Pea Fritters are a popular snack, appetizer or meal in the Middle East.
Our Arab-inspired Vegetarian Pea Fritters are quick & easy to make, ready to serve in under an hour.
This Middle Eastern Pea Fritters recipe features flavourful ingredients like olive oil, sumac, cardamom, aniseed, mint, parsley, dill and lemon.
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Travel to the Middle East by Cooking Pea Fritters at Home
I love traveling to the Middle East and North Africa.
As a professional food and travel journalist, I’ve had the opportunity to enjoy amazing meals in the Middle East, from authentic markets to award winning restaurants.
For over ten years, I’ve been on the hunt for the best Spiced Pea Fritters via adventures that had me zig-zagging through Morocco, Turkey, Egypt, Jordan, Israel and Dubai. You guessed it! Some of my fondest food memories while traveling in the Middle East include fragrant feasts featuring crispy pea fritters.
I ate Pea Fritters at a traditional Moroccan riad, on food tours of Istanbul and Bodrum, accompanied by Egyptian tea on a Nile Cruise and in bustling market in Cairo, late night snack in Amman, al fresco market lunch in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem and accompanied by creamy dip at a massive Middle Eastern barbecue in the middle of the Dubai desert while belly dancers twirled under the night sky.
Where To Eat Middle Eastern Pea Fritters
If you live in a large city in Canada or America you’ll likely have access to a local Middle Eastern restaurant that serves a traditional Spiced Pea Fritter recipe.
Haven’t traveled to the Middle East before? It may be helpful to first sample Pea Fritters at a local restaurant to better understand how the dish is served. You’ll get an idea for the desired spice level, thickness of fritters and ideal sauce for dipping. You’ll also find inspiration on what to pair with homemade Pea Fritters such as such as falafel, kibbeh, shawarma and kebab.
In Toronto, popular Middle Eastern restaurants that may serve a traditional Pea Fritters include Parallel, Byblos, Tabule, Fat Pasha, Maha’s, Masrawy Kitchen, Masrawy Kitchen and Paramount Fine Foods.
My Family Loves Spiced Pea Fritters
When my family moved to Oakville the first restaurant we visited was a local Egyptian and Lebanese restaurant called Agabi. Ranked as one of the best restaurants in Oakville, Agabi, became our family’s go-to Middle Eastern take out joint.
We’d always order a selection of dishes to sample the flavours and textures of the Middle East. From pretty mezze platters to colourful vegan dips, shawarma, shashlik, fresh salads and crispy pea fritters.
After falling in love with Middle Eastern food at home, we enjoyed vacations to the region, feasting on endless bowls of hummus, falafel and crunchy Pea Fritters dipped in creamy sauce.
My family enjoys preparing this easy Pea Fritters recipe at the cottage in Muskoka during the summer or in the fall and winter in Toronto.
Pea Fritter Health Benefits
Our homemade Pea Fritters recipe is packed full of healthy ingredients!
Olive Oil is ranked as one of the healthiest fats and is a staple in the Mediterranean diet. It contains vitamins E and K and plenty of beneficial fatty acids and antioxidants.
Consuming cheese provides health benefits — especially improved bone health. Dairy foods provide nutrients that are vital for health and maintenance of your body. These nutrients include calcium, potassium, vitamin D, and protein.
Packed with calcium and friendly probiotic bacteria, sour cream and yogurt help keep your bones strong and your gut healthy. Yogurt may also help reduce the risk of obesity, diabetes and some types of cancer.
Eggs contain two vital nutrients that are not present in many foods: iodine and vitamin D. Eggs are also rich in tissue-building protein and vitamin B12, which helps your body manufacture blood cells.
Peas are loaded with A, B-1, B-6, C, and a supersized serving of osteoporosis-fighting K. One cup of boiled green peas has 46% of your RDA of vitamin K-1, known for maintaining bone health and helping blood to clot to prevent bleeding. Peas are high in fibre and low in fat and contain no cholesterol.
Packed with folate, vitamin C, and potassium, spinach helps keep your blood, immune system and eyes healthy.
A rich source of phytochemicals and vitamin C, lemons help boost your immune system and neutralize free radicals that cause disease and skin aging. Lemons also protect against heart disease and help improve blood flow to the brain.
Dill is packed with micronutrients such as Vitamin A and C, responsible for healthy vision, skin and immune function.
An excellent source of vitamin K, as well as vitamin C, folate, and iron, parsley helps keep your bones and blood healthy, and protects your skin from damage by free radicals.
Fresh mint is antioxidant and anti-inflammatory, and can have a calming effect on the digestive system. It is also a good source of folate, which supports blood health.
Pea Fritter Cooking Tips
If it’s your first time cooking Pea Fritters at home be sure to review our detailed step-by-step recipe below. Here are some helpful tips and tricks to get you started and batter can be made a day in advance
- If you’re going to be busy hosting a dinner party why not prepare the sauce and fritter batter a day in advance? Just store it in the fridge until you’re ready to fry them in a pan.
- If you’re eating at lunch or dinner we suggest frying the pea fritters in the morning and storing them on a baking sheet. Simply heat them in the oven at 350 F until crispy then serve to your guests.
- We like to serve spiced Pea Fritters with fresh Middle Eastern bread like pita. If you love baking why not make your own sourdough pita?
- You can make our creamy sumac sauce for dipping or also offer guests creamy hummus, labneh or baba ghanoush.
What To Serve with Spiced Pea Fritters
There’s nothing more comforting on a cold day then cozying up to a plate of steaming pea fritters dunked in a bowl of soup with a fresh salad, dip, gourmet crackers, artisanal cheeses, sourdough bread, savoury muffins and homemade pickles.
If you’re hosting a large dinner party you might want to serve our healthy Pea Fritters as an appetizer before serving heartier mains.
If you’re hosting a Middle Eastern-themed dinner party buffet you may want to add fresh mezze and regional specialities like shawarma, kebab, toum and kibbeh.
These crispy fritters can also be part of a large vegetarian or vegan snack platter featuring Salata Baladi, Oven Baked Sweet Potato, Guasacaca, Sweet Potato Rice, Melitzanosalata Greek Eggplant Dip, Cucumber Salad or Carrot and Tahini Salad with Crispy Cumin Chickpeas and Pistachios.
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If you have leftover fritters you can store them in the fridge in an airtight container for up to a week. To reheat simply heat in a toaster or oven until crispy.
We love doubling our pea fritter recipe so we can store leftovers in the freezer and save time on cooking in the kitchen. We suggest storing leftover fritters in Pyrex freezer safe containers that have a snug lid.
Be sure to let your fritters reach room temperature before storing it in the freezer. If you add a hot container to a cold freezer it will significantly reduce the interior temperature and potentially spoil your food.
How To Make Our Middle Eastern Pea Fritters Recipe
Middle Eastern Pea Fritters
- 1 1/4 cups Sour cream
- 1 tbsp Sumac
- 1 Lemon juiced and zested
- 1 tbsp Olive oil
- 1/4 tsp Kosher salt
- 7 1/2 cups Baby spinach
- 2 1/2 cups Frozen peas defrosted
- 2 Preserved lemons flesh and seeds discarded, finely chopped
- 1 Green chile seeds and chopped
- 3 Eggs beaten
- 6 tbsp Ricotta cheese
- 1/3 cup Cornstarch
- 3 tbsp Za'atar
- 1/4 tsp Chili flakes
- 1/3 tsp Ground cardamom
- 1/4 tsp Ground aniseed
- 3/4 cup Mint leaves chopped
- 3/4 cup Parsley chopped
- 3/4 cup Dill chopped
- Salt and Pepper
- 7 tbsp Vegetable oil
- 1 Lemon cut into wedges
- To make the sauce simply place all ingredients in a bowl and whisk until combined. Store in fridge until ready to serve.
- Line baking sheet with paper towels. Bring a medium saucepan of salted water to boil and add spinach. Stir until wilted then drain through a sieve. Rinse under cold water to stop the spinach from cooking. Transfer to the prepared baking sheet, spread out and let dry for at least 5 minutes. Finely chop spinach, the place in large mixing bowl and set aside.
- Place peas in a food processor, pulse until roughly crushed, and then add spinach along with preserved lemon, chile, eggs, ricotta, cornstarch, za'atar, chile flakes, cardamom, aniseed, mint, parsley, dill, 1 tsp salt and a few grinds of cracked black pepper.
- Preheat oven to 400 F. Line a plate with paper towels, and a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Pour the oil into a large frying pan and and place over medium heat. Once hot, use two small spoons to scoop up the mixture, approximately 3 inches wide and 3/4 inch thick. Carefully lower into oil – you should be able to fit 3 fritters at a time. Fry 3-4 minutes, turning once to brown both sides.
- Transfer fritters with a pancake flipper to prepared plate while you continue cooking remaining fritters. Once they are all fritters, lay the fritters out on the prepared baking sheet and bake for 4-5 minutes.
- Serve warm with the sauce and wedge of lemon for spritzing.
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