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 Light Meals, Sides & Soups + Condiments & Staples 
Sprouted Chickpea Falafel + Lebanese Yoghurt & Tahini Sauce

sprouted-chickpea-falafel-recipe.jpg

 

Sprouted Chickpea Falafel

 

Traditional falafel is made by blending raw chickpeas that have been soaked overnight with herbs, spices and onions. By taking this a step further and sprouting the chickpeas after the overnight soaking, you are adding significant nutritional value to your meal, as the key nutrients from the chickpeas are made more available to your body. 

Also, you will be able to digest the falafel easier – I do find chickpeas can cause some digestive discomfort in certain people and sprouting them will help to alleviate this. 

To sprout the chickpeas, once you have soaked them overnight drain and place them into a colander over a bowl, and cover with a lid. Place away from direct sunlight on your kitchen bench and for the next two days run water over them and drain them 3 – 4 times a day, or just when you think about it. When you have , you are ready to make the falafel. 

If you are unprepared or short on time you can quite easily make this recipe without spouting the chickpeas first - the flavour will still be the same - but do be sure to soak them overnight as this step is imperative. 

 

Makes 18 falafels 

Ingredients 

  • 1 cup chickpeas, soaked overnight, then sprouted for 2 days (see above for how to sprout chickpeas) 

  • 1 small onion, finely diced 

  • 2 – 3 cloves garlic, sliced 

  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin 

  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander 

  • 1 teaspoon salt 

  • Zest from one lemon 

  • 1 packed cup of fresh mint or parsley, finely chopped  

  • 1 heaped tablespoon flour or chickpea flour 

  • ½ teaspoon baking powder 

  • Rice bran oil for cooking 

 

Method 

  1. Place all the ingredients except for the flour and baking powder into a food processor and blend well, stopping every now and then to scrape down the bowl of the food processer with a rubber spatula. Keep blending and scraping until a fine consistency is achieved. 

  2. Add the flour and baking powder and lightly pulse a few times until just combined. 

  3. Place the falafel into a container and push down with the back of a spoon to compress the mix. Cover and refrigerate for at least ½ an hour to chill. At this point you can store the falafel for up to five days until you are ready to fry it. 

  4. Heat some rice bran oil or similar up in a large frying pan. I like to use quite a bit of oil here, but if you are watching your oil intake you can reduce the amount you use, the falafels will just require a bit more cooking.  

  5. While the oil is heating shape the falafels. I like to quenelle them using two spoons, which gives you a traditional shape that stays together well and fries evenly, and if your anything like me it will give you an immense feeling of satisfaction seeing all those perfect little three-sided falafels lined up! (See note on how to quenelle below this recipe). You could also shape into patties using wet hands but be sure to squeeze the mixture well as you are moulding it. This will ensure it doesn’t break apart when frying. 

  6. As you shape or quenelle each falafel gently place them into the hot oil. Cook for two or three minutes on each side, until golden brown.  

  7. Drain well on paper towels until ready to eat. Serve in Pita Bread alongside my Lebanese Yoghurt & Tahini Sauce. 

**The technique of creating a quenelle is one worth knowing, and it is easier to achieve this shape than you might think. The concept is that you will take a dessertspoon and scoop some falafel into it, then using a second spoon pass the falafel back and forth between the two, while pressing with tension to create a rugby ball shape. This takes a bit of practice and patience, but the end result is beautiful evenly shaped falafels that will cook evenly. 

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Falafel

Condiments & Staples
 Lebanese Yoghurt & Tahini Sauce

lebanese-yoghurt-and-tahini-sauce-recipe.jpg

  

Lebanese, Yoghurt & Tahini Sauce  

 

The perfect condiment to enjoy with Falafel, this sauce is also lovely served as a dip alongside Pita Bread, fried halloumi, and carrot and cucumber sticks. Or you may decide to lavish your table with bowls and plates of everything named above as well as deep-fried courgette and aubergine, marinated olives, roasted feta, and seasonal salads like my Middle Eastern Beetroot and Red Onion Salad, to create a Middle Eastern mezze feast.

The sumac gives a subtle tangy citrus flavour, and I like to add quite a lot. Sumac is available from most organic shops or any Mediterranean Warehouse. If you can't source any it will be fine to leave it out. 

 

Makes 1 ½ cups 

 

Ingredients 

  • 1 cup unsweetened yoghurt 

  • ½ cup tahini 

  • Juice of 1 medium sized lemon 

  • ½ teaspoon fresh red chili, minced 

  • 2 - 3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh mint 

  • 2 teaspoons sumac  

  • 1/8 teaspoon salt 

 

Method 

  1. Combine all the ingredients together in a small bowl, mixing well. Taste and adjust the seasoning if needed. 

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