This has all the Greek flavors I love with a bit of heat from the avocado hummus. I recommend boiling the chickpeas yourself for best results. As mentioned in my previous post, it is more time consuming, but if you soak the beans overnight, it reduces cooking time and the flavor and consistency of the chickpea meatballs is superior. Be sure to warm your pita bread before serving and strain the yogurt also. It makes a big difference in the consistency of your tsatsiki. I served this meal with roasted baby Dutch tomatoes and green beans.

Serves 4, about 16 meatballs


for chickpea meatballs:

  • 2 cups chickpeas, cooked (if using canned, rinsed and drained)
  • 2 tablespoons Tahini
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped parsley
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 cup panko
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • Kosher salt and pepper to taste
  • flour for dusting meatballs (optional)
  • Vegetable oil for frying
  • 4 wheat pitas
  • optional sliced radish, diced tomatoes, parsley sprigs for garnish

for tsatsiki:

  • 1 35 oz whole yogurt, strained
  • 1 grated English cucumber, peeled, grated, excess liquid squeezed out
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • Kosher salt and coarsely ground black pepper
  • 3 tbsp olive oil

for avocado hummus:

  • 1 1/2 cup dried chickpeas (substitute 2 -15 oz cans of chickpeas)
  • 1 medium avocado, ripe and soft
  •  1 diced jalapeno, seeded and stemmed
  •  juice of 1 lime
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 bunch cilantro leaves (about 1/2 cup packed), plus more for garnish
  • about 1 cup cooking liquid
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, plus more to drizzle on top if desired
  • kosher salt and pepper to taste


for chickpea balls;

Place all ingredients (except egg and panko)  in food processor,   process until almost smooth,  scraping down sides as needed. Transfer mixture to a bowl and add beaten egg and panic and combine mixture with your hands.  The mixture should be slightly wet, but hold together in a meatball shape.  Shape mixture into about 16 balls (about 1 slightly heaping tablespoon each). Just before frying, you can dust chickpea balls with a bit of flour.  This will help render the exterior extra crispy.  Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and add about 1/2 an inch of vegetable oil. Place chickpea balls in the oil and once golden, flip to cook the other side until uniformly cooked  and crisp on the exterior (about 2 -3 minutes each side).  Remove from oil with slotted spoon and set on paper towel to absorb any excess oil.

for tsatsiki:

To strain yogurt, get a sieve and cheese cloth, or just use a few layers of paper towel to let all liquid strain out of yogurt. After grating cucumber, squeeze out as much liquid as possible. In a small bowl, stir together the oil, garlic powder, strained yogurt, strained cucumber, salt and pepper. Set aside or make ahead and place in refrigerator until the rest of the meal is ready.

for avocado hummus:

  1. In a medium saucepan, bring 6 cups of water and chickpeas to a boil with a teaspoon of salt. Simmer for 60-90 minutes until chickpeas are tender. (Alternatively you can soak chickpeas with a 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda overnight, rinse and place in water before boiling to reduce boiling time). Cook chickpeas until quite tender and soft, drain, reserving about 1 cup of liquid to thin hummus.
  2. Place garlic, jalapeno, drained chickpeas, lime, avocado and cilantro in processor. With motor running, add olive oil and reserved cooking liquid as needed to thin hummus to desired consistency. Continue to process until smooth and creamy.  Adjust seasonings to taste. (note: hummus will thicken when cooled and refrigerated)

assemble pitas:

Warm pita bread in oven.  Spread tsatsiki on one half of pita and avocado hummus on the other side.  Place chickpea meatballs in center of pita.  garnish with chopped tomato, sliced radishes and parsley as desired.  serve immediately and enjoy!