Recipe Friday: Ruby Tandoh's Carrot and Feta Bites with Lime Yoghurt

We're really excited to be sharing a couple of recipes from Ruby Tandoh's new book Flavour over the next two weeks. Describing the book as a manifesto, Ruby encourages readers to chase the flavours that they crave and to eat unapologetically. To reach out for comfort food when it's needed and to enjoy how cooking slows down your day. Remember the bit in the film Amélie, when she describes the wonderful sensation of dipping a hand into a sack of dry lentils? These recipes have that same feeling. 

First up are her carrot and feta bites, served with a fresh lime yoghurt: perfect finger food whilst waiting for the barbecue to warm up. Now all we need is that sunny weekend that the Met Office are promising.

Image by Charlotte Bland

Image by Charlotte Bland

Ruby says, "These are something like vegetarian meatballs: little bites of carrot married with the heat of spring onion, spice and plenty of tasty feta. A lime yoghurt dip does a good job of cooling the saltiness of the cheese and brightening the flavour of the carrot bites with a zesty, sour zing. Take care not to rush or skip the salting and draining of the grated carrot, as it’s this stage that draws out the moisture so that the little veg bites hold together without sogginess."

Makes 16, serving 4

4 large carrots (roughly 600g total)
½ teaspoon salt
6 spring onions, thinly sliced
150g feta, crumbled into small chunks
zest of 2 limes
4 tablespoons plain flour
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
small handful of parsley, finely chopped
2 large eggs vegetable oil, for frying

For the dipping sauce: 
150g natural yoghurt
juice of 1 lime
small handful of parsley, finely chopped
salt and black pepper, to taste

Coarsely grate the carrots and mix with the salt in a large bowl (it sounds like a lot of salt, but it’s just there to draw the moisture out of the carrots, and most of it will be lost). Let the salted carrot sit for 10 minutes, then squeeze it out – either in your hands or through a muslin cloth or tea towel – removing as much of the liquid as you can.

Stir the spring onions, feta, lime zest, flour, spices and parsley into the drained carrot. Whisk the eggs lightly together then add them to the mix. If the mixture is too dry to just about hold together in balls when you squeeze it in between your palms, add a drop of milk or water; if it’s too wet, add another tablespoon of flour.

Heat a little oil in a large non-stick frying pan. Divide the carrot mixture into 16 portions, shaping each little mound into a rough rugby ball shape using your hands. Working in batches, fry over a medium heat for around 4 minutes, giving them a quarter turn every minute, until they’re nicely browned and set on all sides.

For the dipping sauce, mix the yoghurt, lime juice and parsley with a good pinch of salt and pepper. Serve with the carrot bites while they’re hot.