St George's Day Falafeling.

For those of you that may not know, St George, our patron saint, was actually born in Syria. His father was Turkish and his mother Palestinian, so in honour of St George's Day, I decided to make some Middle Eastern dishes starting with a very hearty sharing lunch of falafel.

To my memory, I've never made falafel, but have eaten it many times from supermarkets, food vans and in restaurants, as traditionally it is vegetarian, gluten free and bloody yummy!

I've had varying quality of falafel over the years, the worst (and most often consumed) being cold supermarket or late night kebab shop purchases which are generally really rather dry and pretty tasteless. I found that shallow frying my own falafel meant that they absorbed a lot of oil and I had to top up the pan a few times, this made them much more moist and succulent, but oddly not greasy. Plus, making them is much easier than I imagined and 1 can of chickpeas yields enough falafel to sate a large bear. No more supermarket falafel ever again, thank you very much!

Saint's Falafeling
serves 4 greedy bastards

1 can of drained chickpeas
1 1/2 tbsp tahini
1 handful of coriander, roughly chopped
1/2 red onion, roughly chopped
3 cloves of garlic, roughly chopped
1 tsp dried cumin
1 tsp dried parsley
1/2 tsp chilli flakes
pinch of salt
juice of 1/2 a lemon
sesame oil (or frying oil of your choice)

  1. Chuck your tahini, chickpeas, onion, garlic, herbs, spices and salt into a food processor and whizz until it's all chopped, mixed and starting to come together.
  2. Remove your blade from the food processor and stir your lemon juice into the chickpea mixture.
  3. Pop a frying pan on a med heat.
  4. Using your hands, form mixture into golf ball I managed to make about 16 or so, so make sure you have plenty of friends to nosh on your balls with you.
  5. Pop some oil in your pan and fry your falafely balls for a couple of minutes until most of the surface of the balls have browned.
  6. Serve cooked balls with warm pitta, olives, marinated artichokes, houmous, a cucumber and yoghurt dip (put small cucumber pieces into some plain dairy free yoghurt, add salt- ta-da! Dip!) and salad.
  7. Balls.

Now, you could make the houmous and flatbreads yourself as I was going to, but rather inconveniently, I have to go to work this afternoon, so I ran out of time and cheated with free from pittas and Co-op houmous. But it was still good. Obviously, you can also swap dry herbs and spices for fresh ones depending on what's available to you. I was also hoping to make baba ganoush, but my local shop didn't have any aubergine and that was as far as I was willing to travel.

Happy St George's Day Falafeling!


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