The Daily Telegraph


Recipe from Falastin: A Cookbook by Sami Tamimi and Tara Wigley (£28, Ebury)


Makes 16 falafel, serves four to six


250g dried chickpeas

2 garlic cloves, crushed

25g parsley, roughly chopped

25g coriander, roughly chopped

15g mint leaves, roughly chopped

2 medium onions, finely chopped (300g)

1 tsp Aleppo chilli flakes

(or ½ tsp regular chilli flakes)

1 ¼ tsp ground cumin

1 ¼ tsp coriander seeds, finely crushed in a pestle and mortar

¾ tsp bicarbonat­e of soda

1 tbsp sumac

1 tbsp sesame seeds

About 800ml sunflower oil, to fry



(Shortcut: the sumac onion is an untraditio­nal addition. It adds a nice bite of tart surprise to the falafel but you can skip this stage, if you like, and just make the falafel without the filling.)

Place the chickpeas in a bowl and cover with at least twice their volume of cold water. Soak overnight.

The next day, drain the chickpeas (they should weigh 480g now), then combine them with the garlic, parsley, coriander, mint and three-quarters of the chopped onions.

Put half the mix into a food processor and blitz for about 2 minutes, scraping down the sides a couple of times if you need to, until the paste is damp and slightly mushy.

Transfer to a large bowl and repeat with the remaining half of the mix. Add this to the bowl as well, along with the chilli flakes, cumin, coriander and 1½ teaspoons of salt.

Using your hands, mix well to combine. Add the bicarbonat­e of soda and give the mixture another good mix.

Place the remaining onions in a bowl with the sumac and 1⁄4 teaspoon of salt. Mix well and set aside.

When shaping the falafel, keep your hands wet, which makes it easier to work with the mixture. Spoon 2 tablespoon­s of the mixture (about 50g) into the palm of your hand and form a ball. Don’t press too hard, as this will make the falafel too dense.

Then with a wet finger, make a large hollow in the middle of each ball.

Spoon a teaspoon of the sumac onion mixture into the hollow and then shape it again, so that most of the filling is covered. Flatten into a patty – about 6cm wide and 1½ cm thick – and using your little finger, make a small indentatio­n: this will ensure that the inside gets evenly cooked.

Place on a parchmentl­ined tray and continue with the remaining mixture: you should have enough to shape 16 falafel.

Sprinkle the tops lightly with the sesame seeds, pressing them in slightly so that they don’t fall off when the falafel are fried. (At this stage, the falafel can be frozen, if you like.)

When ready to serve, fill a deep, heavy-based medium saucepan – about 20cm wide – with enough of the oil so that it rises about 7cm up the side of the pan.

Place on a medium to high heat and bring the oil to a temperatur­e of 180°C if you have a thermomete­r.

If you don’t have a thermomete­r, just add a little bit of the falafel mixture to the pan: if it sizzles at once, you will know that the oil is hot enough.

Carefully lower the falafel in batches into the oil – you should be able to fit four falafel in the pan at once – and cook for 5–6 minutes, or until well browned and cooked through. They need to spend this long in the oil to really dry out on the inside, so don’t be tempted to take them out too soon.

Use a slotted spoon to transfer the falafel to a colander that is lined with kitchen paper while you continue with the remaining batches.

Serve at once.

 ?? ??

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from United Kingdom