We simply had to make Our Middle Eastern Falafel this Veganuary! This is our go-to recipe when the fridge is looking rather empty, as it uses lots of store cupboard ingredients and can easily be adjusted to use whatever you have. Humble chickpeas flavoured with garlic, cumin and turmeric transform to crispy patties that are ideal served on a bed of veggie couscous! We served our Falafel with another Middle Eastern favourite of hours - rich and spicy Red Shatta!
Pestle & Mortar or Food Processor (to make Shatta)
For the Falafel:
1tin chickpeas (400g)drained (liquid reserved)
1garlic clovefinely chopped
½fresh chillifinely chopped
5gparsley or corianderfinely chopped
1small shallotfinely chopped
For Cous Cous:
1vegetable stock cube
200gcarrotscut into small cubes
1red onioncut into 8 wedges
For the Red Shatta:
2chillis(red, green or a mixture), chopped finely
15gparsley or coriander, or a mixturechopped finely
100mlplain yoghurtvegan, if required
To Make Falafel:
With a fork, mash your chickpeas, leaving some bigger bits unmashed for texture. Add cumin, turmeric, flour, breadcrumbs, garlic, chilli, parsley, shallot and tahini. Season with some salt and pepper. Add 4 tbsp of the reserved aquafaba (chickpea tin liquid) and mix well to combine.
Form 9-12 balls (about a large tbsp each) and then flatten them between your palms slightly.
Place them on a lightly floured board, cover with cling film and pop in the fridge for 30 minutes to firm up.
When you're ready to cook, heat 2 tbsp of vegetable oil in a large frying pan. Add the Falafel and fry for 3 minutes on each side until golden and crispy.
To Make Shatta:
In a pestle & mortar or a food processor, place the chopped chillies, herbs, cumin, vinegar, olive oil, vinegar and some salt and pepper. Grind into a rough paste.
Tip the paste into a small saucepan, add the tomato paste and water and heat until it comes to a boil and thickens slightly. Then take off the heat and leave to cool.
Make the CousCous:
In a hot frying pan with 1 tbsp of vegetable oil, fry carrots, onions and cumin for approx 5 minutes on medium-high heat, stirring, until starting to soften but still retain crunch.
Place couscous in a large bowl and crumble in a vegetable stock cube. Pour boiling water over the couscous (the recommended amount on the packet), cover with a large plate and leave to soak for 5-8 minutes.
Fluff up the couscous with a fork, then mix in the carrots and onion. Divide the couscous between plates, top with falafel patties and serve with some red shatta and yoghurt!