Updated: Apr 23
LeftField Chef Patron Phil has been missing everyone while he's been trying out this national activity called 'working from home'. It seems he's busier than ever with the three women in his life (a vegetarian, a pescatarian and a flexitarian) on the constant prowl for food. Waffles for breakfast and falafel wraps for lunch always go down well, but what happens when Phil gets bored and mixes them up....
Hi all from the LeftField kitchen at home. I'm going to give you a recipe that is very simple and very adaptable depending on your own personal taste.
Chickpeas are an incredible "legume" popular in the Mediterranean, Middle east and Indian cooking. For the health conscious folk out there 100g of chickpeas contain 364 calories, 0% cholesterol and 6g of the good fats mono and poly which are heart healthy. 68% fibre they are not just good for your heart but great for the tummy too. Chickpeas are a true superfood and plans are in motion for UK farmers to grow our own, but I only know of one producer at the moment in Norfolk.
Right down to the Falafel. Apart from the chickpeas, we are not going to measure anything. These things are best done by the feel and look of the mix. Not too wet, not too dry and with a good colour from the herbs and spices.
2 250g tins of chickpeas
Any type of onion
Salt and pepper
Herbs and spices.
Grab your chickpeas and drain very well (the drier the better), mash them up either in a blender or use a fork or even a potato masher.
Fine chop onion and garlic and add to the chickpeas - this is the basic mix.
Now comes the fun, go in your cupboard and add whatever spices you like, curry powder, cumin, dry herbs, Chinese five spice it doesn't matter you know what you like just add a bit then try some of the mix to see how the flavour profile is going.
You will need some herbs as well, just chop what you have got nice and fine then add to the mix with plenty of salt and pepper.
Get some spice in there, add some chilli either as powder or flakes or even a wee bit chopped fresh chilli if you've got them. Remember, when you add chilli to things you need some acid so add grate in some lemon zest, or lime. We are freestylin!
Your mix should be not too wet not too dry, if its too wet add some plain flour or even better, some gram flour which is actually ground chickpeas and will keep it gluten free.
You can deep fry, shallow fry or, if you are hipster, put them in a waffle iron.
Deep fry method
Roll your falafel mix into balls of any size no bigger than a ping pong ball.
Gently place in your hot oil, about 180c for around 4 or 5 mins turning them around to get some colour on all sides.
Shallow fry method.
Take a large frying pan and fill half way up with oil, get the oil nice and hot around 180c you can test it by dropping in a bit of mix. If nothing happens it's not hot enough, if it goes crazy it's too hot.
When you shape the falafel for shallow frying you want little mini burger shapes, this makes cooking them easier. cook for 2 mins then turn them over to brown on the other side.
Waffle method, healthy method
Heat your waffle iron, brush a bit of oil it to prevent sticking, add your ping pong sized falafel ball and squish the irons together, cook until nicely browned.
With all these methods eat them asap as you want that crispy crunch falafel loveliness.
Eat them with some hummus, hang on that's more chickpeas, and some toasted Socca (chickpea flour flatbread) Chickpea overload!!!
For me a nice refreshing Long Vodka: vodka, soda, fresh lime juice and a splash of bitters, over ice, easy peasy.
Enjoy, Phil :)