I love falafel. We buy the Cauldron ones a lot but sometimes you just can’t beat homemade, and last week I had a craving which just could not be ignored. The beauty of making them yourself is, of course, that you can adjust the flavours to make everything exactly how you want it to be, but you can also alter the shape – I usually make them into patties, which work much better for burgers.
Ingredients (makes 10 small patties):
– 400g tin chickpeas
– 50g breadcrumbs
– 1 onion, roughly chopped
– 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
– 2tsp ground coriander
– 2tsp ground cumin
– 1tsp chilli powder
– handful fresh coriander
– 1-2tbsp plain flour
1. Weigh out 50g of your choice of bread (any is fine, though all works better if slightly stale) then blitz in a food processor to form breadcrumbs. Drain and rinse the chickpeas, then add to the processor and blitz again, until you can no longer see any whole chickpeas.
2. Add the onion, garlic, herbs and spices to the food processor along with some salt and pepper. Mix until everything is combined, and you’re happy with the consistency.
3. Divide the mixture into 10 equal pieces, then roll into balls and flatten. Lightly coat each pattie with flour.
4. Grab a large frying pan and drizzle in some olive oil. Set your hob to a medium heat – you want the oil to be up to temperature before you start cooking the falafel, which’ll take a minute or two.
5. Place as many falafels as will fit into the pan (I get five in mine, but it doesn’t matter if your pan is smaller – you’ll just need to do an extra round). Allow to cook for 2-3 minutes, until they begin to brown on the bottom, then gently flip them over. Fry for a further couple of minutes until crisp and golden, then transfer to a sheet of kitchen towel (to drain any excess oil) while you cook the rest.
What you eat them with is up to you – we sometimes create full-blown burgers with relish and salad and garlic mayonnaise and accompany them with potato wedges. This time we tucked them inside toasted pitta with hummus, lettuce and natural yoghurt, and made sweet potato chips and Greek salad. If you fancy doing the same, you can find the recipe for the sweet potato chips here. Our Greek salad is always a bit thrown together, but involves a few tomatoes (cut into eighths), a tin of sweetcorn, cucumber (halved and sliced), a handful of olives and most of a block of feta (cubed). Toss it all together with a drizzle of olive oil (1-2tbsp), balsamic vinegar (1tsp) and lemon juice (1tsp) and finish with a grind of black pepper. The quantities are a bit hap-hazard, but experiment – any leftovers make a brilliant lunch the next day.
A huge thank you to Max Redmayne, who took the beautiful photographs for this post.