I am all falafeled out after quite a bit of falafeling to get the recipe to work. Who knew the humble chickpea fritter could be such a mission but thanks to my friend Roger, the final recipe for Falafel with Spicy Tahini Yoghurt is worth it.
*I have since made Ottolenghi’s recipe again using dried chickpeas soaked overnight and it was a great success – read the recipe here*
The first recipe I tried was from Ottolenghi’s Jerusalem and it turned out a bit of a disaster as the fritters disintegrated as they fried. Which meant I ended up baking most of the mixture but who wants it baked when it should be fried? Granted I used tinned chickpeas and did not soak dried ones as his recipe stated. I did a bit of research and also chatted to my friend Roger Jorgensen who makes a mean falafel and he sent me his recipe which had an egg and chickpea flour added to very much similar ingredients as the Ottolenghi recipe. And it worked like a charm.
The key is not to over process the chickpeas. It must not be mushy or pasty and still have some texture to it. If you do over process it will go watery. I used my food processor and pulsed it to the right consistency and Roger mentioned to me he uses a stick blender set to slow speed. And don’t skip the resting period in the fridge – the mixture needs to set.
The one thing I read a few times was that it is the baking powder that lets the mixture split when frying. Roger’s recipe has 1 and half teaspoons of baking powder in it but I left it out after my first disastrous attempt with the other recipe and I am not sure if you can really taste the difference when it is all garnished and drizzled with the yoghurt.
The one thing falafel needs in my opinion is texture, acidity and heat. Top the falafel with chopped fresh tomato or that fantastic Tabbouleh recipe of last week. The yoghurt dressing has lemon juice and zest but don’t be afraid to sprinkle some more lemon juice over the fritters. I added a smoked peri peri sauce to the yoghurt but you could use any hot chili sauce of your choice or some freshly chopped chili.
- 2 tins chickpeas, drained
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 1 large clove garlic, mashed
- 1 ½ tsp ground cumin
- 1 ½ tsp ground coriander
- 1 tsp salt
- handful chopped flat leaf parsley
- handful chopped fresh coriander
- 1 large egg
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 ½ tsp baking powder
- ½ cup chickpea flour
- chickpea flour for shaping the fritters
- vegetable oil for deep frying
- For garnish
- Chopped tomatoes
- Chopped parsley
- Sesame seeds
- Spicy Tahini Yoghurt Sauce
- ¾ cup full fat plain yoghurt
- 3 tbsp tahini
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tsp lemon zest
- 1 garlic clove, mashed
- 1 – 2 tbsp chilli sauce
- big pinch of salt
- For the fritters, combine the chickpeas, onion, garlic, cumin, coriander, salt, parsley, coriander, egg, and lemon juice in a processor and blitz until just combined. Be careful not to over process to a smooth paste, you still want the mixture to have some texture.
- Place the mixture into a bowl and mix in the baking powder and chickpea flour until just combined. The mixture must hold itself together.
- Cover and chill in the fridge for an hour.
- While the mix is resting make the yoghurt dressing by mixing all the ingredients together and refrigerate until needed.
- Heat the oil and test if the oil is hot enough by dropping a small bit of mixture into the oil. The mixture must start to sizzle and fry immediately.
- Place some of the chickpea flour on a plate.
- Wet your hand and roll the mixture into balls about the size of a walnut.
- Roll in the flour and fry in the oil in batches for 6 - 8 minutes until well browned and cooked through.
- Drain and serve while hot in a wrap or pita with the chopped tomato, parsley, sesame seeds and spicy tahini yoghurt.
- Adapted from Roger Jorgensen