Falafel

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Difficulty:  Easy

Makes:  24

Fresh from the garden:  garlic, parsley, onions, coriander leaves, coriander seeds, mint, lemons

Equipment

  • metric measuring spoons & cups
  • chopping boards & non-slip mats
  • medium knives
  • oven-proof dish
  • small frying pan
  • large non-stick frying pan
  • colander
  • paper towel
  • wooden spoon
  • bowls – 3 medium, 1 large
  • wooden spoon
  • mortar and pestle
  • grater
  • tea towel
  • food processor
  • slotted spoon
  • serving plates
Ingredients

  • 225 g chickpeas
  • 2 tbsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tbsp coriander seeds
  • ¼ red onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 20 stalks of parsley
  • 15 stems of coriander
  • 20 mint leaves
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tbsp plain flour
  • 3 tbsp water
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
  • ¼ cup canola oil, for cooking
Note:  Since the chickpeas need to be soaked overnight, students prepare chickpeas for classes on the following day.
What to do

  • Set out your ingredients.

Prepare the chickpeas

  • Place the chickpeas in the large bowl, cover with cold water and leave to soak overnight.
  • The next day set the colander in the sink.  Tip the chickpeas and the soaking water into the colander.  Rinse with cold, running water, then drain and give the colander a good shake.  Wash and dry the bowl and return the chickpeas to the bowl.
  • Preheat the oven to 120oC.
  • Line the base of the ovenproof dish with kitchen paper and place in the oven to keep warm.
  • Soak the coriander in a bowl of water.
  • Heat the small frying pan over a medium heat.  Toast the cumin seeds in the dry pan until they smell fragrant.  Tip the seeds into the mortar.  Toast the coriander seeds in the same way and tip in the mortar.  Grind the seeds using the pestle.  tip the spice powder into the chickpea bowl.
  • Peel and grate the onion and add to the chickpeas.
  • Peel and grate the garlic and add to the chickpeas.
  • Rinse the parsley and mint and drain the coriander.  Dry the herbs by rolling in the tea towel, then roughly chop and add to the chickpeas.
  • Add the baking powder, flour, water,  salt, pepper and cayenne pepper and stir to mix well.
  • Working in batches, spoon a little mixture into the bowl of the food processor, then process until the mixture combines and looks bright green with little white flecks – it should NOT be a paste.  Tip each batch into the second medium bowl as it’s done.
  • When all the mixture has been processed, use your hands to form the mixture into little patties, about 2 – 3 cm wide, squeezing them very firmly.  Place each patty on the baking tray as you make it.  You should have 24 falafel.
  • Pour half the oil into the frying pan.  Heat over high heat until hot.  Remove the warmed dish from the oven and place it next to the frying pan.  Working in batches, and being mindful not to overcrowd the pan, carefully put some falafel into the hot oil and fry them, turning with the slotted spoon, until they are a deep golden brown all over.  Lift out with the slotted spoon and place in the warm dish, then return the dish to the oven.  Add the remaining oil to the frying pan and repeat the process with the remaining falafel.
  • When all the falafel are cooked, place on the serving plate and serve with pita bread, hummus and tabbouleh.
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