Falafel and tahini yoghurt sauce
Photo by Tamara West
|1½ Ltr||Water, cold|
|½||Onion, peeled and sliced, I used red but any onion will do|
|2 cloves||Garlic, peeled and sliced|
|1 handful||Fresh parsley, small|
|1 serving||Green chilli, sliced, optional|
|1 bunch||Coriander, leaves, optional|
|2 tsp||Ground cumin, heaped|
|2 tsp||Coriander seeds, heaped|
|2 tsp||Cinnamon, heaped|
|2 Tbsp||Sesame seeds|
|1 tsp||Fine salt|
|1½ tsp||Baking powder|
|2 Tbsp||Besan (chickpea flour), heaped, or use white flour|
- For the falafels, start by rinsing the chickpeas in gently running warm water for a minute, then soak overnight in water. Keep them out on your kitchen bench, at room temperature, covering the bowl with cling film. Next day, take them out of the water with your hands and drain in a colander, discarding the water.
- Mix the drained chickpeas with the onion. Add the garlic and parsley, and you could add some sliced green chillies and coriander leaves here, too, if you want. I’ve also been known to add curry leaves, which I think give my falafel an extra oomph factor.
- Pulse-blitz it all in a food processor, scraping down every 10 seconds to give you even-sized small crumbs — definitely not a paste and not too coarse, as the falafel won’t hold their shape when frying. Tip the mixture into a bowl.
- Now it’s time to add spices and this is where you can add your own twist. There are as many ways of flavouring falafel as there are ways of cooking eggs. But, start with the cumin, coriander seeds and cinnamon and you’ll be heading in the right direction.
- Add sesame seeds, salt, baking powder and chickpea flour (which will keep these gluten-free). Press cling film on to the surface of the mixture and leave in a cool spot for an hour before mixing again and cooking.
- Heat a plain oil to 170C and shape the falafel into walnut-sized balls and then slightly flatten them. Don’t overcrowd the fryer and cook until a dark golden colour — around 3 minutes.
- For the tahini yoghurt sauce, mix tahini and water along with the lemon zest and juice into a medium-thick paste. Mix in thick, strained plain yoghurt and season with salt. You can also add crushed garlic, shredded mint and coriander to taste. Serve this with your falafel, add some warmed flat bread and a rocket and red onion salad and your lunch is made!