These falafels with houmous and grains are definitely worth a bit of effort for their soft, fluffy centres. The subtle flavours of chickpeas contrast with the chilli and its spicy punch (in its flaked form). The bitter lemon and lime brings out some zingy flavours, and it's a case of "spice up your dish" with the coriander and cumin. We're keeping it in the family with houmous and chickpeas, but this flavour is needed amidst the explosions of spice and zing from the other ingredients.
Those with nut allergies often miss out on falafel as it generally contains nuts, but this recipe is nut free and you know exactly what you're cooking with, so allergy related worries can be dismissed in this homemade falafel masterpiece. Enjoy these hot for dinner, and reuse any extra as a side dish for a plainer main (such as chicken or even soup) the next day. They also work fantastically for lunch (be that on a plate or in a lunchbox), just don't forget to add something moist like the houmous on the side.
HOW TO MAKE FALAFEL WITH HOUMOUS AND GRAINS
1. Put the onions and garlic in a food processor and blitz, then add the chickpeas and blitz again to a coarse paste. Tip into a bowl and add the spices, chilli, lemon juice, ﬂour and parsley. Season, then form into small balls. Flatten gently and put in the fridge for 10 minutes. Heat the oil in a large frying pan (about 2cm deep) and fry the falafel until browned and crispy.
2. Microwave the grains according to the pack instructions and allow to cool slightly. Tip into a mixing bowl and add the coriander, lemon juice, spring onions, olive oil and seasoning. Serve the warm falafels with the grains and houmous.
- 3 garlic cloves
- 2 onions
- 2 x 400g cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- ½ tbsp ground coriander
- ½ tsp ground cumin
- 1tbsp whole coriander seeds, lightly crushed
- ¼ tsp dried chilli ﬂakes
- juice of ½ lemon
- 2tbsp gram or plain ﬂour
- ½ bunch parsley, ﬁnely chopped oil, for frying
- 250g pouch mixed grains (we used Merchant Gourmet)
- ½ bunch coriander, roughly chopped
- juice of ½ lemon or lime
- 3 spring onions, chopped
- 1tbsp olive oil
- 100g houmous
Jane Curran is a freelance food editor, stylist, writer and consultant based in Cape Town. Former food director of TI Media & woman&home. All about food, wine (dipWSET), gardening and the Arsenal.
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