Friday, 12 September 2014

fe·la·fel

Felafel are balls of chickpea goodness!

I make felafel on a regular basis. I think that part of their charm is that they take very little actual effort and that effort is best spread over several days ; however the finished product has the satisfaction of a more intense labour.

Felafel may be made from dried broad, or fava, beans or perhaps more commonly now, chickpeas. The most surprising thing about felafel is that the dried beans are soaked before use, but not cooked. I have made a recipe for felafel with cooked chickpeas and they fell apart terribly.

A felafel meal in our house includes pita, hummus, beetroot, garlic yoghurt, salad, pickled chilli and felafel.
Felafel
Serves at least 6

Soak about 500g of dried chickpeas in cold water with a pinch of bicarbonate of soda for at least 24 hours.
Drain, rinse and dry in a tea towel.
Put the now dry chickpeas in a food processor and process until very fine. Add a teaspoon of yeast and of baking powder, a teaspoon each of ground cumin, coriander and half a teaspoon of turmeric and some salt and pepper. Add a couple of cloves of garlic and if you like, some grated onion that you have squeezed dry and drained. Keep processing until a small amount sticks together when you press a pile together with your fingertips. This will take longer than you think, and if in doubt keep processing.
Leave the mixture to rest overnight, or at least a couple of hours.
Roll the mixture into walnut sized balls, rolling in sesame seeds if you want.
Arrange the balls on a baking sheet. Spray with olive oil. Bake for 15-20 minutes at 200°C or until golden and delicious looking.

This will make approximately 36 felafel.