Falafel, plain and simple. Don’t give me any of that sweet potato lark, a falafel is made with chickpeas, anything else, regardless of how tasty it might be, is a patty. There, glad I’ve gotten that off my chest. You see, I’m a fan of a good falafel, a serious fan. I love the Middle Eastern spices, the bite from the chickpeas and I love how well they work with tahini and hummus, two of my favourite things to eat. Have I mentioned that I also love them with pickled gherkins? Heaven!
Here in Dublin we’re lucky enough to have a few places where you can grab a cheap and tasty falafel treat that’s authentic. There’s Umi Falafel on Dame street, I love popping in for a Palestinian Wrap. It’s always really busy which I think is testament to how good their food is. And there’s Damascus Gate on Camden street. I love the falafel platter here and the owner, Ghandi is always delighted to discuss the dishes and switch one thing for another to make it 100% vegan.
When it comes to making my own falafel I’ve tried so many recipes and now I am happy to say that I am satisfied with this one. It’s adapted from a recipe by the amazing Yotam Ottolenghi.
What you’ll need: (makes about 20 small falafel)
- 250g dried chickpeas left to soak overnight
- 1/2 a large onion, finely diced
- 2 cloves of garlic, finely diced
- 1/3 cup of fresh parsley, finely chopped
- 1/2 cup of fresh coriander, finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon of ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1/4 -1/2 teaspoon paprika (or cayenne pepper, depends on how much kick you like)
- pinch of salt
- 4 tablespoons of gram flour (chickpea flour)
- 1 and 1/2 flaxseed egg replacer (1 egg replacer = 1tbs flaxseeds plus 3 tbs water)
- Drain the chickpeas that had been soaking over night and add them to a food processor along with the onion, garlic and fresh herbs and mix. You want the ingredients to by finely ground but not so much that they become a paste.
- Transfer to a mixing bowl and and add the salt and the spices. Stir well.
- Add the flour and the egg replacer and mix well until the mixture starts to come together.
- Mould the mixture into medium sized balls. You can cook straight away, refrigerate for later or freeze at this point.
- To cook, fill a large wok (if you don’t have a fryer, I don’t) with some vegetable oil. Carefully add the falafel in batched. Cook for a couple of minutes on each side before drying off on kitchen towel.
- Serve on flat breads with homemade hummus, cucumber, tomato and oregano salad and some pickles.
Share and enjoy!