Falafels with Tahini Sauce and Lebanese Salad

Falafels are usually deep fried but as this could be considered by some as unhealthy I find that shallow frying in cold pressed rapeseed oil works perfectly well. The advantage of rapeseed oil is it can be heated to a high temperature, contains omega 3 and omega 6, and is high in mono-unsaturated fats and low in saturated fats.

Portions: 6 Portions

Preparation: 20 minutes

Cooking: 10 minutes

Ingredients

Falafel

  • 300g canned chickpeas
  • 200g canned white haricot beans or soak haricot beans over night in water
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 6 spring onions finely chopped
  • 1/2-1 tsp chili powder
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tbsp. Sesame seeds
  • 3 tbsp coriander, chopped
  • 3 tbsp parsley, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • pinch sea salt
  • 4 tbsp fresh breadcrumbs
  • Fussels cold pressed rapeseed oil

Tahini Sauce (Tarator bi tahini):

  • 150g tahini paste (sesame paste)*
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • juice of 2 lemons
  • 125 ml warm water
  • 2 tbsp parsley, chopped
  • maldon salt and freshly ground pepper

Lebanese Salad

  • 2 tomatoes, sliced
  • 1/2 cucumber, finely sliced
  • 1 Spanish onion, peeled halved and finely sliced
  • 100g mixed salad leaves, (4 generous handfuls)

To Serve

  • Village bread or Pita bread
  • Pinch ground chili or paprika

Method

  1. Falafel: Place all the falafel ingredients in a food processor (drain the liquid from the canned chickpeas and kidney beans well) and puree until the mixture is well combined and pureed but not smooth (you still want some texture in the falafel's with obvious beans). The mixture should not be runny but firm. At this stage you may refrigerate the mix until ready to cook. With your hands make small golf ball sized discs with the falafel mixture.
  2. To Cook: Heat the olive oil in a frying pan over a moderate to high heat until the oil is hot, cook a few falafel's at a time in the oil for 1-2 minutes on either side, when they are cooked keep them warm in the oven while you prepare the rest.
  3. Tahini Sauce: Place all the ingredients in a food processor and blend until you have a smooth sauce. If the sauce is to thick add a little more water. Allow the sauce to cool before serving.
  4. To Serve: Lay the bread out on the plates if you have pitta bread open them up. Place the salad ingredients in the bread and place the falafel's on the salad with at least 3 per person drizzle over the Tahini sauce and sprinkle over a little chili powder or paprika. Serve
* Tahini paste is available in jars from most supermarkets