Now here is something rather delicious for you Spicy Falafel in Pitta Bread with a Tahini and Yoghurt dip..I would like this a lot for my tea tonight (can somebody make it for me?).
Much as I like a good steak it is very nice to have a meat free meal-I am quite happy to have them often, so ‘Meat Free Monday’ could happily become ‘Meat Free a few days of the week. Sunday is probably a step too far for me and I would have to stick to tradition and have a lovely joint of beef or a roast chicken sizzling away in my Aga, especially on a rainy, blustery Sunday. In this, North Western, part of the world we can expect a few of these…. On a more serious note we need to cut down on our meat consumption which, globally speaking, is just not sustainable. I won’t bore you with more important reasons to eat less meat-you will have to take it from me.
These chickpea little nuggets are high in protein and cheap to make. They are full of lovely fresh herbs such as parsley and coriander and fragrant spices. Tucked into warm pitta bread with some salad leaves they make a deliciously different meal. They would be good in a lunch box too-minus the dip
Oops just realised can’t have them for my tea tonight……………….REMEMBER TO SOAK THE CHICKPEAS OVERNIGHT! You could use tinned chickpeas if you are short of time and/or impatient but the freshly cooked ones are so much better.
SPICY FALAFEL WITH TAHINI AND YOGHURT DIP and PITTA BREAD
Serves 4 for a light meal
200g dried chickpeas (Makes approx. 400g when cooked) -if using tinned then you need 400g drained weight
1 large onion, peeled and finely chopped
3 lge garlic cloves crushed to a paste with salt
1 med bunch fresh coriander, roughly chopped
1 med. bunch fresh, flat leaved parsley, roughly chopped
1/2 teasp ground coriander
1/2 teasp ground cumin
1/2 teasp ground turmeric
50g chickpea flour
1 lge egg, beaten
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Sunflower oil for frying
Pitta bread, finely sliced red onion and salad leaves to serve
1. Cook the chickpeas as per instructions on the packet but only until they are just cooked-they should still have some ‘bite’ in them.
2. Let them cool a little and then pulse in a food processor. Leave them quite coarse.
3. Heat up some vegetable oil and fry the onion until soft and golden. Add the garlic and cook for 2 or 3 minutes. Take off the heat and with a potato masher roughly mash them up a bit. Tip the prepared chickpeas, cooked onion & garlic, chopped fresh coriander & parsley, ground cumin & ground coriander , flour and beaten egg. Season well with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Taste the mix and add more seasoning -pulses need a lot of additional flavour so add more salt/spices if you want.
4. Mix together again and leave for 20 minutes.
5. Shape into balls, about the size of a walnut (you can make them larger if you want) and then flatten each one to make a pattie about 2cm thick. Use your finger to smooth them off around the edges to that they aren’t cracked. (If you have time to leave for another 15 minutes that helps them not break up)
6. Heat up a little oil in a roomy frying pan and fry, in batches, until they are golden on both sides-the centres should remain soft. Transfer them onto some kitchen paper to absorb any excess oil.
7. Serve with warmed pitta bread-cut the breads in half, warm them in the oven and then carefully slit them open. Stuff with 2 or 3 falafel and some dressed salad leaves. Serve with the tahini sauce and wedges of lemon.
Tahini yoghurt sauce
1 small tbsp. of tahini paste (made from sesame seeds)
4 tbsp. natural yoghurt
Juice of a lemon (you may need more)
A little water
Crunchy sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1. Take care with the tahini paste-it has a very powerful flavour. Mix with the yoghurt. Add the juice of a lemon and then a little water. Stir until it is the consistency of double cream.
2. Season well with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Taste and add more lemon juice if you want.