I eat meat. Lots of it, too. Especially steaks and hamburgers. But every now and again I may have a guest over for dinner who does not share my unbridled enthusiasm for devouring the grilled ripe flesh of rotting bovine cadavers. Odd, I know.
So it is rather fortuitous that I recently happened to chance upon a promising vegan recipe from ‘GoodFood’ magazine, which is published on the BBC website here. A good friend of mine who is vegan had suggested it, as a matter of fact. But I have found that the recipe needed a bit of ‘tweaking’ to get right (not to be confused with ‘twerking‘, which will be discussed in a different recipe), but now it is pretty damn good! In fact, delectable is the word.
Things you need:
- A good frying pan.
- A food processor (optional).
- Rice bran oil, because we need a high smoke point (and I don’t mean an elevated area for nicotine addicts).
- 400g canned chickpeas.
- Some paprika, pepper and salt.
- One imperial teaspoon of ground cumin (or about 5.91939 mL).
- One imperial teaspoon of ground coriander.
- Two imperial tablespoons of plain flour (or about 35.5163 mL).
- One imperial tablespoon of corn starch.
- One jar of tomato salsa (or make your own).
- Romaine lettuce.
- Pita bread.
- One red onion.
Things you do:
Finely chop the red onion. Finely chop the parsley. Empty the can of chickpeas in a sieve or strainer and rinse the chickpeas with running tap water. Dry the peas thoroughly with a (paper) towel—the drier, the better. If you have a food processor, chop the chickpeas to a fine pulp. Resist the urge to add other ingredients in the food processor! This will add moisture and make the chickpeas more difficult to chop. If that happens anyway, or you have no food processor, just use your bare hands to crush the peas into submission.
Add chopped/crushed chickpeas to a large bowl. Add the parsley, red onion, cumin, coriander. Add paprika powder, pepper and salt to taste. Add flour and corn starch. Kneed vigorously until mixture is thoroughly homogenized. Take a portion of the mixture and shape it into a patty shape with your hands. When all patties have been made, it’s finally time to cook!
Liberally pour rice oil in the frying pan, the bottom must be amply covered in oil. Apply medium to high heat, the oil will be the right temperature when a wooden spoon or spatula will start forming bubbles upon contact with the oil. Add the patties and fry them on each side until they are dark golden brown. Check out the video below for a rough idea of what I mean by all that.
After the falafel is done, take it out of the frying pan and place it on a plate with a paper towel on it to soak up any excess oil. Heat up the pita bread, open it, insert the falafel burger, add some romaine lettuce, scoop some salsa on the burger and that’s it. Bon appétite!