Easter, Latin American, Beans, Grains & Legumes, Salads, Healthy, Vegetarian

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Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup dried chickpeas, soaked overnight in cold water and drained
  • 6 cups water
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 1/2 cup dried, split and peeled fava beans
  • 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 1 jalapeño, seeded and minced
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 3 tablespoons whole milk
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 8 red radishes, thinly sliced
  • 1 large cucumber—peeled, halved lengthwise, seeded and sliced crosswise 1/4 inch thick
  • 1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup mint leaves
  • 1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese, preferably French
  • Roasted Pepper-Caper Aioli

How to make this recipe

  1. In a medium saucepan, combine the chickpeas with 4 cups of the water and 2 of the bay leaves and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer until tender, about 50 minutes. Meanwhile, in another saucepan, combine the fava beans with the remaining 2 cups of water and 2 bay leaves and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer until the fava beans are tender, about 30 minutes.
  2. In a medium saucepan, heat 1/4 cup of the vegetable oil. Add the yellow onion and cook over moderate heat until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the jalapeño and garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 3 minutes longer. Add the cumin and turmeric and cook for 3 minutes. Stir in the beans and milk and season with salt and pepper. Remove from the heat and let cool. Form into eight 1/4-inch-thick patties.
  3. Drain the chickpeas and fava beans and let cool. Discard the bay leaves. In a food processor, combine the beans and pulse them until coarsely ground.
  4. In a large, nonstick skillet, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil. Add the bean cakes and cook over moderate heat until browned, about 3 minutes per side. Drain on paper towels.
  5. In a medium bowl, whisk the olive oil with the lemon juice and season with salt and pepper. Add the radishes, cucumber, red onion, mint and feta and toss. Serve the bean cakes with the salad and pass the Roasted Pepper-Caper Aioli at the table.

Make Ahead

The bean mixture can be refrigerated for 3 days before frying.

Contributed By Published March 2002

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