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Do It Yourself Falafel

By Lee Price on February 14, 2013 in Food

After all those summer barbecues and that Christmas ham your body might be in need of some meat-free time. A tasty and healthy option is falafel, a snack-sized Middle Eastern treat made from chickpeas or fava beans with the addition of some herbs and spice. High in protein and low in fat (when not deep fried!), these little balls make a great addition to a pita pocket or mezze plate.

To get the falafel ball rolling, here are four falafel facts for February:

1. Falafel is the second most common dish made out of chickpeas. The first is hummus, which, funnily enough, goes down a treat on top of your falafel.

2. In Egypt, McDonald’s sells the ‘McFalafel’, which is basically a vegetarian Big Mac.

3. Weighing in at 74.75kg, the Guinness World Record for the largest falafel was set in July 2012 in Jordan.

4. Although Israeli’s claim falafel as their national dish, another theory is that the custom can be traced back to Egypt where it was used as a meat substitute during Lent.

Why not introduce ‘Falafel Fridays’ to your household?

Ingredients (serves 4)
400g tin of chickpeas, drained and well rinsed
1 small onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced (or 1 tsp of garlic from a jar)
Half a bunch of fresh coriander
1 tspn ground cumin
½ tspn ground chilli
Juice and zest of half a lemon
6 tbsp olive oil (3 for the mixture and 3 for frying)

1. Heat 3 tablespoons of oil in a large frying pan over medium to high heat.
2. Place all of the other ingredients into a food processor and mix until a thick paste is formed.
3. Using wet hands, roll the mixture into small balls about the size of a spherical 20c piece.
4. Fry for around 5 minutes or until golden. Place on some paper towel to drain off any excess oil.
5. Serve immediately. They’re delicious served with dips, salad and pita bread.

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