We've been experimenting with a more vegetarian diet of late. We've not fully taken the veggie-plunge but during the week (when we're at home, sometimes when we're out but it can be tricky for me) we try to keep meat out of our diet. This started during Lent but we've kept going post-Easter and our repetoire of veggie meals is slowly growing. We always tried to skip meat once or twice a week both because we seem to rely on meat to make a meal and because it's not the healthiest way to live. Over the last few months, we've discovered new blogs and bought new cookbooks to increase the number of veggie meals we cook - there's only so many times you can eat veggie lasagne in one week, no matter how tasty it is! Anyway, this has meant we've not been playing around with so many of our own recipes, instead looking to others for ideas and inspiration. Now, we're a bit more comfortable with meat-free cooking, we thought it was about time to share a new homemade favourite.
Now, falafel isn't exactly a 'new' favourite. I've been frankly slightly obsessed with falafel for a while. There's this great market stall near my work that sells quite possibly the best falafel wraps... EVER! But how to recreate this at home. I've tried a number of different recipes but never quite getting it right (usually making something closer to 'chickpea mess', they often would just fall apart). This latest strategy suffers from none of those problems. Instead you have balls of intensely chickpea and herb-packed goodness. All coming together in the food processor so you don't need to get your hands (too) dirty.
- 1 can chickpeas, drained
- 1 large spring onion, roughly chopped
- 2 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp sumac
- ½ green chilli
- 1 garlic clove, crushed
- fresh coriander and parsley
- Sesame seeds
- Gram flour
Getting down to business then... this makes enough for two people but with no leftovers.
1. Start with your chickpeas. Toss these into your food processor with the spring onion, cumin, sumac, green chilli, and crushed garlic. Finally throw in some fresh coriander and parsley. The exact amount is up to you, I put in a good handful of each both for colour and taste but you can play around with what works for you. Season
2. Blitz until the mixture comes together. If it's a bit wet then add one tablespoon gram (chickpea) flour and blitz again. You want everything to be well mixed and coming together into a paste-dough-type thing.
3. Once this happens, you're ready to start shaping. We make six patties out of this mixture, shaping each one into balls then flattening slightly (more like burger patties). Coat in gram flour and sesame seeds then leave in the fridge to chill for around 20 minutes.
4. On to the cooking, gently shallow fry in a little vegetable oil for 3-4 minutes on each side - much longer and the sesame seeds will start to burn, no one wants that! Serve with hummus, flatbreads and salad.