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Falafel is a delicious vegan food originating in the Middle East. It has taken popularity as a quick vegetarian and vegan food available on the go. You can make falafel with chickpeas and dry fava beans. You can also use dry soaked raw chickpeas or cooked ones. I used cooked chickpeas in this recipe as pre-soaking and cooking the beans helps to make them more digestible.

Chickpeas are a great source of plant protein it is best to combine them with grains to get your complete range of amino acids. They contain molybdenum a trace mineral that is great for detoxifying sulphites found in wine, dry fruits, some preserved fruits and drinks and cured meats. They are also a great source of folic acid, manganese and other minerals. A great source of plant fibre with a nutty flavour that is starchy yet sweet and very versatile lending itself to many dishes.

Hand holding Falafel
Herby Falafel with Roast Garlic Dressing and White Kimchi

Makes 15-16 falafels

2 cups of cooked and drained chickpeas (1 cup is 250 ml)

1 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp ground coriander

1/4-1/2 tsp red chilli powder (adjust to your desire)

3/4 tsp sea salt

2 cloves of garlic, crushed

1/2 red onion finely chopped

4 Tablespoon (level) rice flour

4 tablespoon chopped flat parsley and fresh coriander

2 tsp chickpea cooking liquid

Rapeseed or light olive oil for frying about 1/2 a cup.

In a food processor blend the chickpeas with the spices, seasoning, garlic and onion.

Pour into a bowl and add to this, finely chopped herbs and rice four. Mix and kneed with your hands till it comes together. If you feel the mix is dry and falls apart in your hand when you form a bowl then add the 2 tsp cooking liquid and kneed again squeezing the mix well to get it to stick together.

Raw falafel balls
Falafel ready for the frying pan

When the mix is ready, work it into walnut-sized rounds and heat the oil in a shallow pan.

You can add a lightly crushed garlic to the oil to flavour it and check to see if the oil is hot enough. When the garlic starts to sizzle and turns its colour add half the balls to the pan and fry equally on all sides.

Aim for a golden brown colour, when done put the fried balls on to a plate that has been lined with kitchen paper to remove the excess oil.

Hand holding freshly fried falafel
Crisp and freshly cooked falafel

Do the same with the rest of the balls.

Serve with salad, I used some of my white kimchi here, rice or pitta bread and some delicious dressing such as tahini, yoghurt and mint or roast garlic and cashew as I did here.

You can enjoy your falafel hot or cold. They make an equally delicious cold snack the next day.

A plate of chickpea falafel, white kimchi and dressing
Herby falafels served with white kimchi, rice, white and black sesame seeds and roast garlic and cashew butter dressing.

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