As a former vegetarian, I shall try not to overdo it with the enthusiasm. But as we all know the take-away choice of a vego is rather limited, especially if you’re feeling like something naughty. And “How about an apple?” just doesn’t seem to quite work anymore. So this was my naughty snack. While others had fries and sugary ketchup with their little squidgy cheese burgers, I was chomping into a huge colourful and (for me then) sinfully crunchy wrap with extra chilli. These days I don’t have these limitations anymore. The falafel however, has still stayed in my heart. Touching innit.
Amongst the many crazy veggie worshippers out there, with their “best” ultra-healthy oven-baked- or sweetpotato and white bean with alfa alfa sprout versions, there’s this recipe. Relatively traditional, just with the addition of tahini. This, in my opinion, makes it pop. And the frying of course. Go pretend to be a vegetarian for a while and make these. Then come tell me how awesome they were. You’re welcome.
200g dried chickpeas, soaked overnight, drained
1 medium onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
2 spring onions, chopped
½ cup firmly packed chopped parsley (with stems)
½ cup firmly packed chopped coriander (with roots and stems)
70g (or about 4 Tbsp) tahini
1 Tbsp ground cumin
1 Tbsp ground coriander
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 tsp baking powder
3 Tbsp flour
1 tsp vegetable stock powder
Blend everything in a food processor or with a handheld blender until a beautiful light green paste forms. Give it a little taste, and add as much salt as you think is necessary. Cover and keep in the fridge for 2 hours or more, until ready to use.
Shape the paste or dough or whatever you want to call it at this stage into walnut sized balls. Once you’re ready, you can either get a deep fryer going, or, like me, because I’m scared of the idea of large amounts of hot oil bubbling around in front of me, half-fill a fry pan with oil. Once it’s hot, add the balls and fry them on each side until beautifully browned. Transfer onto some kitchen paper to soak up the residual oil and fry the rest of the babies. Once done, you can either keep them in a warm oven until you need them, or serve them immediately, in a wrap, as a mezze spread, or with some coriander yoghurt with a swirl of sriracha chilli sauce.