Monday, 9 July 2012
Lemon and sesame seed falafel
When life gives you lemons... make falafel.
I had a not-so-great experience in Marks & Spencer the other week, whereby I tried to buy a huge stack of falafel for a garden lunch, only to find that they had decided to include egg and milk in their falafel recipe. There is no need for either of those ingredients in a traditional falafel. Here's the thing: protein makes things stick together. It's why people add egg to cake. Chickpeas are a great source of protein. They will also make things stick together. Which is why falafel is great, as it is a vegan food by default- my favourite kind. It's something you don't need to mess around with or alter- it should just be vegan.
HENNYWAY. They'll see sense eventually, I'm sure. In the mean time, here's a beautiful falafel recipe to sink your teeth into. I've seen recipes that don't use the flour, and if you wanted to keep this gluten free then by all means leave it out- but I prefer to roll mine flour first to make the outer edges a little crispier when fried.
Makes around 16 falafels
3 tbsp sunflower oil
1 onion, diced
1 large garlic clove, chopped small
1 400g tin of chickpeas, drained
1 tsp cumin
1 large handful of fresh parsley chopped down small
Juice of 1 lemon
20g plain flour
4 tbsp of sesame seeds
Heat a frying pan with 1tbsp sunflower oil, and over a very low heat, spend 5 minutes frying the onion and garlic. You want them to remain soft and not at all crispy.
In a mixing bowl, use a hand blender or potato masher to mix the chickpeas, parsley, cumin, lemon juice and 2 tbsp of sesame seeds together, adding in the onion and garlic. The fresh parsley should give it a great green colour.
In a small bowl, add half the plain flour and half the sesame seeds. Mix these in, then taking a tablespoon size of chickpea mixture, roll in the flour and sesame seed mix and shape into a patty or ball. Once you've made four of these, heat 1 tbsp of oil and fry each side for around 3 minutes. Go slow- they are much better with less oil and less heat, than if you attempt to deep fry- as they will go soggy. After you've used up the first half of the flour and sesame seed mixture, add the second, and the same with the oil, until you have a plate full of amazing, vegan, falafel.