When it comes to pulses, the chickpea takes the crown for me. The round, beige bean is unassuming. unaware of the power it holds. Without chickpeas we would have no hummus and no falafels, two of the most delicious Middle Eastern dishes.
I have always found it difficult to master the art of falafel making. The one’s you can get at markets filled into a pitta with hummus are crispy on the outside, then soft and slightly crumbling on the inside. As the falafel is bitten into the spices erupt and fill your mouth with flavour. Cumin, coriander, allspice and ginger are mixed together and turn a ball of pulsed chickpeas into a delicious bite of the Middle East.
On my journey to mastering the art of falafel making I am changing an aspect each time. Slowly, I have managed to improve the flavour of my homemade falafels, adding more and more cumin each time. Whilst the flavour is getting there, the texture still lays no resemblance to the bought variety. The outside has the crunch that you bite into however the centre is softer, rather than having the crumbly texture. Next time I have a can of chickpeas sat on my shelf, I am going to try and blitz the mixture less. By blitzing the chickpeas for less time, they would hold their shape and make the falafels have a more bite to them.
Whilst I am still on the quest to perfect the spiced chickpea balls, here is the work-in-progress-recipe so far…
2 x 400g tin of chickpeas
1 lemon, juiced
4 cloves of garlic, chopped
3 tsp. cumin
A pinch of salt and pepper
1 tsp. allspice
2 tsp. coriander
A pinch of ginger
1 dessert spoon of plain flour, plus more for dusting
Sesame seeds to coat the falafels in
Oil for cooking
Serve with: wholemeal tortilla warps, hummus, avocado and red cabbage
– In a bowl or a food processor blitz together all the ingredients for the falafels except the sesame seeds.
– Sprinkle a plate with flour. Form the mixture into small flat balls.
– Coat both sides with sesame seeds and place on the dusted plate.
– Place a little oil in a pan.
– Once hot, place the falafels in the pan, cooking on both sides until golden brown and have firmed up a little of both sides.
– Serve with the wraps, hummus, avo and shredded red cabbage.