It is no surprise that falafel is such a popular dish. It can be used as a starter, a main, and in kebabs.
Falafel mix is available in supermarkets but it is an easy dish to make from scratch. Chickpeas, a legume dating back almost 7500 years, can be used in salads, curries, stews, and of course Middle Eastern dishes such as hummus and falafel. Chickpeas are very nutritious and a good source of minerals (including iron), folate, protein and fibre.
3 cups cooked chick peas (the equivalent of one cup uncooked, or 2 tins)
1 cup fresh wholemeal breadcrumbs (approximately 2 slices of bread)
1/2 small onion, finely chopped (about 1/4 cup)
2 cloves garlic, crushed
3 tbsp parsley, chopped
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp salt
¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper
¼ tsp chilli powder
¼ tsp baking powder
Process the bread into bread crumbs in a food processor or use store-bought.
Add the chick peas (drained and rinsed if using tins) and blend well.
Add and blend together all remaining ingredients, except for 1 of the 2 tbsps of oil, until the mixture is very smooth.
If time allows, leave the mixture to sit for an hour.
Mould into slightly flattened balls about 3cm across.
Add the remaining tbsp oil to a fry pan (cast iron works well) and fry on both sides until lightly browned.
Alternatively falafel can be baked in a medium oven for about 15 minutes on each side.
Serve plain, or with a dash of soy sauce.
If using dried chickpeas soak for about 8 hours in 4 cups of water, rinse and cook in 2 cups of water for 1 1/2 hours (or until soft) or for 20 minutes in a pressure cooker.
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