Chickpeas are a member of the legume family and have a delicious nutlike taste and buttery texture. They provide a good source of protein and are high in fibre. Chickpeas are a popular ingredient in many Middle Eastern and Indian dishes such as hummus, curries and, one of my favourite, falafels.
Falafels are a type of croquette served in pitta bread or flat bread with salad and a sauce or salsa. Falafels are a very popular street food of the Middle East; so popular in fact, that McDonalds served a ‘McFalafel’ in some countries!
Falafel pitta breads (Serves 4)
400g can of chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1 red onion, roughly chopped
A garlic clove, finely chopped
a handful of fresh parsley
1 teaspoon of ground cumin
1 teaspoon of ground coriander
1 teaspoon of harissa paste
2 tablespoons of plain flour
3 tablespoons of sunflower oil
toasted pitta breads
lettuce, finely shredded, to serve
hot summer salsa – see recipe below
* Pat the chickpeas dry with kitchen paper. Tip into a food processor along with the onion, garlic, parsley, spices, flour and a little salt.
* Blend lightly, try not to over blend, then shape into small golf ball sized patties with your hands – you should get about twelve patties.
* Heat the oil in a non-stick frying pan, add the patties and quickly fry for three minutes on each side until lightly golden.
* Serve with warmed pittas, tomato salsa, some sliced cucumber and salad leaves.
Simply seed and dice four ripe vine tomatoes and mix in a bowl with one finely sliced small seeded red chilli, one small red onion, finely diced, two tablespoons of chopped fresh parsley, a squeeze of lemon juice, a drizzle of olive oil and a little sea salt – delicious!
Gingergirl aka Helen Keown is an artisan food producer who produces a range of handmade luxury jams, preserves and chutneys made from local, seasonal or organic ingredients. Helen’s produce is available nationwide from independent food emporiums and is also available at selected food delis across Europe.
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