This is one of the simple dishes regularly prepared by the monks from Mount Athos in Greece. The Greek Orthodox monks here are considered among the healthiest people in the world and have astonishingly low rates of cancers, heart disease, stroke and Alzheimer’s disease.

Mount Athos chickpea patties



  • 300g tinned chickpeas
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 chopped onion
  • 1 handful chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin seeds
  • 100g flour
  • one beaten egg
  • olive oil for frying


  1. Although the monks do this by hand, you might want to use a blender or food processor: blitz the chickpeas in a blender with the garlic, onion, parsley, seasoning, cumin and flour.
  2. Tip into a bowl and add beaten egg.
  3. Mix well to form a sticky dough then place in the fridge for 10 minutes.
  4. Heat oil in a large frying pan, shape the patties and fry over a low heat to ensure they are cooked through.
  5. Enjoy!


Source: The Mount Athos Plan, published in The Observer newspaper