Gosh I just love falafel. I don’t know why it’s taken me so long to make me own. I’ve been so used to my trusty bean burgers that I’ve not strayed before – but I’m so glad I did.
Falafel are very different to bean burgers – which I should have remembered really. Bean burgers are made with cooked chickpeas from a tin, which create a thick paste, pleasingly claggy and quite moist. Falafel are the opposite. They’re made with dried chickpeas, which you soak overnight and then blitz, raw, before frying. So the taste, and more importantly the texture, is totally different. Much lighter, drier and not at all claggy. Te perfect medium with which to infuse flavours such as fresh coriander and lemon zest.
The humungous portion of salad to accompany is pretty essential, plus the pickles, which add bite to this feast. A little tzatziki wouldn’t have gone amiss, although I’m not sure how authentic that would be. Or a good dollop of tomato ketchup (definitely not authentic, I assume).
Hope you enjoy – I must credit the glorious Yotam Ottolenghi for the main bulk of this recipe, but I adapted it to the extent where I can call it my own.
(makes 25 balls, which is about 5 portions when eaten with pitta bread)
300g dried chickpeas, soaked overnight
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1 nutmeg, grated
1 teaspoon dried coriander
1/2 teaspoon ginger
pinch hot chilli powder
1 bunch fresh coriander
zest and juice of one lemon
1/2 bunch fresh flat leaved parsley
3 cloves garlic
splash olive oil
1 tablespoon flour
about 200ml olive oil for frying
1. Drain and dry the chickpeas then blend them in the food processor. Don’t do this for to long – you don’t want to make a thick paste, you just want to blitz them up into wet crumbs.
2. Add all of the other ingredients and pulse until all is combined.
3. With wet hands, roll 25 balls and leave to chill in the fridge until you want to fry them.
4. Pour the olive oil into a frying pan and fry 5 at a time, stirring so that they cook on all sides. They’ll need around 5 minutes.
5. Stuff into pitta bread and devour with loads of salad and sharp pickles. I had pickled cabbage and pickled cucumber and they were lip-smackingly lucious.
Totally yum – totally vegan, and for both qualities I link up again with Jacqueline’s Meat Free Mondays Challenge, found over at Tinned Tomatoes.