Falafel are like mini-vegetarian burgers made of chick peas. Originally from the middle-east, you now find them as a vegetarian option in the kebab or schwarma take-aways. Great for a starter or a main course, in pitta bread, with crisp lettuce, tahini and yogurt dip and topped with chopped coriander.
Serves 4 for a starter, 2 for a main course
For the falafel:
1 tin chickpeas (drained)
1 onion, very finely chopped
1 garlic clove, crushed
Pinch of chilli pepper or a dash of Tabasco sauce
1 teaspoon of ground coriander
1 teaspoon of ground cumin
2 tablespoons of flatleaf parsley, finely chopped
Pinch of salt and black pepper
For the sauce
2 tablespoons of tahini
4 tablespoons of plain yogurt
Squeeze of fresh lemon juice, to taste
Salt and ground black pepper
Flour for coating the falfafel before frying
Oil for frying
Chopped coriander for garnish
1. Put everything for the falafal in a blender, and whizz until you have a thick mixture. Don't overblend, you want it to have some texture.
2. Shape the mixture into small coin shapped patties about 1/4 inch thick. Roll in a little flour and fry gently in oil, turning to brown the other side. Drain on kitchen towel and cover loosely in tin foil to keep warm.
3. Mix the tahini with the yogurt. Add a little lemon juice until smooth and it is to your taste. Add more yogurt or tahini if needed. You can play around with it, as long as you have enough ingredients left to rebalance it.
4. Serve the warm falafel, sprinkled with the chopped coriander, with the sauce. Offer strips of warm pitta bread if you wish.