Recipe: Falafel & Tahini Sauce


Falafel

These crispy chickpea and sesame seed patties are quick and easy to make at home and are a great meat–free meal. These falafel are based on those that my Egyptian grandfather used to make. I have happy memories of these being fried up for breakfast in my grandparents' house. Drizzled with tahini sauce (recipe below) and eaten almost straight from the hot oil - the smell and the taste were unreal!

A word of warning; it requires that dried chickpeas are soaked overnight. Tinned chickpeas won’t get you the right texture.

Ingredients

250g of dried chickpeas, soaked overnight (for min. 8 hours)

50g parsley

½ medium onion, roughly chopped

1 garlic clove

2 tbsp ground cumin

½ tsp baking powder

½ tbsp flour (plain or gram)

½ tbsp sea salt

Oil for frying

Method

1. Add the parsley, onion, and garlic to a food processor and pulse them until roughly chopped.

2. Add the chickpeas and pulse until a coarse meal. Don’t over process. It should have a grainy texture and not a paste. Check that it is the correct texture by taking a bit in your hand and squeezing it into a ball. If it falls apart then process a bit more.

3. Transfer the chickpea mixture to a bowl and add the remaining ingredients.

4. Heat about 1cm of oil in a frying pan on a medium-high heat. Test a little mixture in the oil and when it sizzles it’s ready.

5. Shape falafel balls by squeezing a heaped dessert spoon of mixture to make a compact ball and using your finger gently pushing the ball off the spoon and into the oil.

6. Cook for approx 2 minutes on each side until dark brown.

Serve immediately with tahini sauce.

Tip: For the health conscious, the falafel can be baked by heating a little oil on a baking tray, adding the balls and baking for approx 40 minutes, turning halfway through, until brown and crispy.

Tahini sauce

Tahini sauce a quick and easy way to add a little Middle Eastern flavour to your meals. Add this sauce to salads as a dressing, use as a dipping sauce, a sandwich spread or drizzle over chargrilled aubergine or homemade falafel.

Ingredients

1 lemon, juiced

1 garlic clove, crushed

½ tsp sea salt

1 tbsp rapeseed/olive oil

150g of tahini

150ml water

Method

Whisk all the ingredients together until well combined. Pour into a squeezy bottle or jar. This will keep in the fridge for up to a week.

Tip: Make green tahini sauce by adding some herbs to the sauce by putting all ingredients and a bunch of parsley and/or coriander into a food processor with all ingredients except for the water, whizz then add water slowly blending until smooth.

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