The falafel you buy in the shops doesn’t compare to the stuff you can make at home. In fact, once you start making it yourself, you’ll probably never want to buy it again. The combination of fresh herbs, spices and dried apricots, the bite of the lime zest, and the background nutty flavour coming from the ground almonds is a taste sensation. Serve them straight away, or chill them for later. Though they are better right out of the pan, you can reheat them for about 10 minutes in the oven if you are making them in advance.
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Prep time: 10 minutes. Cooking time: 16-20 minutes.
2 cans drained chickpeas
¼ tsp salt
Ground black pepper
Handful of mint leaves
Handful of coriander leaves
1 small red onion, diced
2 cloves, garlic, bashed with the flat of a knife
Zest of 1 lime
8 dried apricots, roughly chopped
1 tsp ground cumin
2 tbsp ground paprika
2 tsp ground almonds
2 tbsp gram flour
3 tbsp dairy-free plain yoghurt
Enough groundnut oil for shallow frying.
Put all the ingredients, except for the yoghurt and the oil, into a food processor. Pulse for a few seconds at a time until you get a blended, but still a little chunky, texture. You will need to remove the lid and mix with a spatula a couple of times, so that you’re not just turning the bottom of the mixture into a puree. When you’ve reached the desired consistency, empty it out into a mixing bowl and stir in the yoghurt until thoroughly combined. Test to see if it needs more salt.
Roll the mixture into balls the size of golf balls and set aside on a plate.
Heat about ½ centimetre of oil in a frying pan. Fry the falafel in two batches to not overcrowd the pan, for about 8 minutes. Turn them occasionally with a spoon to make sure that all sides are browned. If serving straight away, keep the first batch warm in the oven, on a low heat, until the second batch is cooked.
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