Tuesday, 27 October 2015

crispy black chickpea falafel - your winter sun!

Isn’t it awful when you have to adjust to reality after a break? Gone are the leisurely breakfasts and walks to the bakery to pick up sweet bites of heaven that I haven’t cooked. And it hasn’t helped that the clocks have decided to move an hour. The days are suddenly short and daylight ends pretty much a couple of hours after lunchtime. As you know I’ve been overdosing on sweets lately, so this was the day to eat something savoury that also satisfied my delicious tooth. Yes, we all have one – you know the tooth that lights up like a bulb whenever it makes contact with something yummy?

To counteract the miserable London weather I decided to make a batch of falafel and bring a taste of the Middle East to my table. These small falafel bites are deliciously crispy and crunchy on the outside, and smooth and soft on the inside and utterly perfect for a quick lunch or snack. Falafel are also great made up as pita pocket sandwiches with some salad and yoghurt - I had mine with toasted slices of pita bread and minted Greek yoghurt. A perfect pick me up for a gloomy hued afternoon! They're not too spicy and surprisingly not greasy, considering the deep frying, so you can enjoy them guilt free.

Ingredients (makes about 20)
200g black chickpeas soaked overnight
1-2 green chillies, chopped
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp cumin       
1 small onion chopped finely
3 cloves garlic crushed
4 tbs chopped fresh coriander
1 tbs chopped parsley
4 tbs plain flour
1 level tsp baking powder
Enough oil to deep fry (400-500ml)

Drain the soaked chickpeas and blend until smooth with a hand blender or food processor with the chopped onion, garlic and chillies.

Transfer to a bowl and add chopped herbs, salt, spices, flour and baking powder. Mix thoroughly with your hands and form into slightly flattened rounds the size of golf balls.

Heat oil in a small wok or deep frying pan and reduce to low-medium heat and carefully drop falafels into the oil - about 5 or 6 at a time.

Cook 4-5 minutes until deep golden - turning 2 or 3 times. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on kitchen towel.

Serve hot with warm pitta bread and minted yogurt. To serve 4 I mixed 5 tbs greek yoghurt with 1 tsp mint sauce and a sprinkle of salt and pepper.

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