I created this recipe for the vegan challenge – a month of eating an entirely vegan diet.
I would eat falafel anytime whether I was experimenting with a vegan diet or not. I love ’em and luckily, so does Martin. For me, they conjure up memories of festivals, of sunny afternoons sprawled on the grass, hands full of pitta bread, overstuffed with salad and crispy chickpea balls, listening to music and hanging out with friends. This may be an overly romantic memory because most of the festivals I have been to have been wet and muddy but I’ll take that “memory” over the truth anytime.
Perhaps the best thing about falafel is that they are incredibly easy to make. I have included the recipe for basic falafel here but you can adapt it as much as you like. Add chilli for heat, some cooked sweet potato for moisture or a beaten egg for a firmer falafel (but then it won’t be vegan).
You can, of course, start with dried chickpeas – just soak them overnight in plenty of cold water then cook until soft.
Falafel will absorb quite a lot of oil so go eay when frying them.
14 oz / 400g tin of Chickpeas
1 Medium Onion
2 Cloves Garlic
1 tsp Ground Cumin
1 tsp Ground Coriander
1 tbsp Gram Flour (Chickpea Flour)
A small handful Chopped Parsley
Vegetable Oil for frying
Chop the onions and garlic and fry gently until softened. Sprinkle in the coriander and cumin and cook for a minute longer.
Drain the chickpeas and blitz in a food processor or mash by hand. Mix together the chickpeas, onions and garlic, parsley and the gram flour. Shape into balls and fry in a little oil until browned and crisp on the outside and hot throughout.
Serve with pitta bread, salad, tomato salsa and maybe a spoonful of hummus.