Felafel is one of the Middle East’s most popular vegetarian dishes, suitable for breakfast, lunch or supper. It’s also one of my favourite finger foods. On a recent trip to Athens, Greece, I came across a small cafe on a high street that was selling only felafel. The queue was always miles long, so I was curious about their success. Having tasted their felafel, I decided I could do far better. I experimented with a healthier version cooked in the oven, rather than deep fried, and I am very happy to share my recipe with you.
(For best results, if you can find dry white beans soak them overnight in cold water, drain then roughly grind)
1 tin chickpeas 240g
1 garlic clove (chopped)
3 tbs fresh lemon juice
1 tbs lemon zest
5 tbs freshly chopped parsley and mint
1 tbs fresh chilli (chopped)
1 tsp coriander powder
1 tsp cumin powder
2 tbs olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
Heat the oven 175*. Drain the water from the chickpeas. In a food processor, blend them coarsely (making sure not to form a paste). Transfer to a bowl and mix the rest of the ingredients except for the oil. Check the seasoning. Form into small balls or any shape you like. Heat the olive oil in a l0w flame and seal the felafel balls until just brown. Transfer to an ovenproof tray and bake for 15 minutes. Serve with tahini paste.
1-2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
Juice of 2 lemons
1/2 cup tahini
1/2 tsp cumin powder
2 tbs finely chopped parsley
salt to taste
Mix the ingredients together, then check the seasoning.
© Ajith Perera. All rights reserved.