Spicy Carrot and Chickpea Pitta Pocket (vegan option)

This is a quick, easy and not too hearty option from River Cottage Veg AND is the perfect end of veg box ‘what will is do with all these slightly soft carrots’ solution! You could use dried chickpeas (one 500g bag yields 4-5 tins worth of cooked so compare prices once you include some fuel money) however for quick easy low cook eating this week we’ll stick with tins.

Remember that conventionally grown citrus have a fungicidal wax coating on them to prolong shelf life, so either use organic if zesting (rinse first), or give your citrus a douse with some boiling water and a scrub with a vegetable brush.

Serving suggestion: the random contents of your fridge veg drawer! Sweet potato skinny wedges (you can never have enough Beta-Carotene apparently), lemony garlic charred new season courgettes and assorted fried mushrooms (also garlicked! Good job i’m off for a week ;-)) served with a splodge of lemon and coriander houmous.

Serves 4 for lunch or with other bits…Serves 2-3 with a bit of appetite


  • 2 tablespoon rapeseed or olive oil
  • 50g Naturli vegan block or dairy butter
  • 1 heaped teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 4 large carrots (about 500g), peeled and cut into 2–3mm thick slices
  • 1 large garlic clove, finely sliced
  • Finely grated zest of 1 orange, plus a good squeeze of juice
  • 1 teaspoon hot smoked paprika
  • 400g tin chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 4 pitta breads or freshly cooked, soft flatbreads
  • 4 heaped tablespoons plain yoghurt or vegan alternative such as vegan creme fraiche
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper


Heat the oil and butter in a frying pan over a medium heat. Add the cumin seeds and let them fry for a minute or two. Add the carrots and fry for about 8–10 minutes, stirring often, until tender and starting to brown, but still with some bite (new season carrots might be a bit quicker fyi).

Add the garlic, orange zest, paprika and chickpeas and cook until the chickpeas are hot. Remove from the heat, season with salt and pepper and add a good squeeze of orange juice. Taste and add more salt, pepper and/or orange juice as needed.

Spoon some of the chickpea mixture into the pocket of a warmed pitta (or into the middle of each flatbread) and top with a spoonful of yoghurt. Fold flatbreads, if using. Serve straight away.