Falafel

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falafel + garnishesI have been attempting to post this falafel recipe for weeks now, and I kept getting stuck. Reason being? I couldn’t think of a clever intro or witty anecdote about why I decided to make homemade falafel. Truth of the matter is I wanted falafel and that was that.

Ps. Once you make homemade falafel you’ll never go back.

Ingredients:

  • 1 jar (400 g) chickpeas, drained, rinsed and patted dry with paper towels
  • 1/2 cup green spring onions (white and light green parts)
  • handful fresh cilantro (coriander)
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon hot red pepper flakes
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 4-6 TB all-purpose flour
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • Sunflower oil for frying
  • chopped tomato, cucumber and mint salad for garnish
  • pita bread
  • tahini sauce

Instructions:

chickpea mixIn a food processor, pulse garlic, cilantro, onion, hot pepper flakes, salt and cumin until it’s finely chopped (not quite a paste). Scrape down sides and add baking powder, lemon juice and chickpeas. Pulse until well-blended but not pureed, scraping down sides every 10 pulses or so to make sure that everything is well mixed.

Turn the chickpea mixture out into a medium sized bowl. Sprinkle mix with 2 TB of flour and blend in using a spatula. Add another 2 TB of flour and blend in. You may need to add 1-2 TB more depending on how wet the mix still is. If you try to make a small ball in your hands and a lot of the chickpea mix sticks to your skin, you will need to add a bit more flour.

Cover the bowl with cling film and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. I use this time to make the garnishes – a fresh chopped tomato, cucumber, lemon juice and mint salad is easy to do, and you can make yoghurt sauce with 150 ml greek yoghurt, 1/2 cup peeled and finely diced cucumber, 1 finely diced clove of garlic and salt to taste.

In a deep frying pan heat 1/2″ of oil over medium heat (it’s ready when it seems shimmery). Test one small ball of falafel, if it starts to fall apart when frying you need to add more flour to the chickpea mix. Form evenly sized balls of the mixture and flatten slightly with a spatula. I like to make falafel “burgers” so the mixture makes about eight 3-inch patties, but you can make them smaller if you like.

tomato cucumber saladFry over medium heat, about 3-4 minutes per side until golden brown.

Serve with pita bread, fresh garnishes and tahini sauce.

Servings: Four. 250 calories.

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