Wednesday 6 November 2013


Well, after a couple of mutton and haggis evenings, we have gone back to vegetarian fare.  And what vegetarian doesn't like a good serving of falafel?

I've made this Joy of Cooking recipe for years using a tiny food processor but it only began to look like real falafel once I got a full size Magimix.  I don't know of anyone who has ever crushed the chickpeas by hand, but seeing as falafel has been around longer than food processors, people obviously have.  It does make it a lot easier if the machine does the work for you.

I feel like I'm back in college mingling with eco vegetarians whenever I make this.  But I'm not.  I'm in a Victorian tenement listening to uni students walk past talking about how drunk they were last night. Ho hum.  Apparently Emma was absolutely hammered.

And while my bread recipe is officially given the name "pita bread", it is really just flatbread, as I have not mastered the pocket inside.  Most times I get it to work, but not this time.  Still tastes good.

So here's most of what I had.  The kale is hiding in the fridge as the others didn't want to play with her, but I still think she goes nicely with it all.

I poured some boiling water on some chickpeas in the morning while 2 kids were away.  It only takes an hour to soak them this way, but I figure a bit longer of a soaking won't hurt them.

I also set aside the other ingredients for the falafel mix: onion, garlic, parsley, coriander seed, cumin seed, paprika, salt, and baking soda.  By this time I was due out to get a child, so out the door I went.

After lunch I did the dough for the pita bread.  Just yeast, water, wholegrain flour, and salt kneaded together for a few minutes then left out for a few hours during the school run.
Before kneading
After kneading

When I came back, the dough had risen (though not too dramatically, as I had used cold water and left it in a cold room) and the chickpeas were looking nicely swollen.

Soaked and ready

I then heated up my oven and baking stone to bake the breads in a super hot oven.  

You're supposed to know they're nearly done when they puff up in the middle with a big air pocket.  Mine didn't (I suspect the flour may have something to do with it).  

Meh, that just made them flatbreads.  I just smeared a tiny bit of butter on them and kept making more.

Until I had a nice stack of them.

Then into the food processor went all the falafel ingredients until it became a paste.  I added a bit of flour - I think this helps keep it all together and cook well.

Oh, and I sliced up a few other veggies to put on top.  The kale was steamed, but still hid.

I rolled up the falafel mix into pieces and set them aside while I heated some oil

It only took a few minutes on each side to brown them.
Then onto paper towels to drain them.

Then I opened a jar of Tahini, stuck everything on the table with some lemon wedges, and we were ready to eat.  Some assembly was required.

Recipes below.  Or just look in the Joy of Cooking if you have it, as that's where I got both recipes.

Pitta Bread

450g wholegrain flour
1 tsp salt
4 tsp instant yeast
310 ml water

Dissolve yeast in water then add flour and salt.  Knead until you are bored.  Add flour as needed - the dough should be slightly tacky but not sticky.  transfer the dough to an oiled bowl and turn it over once to coat.  Cover with clingfilm and allow to rise at room temperature until doubled in size.

Punch the dough down, divide equally into 8 pieces and preheat your oven to 230C with baking stone or tray inside.  Roll out each dough piece to a thin round and place as many as you can fit onto the baking stone.  Bake for about 3 minutes each - they should puff up and brown at edges, and you want to remove them about 30 seconds after they puff up.  Remove them to cooling rack and brush lightly with butter.  


210g dried chickpeas
1 small onion
12g (half a bag) of parsley leaves
2 cloves garlic
2 tsp cumin seeds
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp coriander seeds
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp paprika
2 Tbsp

Vegetable oil for cooking

a few tomatoes, sliced
half a cucumber, sliced
bunch of kale, trimmed and steamed

Place chickpeas in bowl and pour over boiling water to cover by at least one cm.  Soak for an hour or more.

Place soaked chickpeas and other ingredients except flour in food processor and pulse until pureed. Remove to a bowl and stir in flour.  With wet hands, shape the mixture into walnut sized balls (or larger if you prefer) and set on plate.  

Heat a deep frying pan with 1cm oil.  Fry the chick pea cakes until golden on  both sides, about 4 minutes each side.  Drain on paper towels.  

Serve with pita breads, sliced tomato, cucumber, steamed kale, and tahini.

No comments:

Post a Comment