A recipe for savory Red Bean Cakes with Homemade Chermoula. It combines the flavors of a traditional north-african spice mixture with a vegan and gluten-free cakes.
Fresh herbs are great but often underestimated and, therefore, underused. It’s not only that using herbs (and there are so many you can choose from) manage to give fine extra flavors and vibrant color to your food. They are also very healthy: full of vitamins and with anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory effects, as I learned from the Washington Post‘s article “The health benefits of herbs“.
Herbs are also main ingredients of a classical marinade of north-african cuisine, most prominently used in countries like Morocco, Tunisia, Libya, or Algeria: Chermoula.
I had never tried or tasted it before but reading about it made my mouth water. There is very little that adds more to a meal than a unique flavoring dip or marinade. Intrigued how this is prepared, I quickly found out that it’s a mixture of herbs, oil, lemon juice, pickled lemons, garlic, cumin, and salt.
I never saw pickled lemons in the shops around here and making it yourself is time-consuming since the lemon has to ferment for weeks – so I had to give it my own touch using lemon zest instead.
What did I make my Chermoula for? Well, I had been thinking about some recipe that was ideal to be enjoyed warm or cold, could be prepared and taken out for a trip, a hike, or just as a healthy lunch to work. Wraps are always a welcome solution for this because they are so practical: It’s all – well – wrapped and there is no mess, easily transportable, and flavors, if combined correctly, mix extremely well. Throw in you favorite salad or vegetables and you are always good to go.
This time, though, I wanted to make it a bit more unique than that. Somehow the thought of a Falafel wrap was stuck in my mind and I was considering what could be a good twist to that. While I was looking through my pantry, I spotted cans of red beans – and I immediately had the idea that baked Red Bean Cakes could be a perfect fit to what I was looking for.
So here go the red beans – plus lime juice, tomato paste, and salt and pepper – in the blender. Before baking, I added bread crumbs and let the mix rest for a bit so that the liquid gets absorbed. Forming small cakes, it takes about 25 minutes to bake. Ready are the Red Bean Cakes with Homemade Chermoula.
Combining the Red Bean Cakes with Homemade Chermoula to wraps is then easy-peasy. I used 2-3 cakes per wrap, a tablespoon of the Chermoula, halved cherry tomatoes, sliced scallions, and a salad mix. Roll and enjoy!Print
For the Chermoula:
- handful parsley + cilantro
- 3 cloves garlic
- 6 Tbs Olive oil
- 1 tsp red curry paste or hot sauce
- 1 lemon zest
For the Red Bean Cakes:
- 30 oz (800 ml) red beans
- 2 limes, juiced
- 1 Tbs Tomato paste
- 1 cup (gf) breadcrumbs
- pinch of salt
For the wraps (suggestions):
- cherry tomatoes
- wraps (gf)
For the Chermoula:
- Transfer all ingredients to a blender and process. The Chermoula does not have to be super-smooth.
For the Red Bean cakes:
- Add all ingredients except for the bread crumbs to a blender and process. The mixture can be slightly chunky.
- Transfer the red bean mixture to a bowl and mix in bread crumbs until you get a not too soft texture. Let sit for 15 minutes so that the bread crumbs absorb some liquid.
- Preheat oven to 390°F (200°C) and prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Form small cakes by taking about one tablespoon of the mixture per cake.
- Spread a little of the Chermoula on top of the cakes and bake for about 25 minutes.
To assemble the wraps:
- Put 2-3 of the cakes on the wrap, top with more Chermoula. Add halved cherry tomatoes, scallion slices and salad. Roll and enjoy.