Wednesday 24 March 2010

Falafel

The best dinner in the wide world




Falafel is a Middle Eastern dish made from spiced chickpeas. It is traditionally deep fried but in this recipe I just pop them in the oven to bake. It saves on a lot of fat and stops them being greasy. We served with tortilla wraps, a yogurt sauce called tzatziki (recipe also below), shredded iceberg lettuce and sliced tomatoes. AMAZING.

Ingredients:

For the falafel:
1 tin chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 onion
3 large cloves garlic
1 avocado
1 heaped tsp ground cumin
1 tsp fresh red chilli, deseeded and chopped
1 heaped tsp dried coriander leaf (or fresh if you have it)
Good pinch of salt and pepper

For the tzatziki (yogurt sauce):
Couple of tablespoons of natural yogurt (low-fat works best as it's a thinner consistency)
A few inches of cucumber, grated
1 clove garlic, grated
About a tablespoon of lemon juice

Method:
- Preheat the oven to 160 degrees (180 for a conventional oven).
- Into a food processor, chuck the chickpeas, onion, garlic and avocado and blitz well. Add the cumin, chilli, salt and pepper and mix well. My food processor is on the blink so I use a little mini chopper and then combine all the ingredients in a bowl; works just as well.
- The mix will be quite wet at this stage. Taste the mixture for seasoning and add more cumin or chilli as desired.
- Divide the mixture into 8 and form gently into balls.
- Transfer the balls to a greased baking tray or a muffin tin (I use the latter as it keeps the shape quite well) and bake in the oven for 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, make the tzatziki by mixing together all the ingredients. Taste as you go and adjust the garlic/ lemon quantities to your taste. Go easy on the garlic at first as it is very hot when raw. This yogurt sauce adds moisture to the dish and cools down any unwanted heat from the chilli.
- Once the falafel is cooked, dish up with some salad and either wraps or pitta bread for a mega amazing feast.

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