Falafel!

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A little while ago I made falafel for dinner, served in pita breads with a yoghurt, tahini and garlic sauce, and a crunchy vegetable, feta and mint salad (inspired by this one from smitten kitchen! I used carrots, shallots, yellow peppers and cucumber, and omitted the seeds, mainly because I forgot to buy them. It’s a super yummy, easy peasy, healthy but filling salad, and I urge you to try it! I had a bit left over for lunch the next day, and it was delicious, even though the feta had sort of merged with the dressing, the vegetables were still crunchy and I wished I’d made more).

As is usually the case, because I was hungry, and because the light wasn’t good, and because I just wanted to get dinner on the table, I only managed to snap these few pictures in the process (please excuse the poor lighting!):

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THE SAUCE was just about a cup of full fat yoghurt with a small clove of crushed garlic, 2-3 tsp tahini, a bit of ground cumin and a dash of salt (both to taste), put ’em all in a bowl and give it a good stir. Set aside.

I made the falafel based on a recipe by Rachel Allen, but I didn’t really measure things out carefully, just blitzed everything together. I also doubled the recipe, even though it said it serves 2. And even though we should then have had enough for 4 people, we only had a few left over (hello lunch and breakfast).

Although it sounds super garlicky, it really wasn’t at all overpowering (and didn’t linger afterwards, either), but if you have some very potent garlic on your hands/aren’t a huge fan, you can always dial it down a notch 🙂 I also find that removing the green bit in the middle of the garlic clove really helps to remove the bite/’after burn’ that garlic can otherwise have (but it’ll still be plenty garlicky!) – especially in the sauce, where the garlic stays raw.

FALAFEL
Eyeballed/adapted from Rachel’s Favourite Food
Yield: 16-18 little falafel, or however many bigger ones you want 🙂 serves 2-4 people, depending on how hungry you are!

  • 2 x 400 g tins of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 4 big cloves of garlic, crushed/very finely minced
  • 1/4 tsp of cayenne pepper and ground cumin (1/8 of each)
  • A generous sprinkling of sea salt
  • about 2-3 tbsp chopped flatleaf parsley
  • 2 tbsp all-purpose flour + a bit more for flouring your hands when you shape the falafel
  • Olive oil, for cooking

In a big bowl, use a hand/immersion blender to blitz together the chickpeas, minced garlic, chopped parsley, spices and salt (or throw the lot into a food processor). Give it a good stir with a spoon, then taste to see if the mixture needs a bit more seasoning. If using a food processor, transfer to a bowl and stir in the flour; otherwise just stir the flour into the chickpea mixture with a spoon.

Lightly flour your hands, then shape the chickpea mix into little patties (about 1 1/2 tbsp for each) by rolling into a ball and flattening the ball a little between your hands, flouring your hands lightly for each one.

Heat a couple of tbsp of olive oil in a pan over medium heat, then add half of your falafel to the pan. After a few minutes, when the falafel are nice and brown on one side, flip them over (a little carefully, they are firm but very smushable!), and let them brown up on the other side for a few minutes. Add a little bit more oil if the pan seems too dry. Squish the cooked falafel a little with the spatula, then transfer them to a dish/plate, and proceed to cook the remaining falafel.

Heat your pita breads in the oven or toaster, smush a couple of falafel in there, drizzle a bit of yoghurt sauce on top and stuff as much of the salad in there as you can! The mint/feta/garlic/tahini/cumin combo is really good. I might make the falafel a bit chunkier next time, by blitzing them less! But then again maybe not, I like them like this, a little velvety, with a few chickpea chunks and parsley here and there. They also make a great base for a veggie burger, maybe add a bit of chilli, some kidney beans, a bit of sweet corn… and some garlic mayo or sweet chilli sauce on top!

P.s.: they taste just as good cold for breakfast, with an orange and a cup of tea!

P.p.s.: I also made these flourless peanut butter and oatmeal chocolate chip cookies last night, using Ela’s recipe from over at Ela’s Home Patisserie, they are very peanutbuttery and wholesome, and satisfied my craving for something ooey-gooey. They’re also super quick to make when you have a major craving on a Friday night (I didn’t have the patience to cool the dough before baking, and they still turned out fine). I only had enough peanut butter for half a portion, and ended up with 9 beautiful little cookies.

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