There’s a market near my office called Petticoat Lane which has a selection of food carts from all around the world. There’s a falafel stand there that makes my favourite falafel wrap — and which introduced me to the idea of putting chips (French fries) in the wrap! It sounds weird but it’s really nice. The best part of it is that the wraps at this stand cost only £3 — bargain by London lunch standards! Last week I was craving falafel. I prefer making falafel myself to buying it premade in the supermarket because when you make it yourself, you can adjust spices and herbs to taste. The only downside to making it at home is that you need to plan ahead by one day since the chickpeas require soaking overnight. But the result is worth it!
Makes approximately 2 dozen pieces of falafel
- 250g/9oz/1 1/3 cups dried chickpeas
- 2-3 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
- 1/2 onion, chopped
- 2 -3 tablespoons fresh coriander, chopped
- 1 teaspoon paprika (or more if desired)
- pinch cayenne
- 1 tablespoons sesame seeds
- 1-2 teaspoons ground cumin
- pinch sea salt
- water, if needed
- plain flour, if needed
- vegetable oil for frying
- The night before you plan on making falafel, put the dried chickpeas in a large bowl and cover with water, then leave the soak overnight.
- The next day, drain and rinse chickpeas, then add them to a food processor or blender with parsley, garlic, onion, coriander, paprika, cayenne, sesame seeds, cumin, and salt. Blend them together until you get a thick paste.
- If your blender isn’t very high quality, like mine, you may have trouble getting the ingredients to blend. In this case, you can add some water to help the blending process. Once blended, mix in flour until the mixture forms a paste thick enough to hang onto a spoon and not fall off.
- If you have a deep fryer, you can cook the falafel in there. If not, heat 3 or 4 tablespoons of oil in a large frying pan or wok on medium high heat. When the oil is very hot (you can test this by sprinkling a tiny amount of water onto the oil and seeing if it bubbles; be extremely careful if you do this, because the oil may spit and burn you), form small balls of the paste (you can make them as large or small as you want your falafel) and drop them onto the oil. Fit as many pieces of falafel as you can but leave some space or they will clump together. Allow them to cook for a few minutes, then rotate the balls until every side is cooked. Once you’ve cooked a batch, put them onto a plate lined with a paper towel, then fry up another batch.
Homemade hummus is not as creamy as storebought, but you can adjust seasoning which is great if you want to personalise your hummus to your own tastes.
- 1 can garbanzo beans/chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 2.5 tbsp lemon juice
- 4 tbsp olive oil or vegetable oil
- 1 tsp salt
- dash cayenne
- 1 tsp paprika
- ½ tsp to 1 tsp cumin
- ¼ tsp white pepper
- 1 generous tbsp light sesame tahini
- Mix all ingredients in a food processor until smooth.
Lemony Yoghurt-Tahini Sauce
I love drizzling this on my falafel wraps.
- 1/2 cup soya or other non-dairy yoghurt
- 1.5 tbsp tahini
- 1 tsp fresh lemon juice
- Mix all ingredients in a bowl.
To assemble a wrap, start with your favourite tortilla or wrap bread. Line with a couple of tablespoons of hummus, then add 3 – 4 pieces of falafel. If you want, add chopped cucumber and tomato, then drizzled with lemony yoghurt-tahini sauce. Garnish with mint leaves if desired. Fold up the wrap and enjoy! :) These are also great for lunch at work as they’re easily transportable. Simply assemble your wrap and pack tightly in aluminium foil.
Do you want to learn how to make a whole Middle Eastern Feast? Along with falafel, this online cooking course will teach you how to make 5 vegan Middle Eastern dishes, including zaatar spice topped flatbread and saffron, pistachio and rosewater ice cream!
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