I remember my first ever falafel, I was eighteen. I imagine not many people would remember something like that, but given that I was fresh from the Dorset countryside and there weren't many opportunities to try new food, I remember it! Maybe it was actually more memorable because of the epic shock I had when my head was blown off by the spiciest sauce ever! After a bit of swearing, sweating and a running nose I recovered and went back to my normal routine of ham and cheese sandwiches for lunch.
Unfortunately I worked minutes away from Mustafas falafel van on Portobello and my workmate and now fellow hippy food friend Philly loved them, she dragged me back and under strict instructions Mustafa was banned from the bottle of spicy sauce. Anyway end of my story is that it turned out falafels are pretty damn good once you can taste them, and if your ever hungry on Portobello go and give them a try!
Green Kitchen Stories which is one of my new favourite blogs, it has loads of amazing, fresh veggie recipes, pretty pictures and a cookbook which will be at the top of my christmas list...hint hint to any family reading this!
Makes about 15-20 small balls serving 3-4 people
These falafels are seriously fresh and tasty with the pistachios and loads of herbs...the more the better. Keep testing the mixture and seasoning, it needs quite a bit of salt, and don't be shy to add some more spices and chilli if your feeling brave. Get creative in what you wrap them in too, we used lettuce but you could use pitta, or just add them to a big green herby salad with some yoghurty dressing. Also for toppings do whatever you feel like, guacamole, tomato salsa, tzatziki, humous, chilli sauce and fresh herbs.
12 sprigs of mint
1 cup of shelled pistachio nuts
2 cups cooked chickpeas
2 garlic cloves
1 small red onion
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil or coconut oil
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tbsp chickpea flour or any other kind of flour
1 tsp baking soda
big pinch of salt
Preheat the oven to 200˚C
Take the leaves off the herbs and put them in a processor and whizz for 30 seconds, then add the pistachios and blend until they are combined.
Rinse the chickpeas and add them along with all the other ingredients to the blender and pulse until its all mixed together but still has a bit of texture. Roll the dough into even sized balls and lay on a lined baking tray.
Cook them in the oven for about 15 mins until hot, turn halfway though to get them golden on both sides.
Photo credit Graeme Gibson