Crunchy, fried falafel option for the indulgent mob. Baked falafel for the healthy mob. These pittas will blow your minds.
DRIED CHICKPEAS ARE KEY. You can not do this dish with soaked chickpeas in a tin. The night before cooking, just pour the dried chickpeas into a bowl, cover with warm water, and soak overnight.
COOKING TIME (INCLUDES PREPARATION TIME): 2 HOURS
For The Falafel:
500g Dried Chickpeas - £1.15
1 Bunch Fresh Parsley - £0.70
1 Bunch Fresh Coriander - £0.70
Cumin - £0.85
Cayenne Pepper - £0.85
1 Brown Onion - £0.16
Garlic - £0.30
Plain Flour - £0.40
For The Salad:
4 Tomatoes - £0.50
1 Cucumber - £0.50
Bunch of Mint - £0.70
1 Lemon - £0.30
Parsley – (Use leftover from falafel)
For The Assembly:
4 Pittas - £0.50
Pot of Hummus - £0.90
Pickled Green Chillies - £1.11
Total Cost - £9.62 - This covers absolutely everything. All we assume you have in your kitchen beforehand is SALT, PEPPER AND OLIVE OIL.
Pour dried chickpeas into a bowl, cover with warm water and soak overnight.
Preheat oven to 180°C/356°F.
Start with the falafel mix. Into a blender, add 500g dried chickpeas (soaked overnight), 1 roughly chopped onion, 3 cloves of garlic, a large handful of coriander, a large handful of parsley, 2 tablespoons of flour, 2 heaped teaspoons of cumin and 1 heaped teaspoon of cayenne pepper. Season with salt and pepper.
Pulse the mixture in the blender. You want the texture of the mix to be rough so don’t overdo it. 3 or 4 five second pulses should do the trick.
Check the falafel mixture can stick in a ball. If it is too loose, just add a bit more flour.
Once you are able to stick the mixture together, make little discs, around 4 cm wide, and 3cm deep. Line up the discs on a sheet of baking paper, and put them in the fridge for 10 minutes to firm up. The mixture should make about 20 discs.
Salad time. Crack on with this while the falafels are chilling. Finely chop 4 tomatoes and put into a bowl. Peel a cucumber and chop into chunks, and add this to the bowl. Add a handful of chopped mint, a handful of chopped parsley, the juice of a lemon salt, pepper, olive oil. Mix everything together and set aside.
Falafel time. We have designed two options for you. The first is baked falafel – less crunch than the fired version, but much healthier. For this option, line a baking tray with baking paper, and place your falafel on the paper. Drizzle lightly with olive oil on one side, and then turn over the falafel and drizzle olive oil on the other side. Pat in the oil with your fingers, and then place in the oven for 30 minutes, flipping the falafel after 20 minutes.
The fried option is a bit more unhealthy, but much crunchier. For this, take a wide frying pan and pour in some sunflower oil. You should pour in enough that it comes up by 1.5cm in the pan. Heat up the oil. To check it is hot enough, just put in a tiny bit of leftover falafel mixture. When it starts bubbling, you are good to go. Place your falafels in the pan, and cook for 5-6 minutes on each side, or until each side is brown and crisp. When ready, remove falafels from the pan and place on some kitchen paper. Lie some kitchen paper on top of them, and pat off the oil.
Assembly time. Warm your pittas. Layer one side with a generous helping of hummus. Spoon in some of the salad. Then, take your baked or fried falafels and break them into the pittas – squeeze in 4 or 5 discs into each one. Lay some pickled green chillies on top, spoon over a bit more hummus and you’re there. Enjoy!