This dish with winter pickles & tahini yoghurt in pitta comes courtesy of Paradise by Way of Kensal Green
Words Cat Ashton
Making falafel from scratch is such a treat and the end result is fantastic. The addition of hazelnuts to this Lebanese classic gives it such a great flavour.
Winter Pickles: • 200ml apple cider vinegar • 400ml water • 100g sugar
• 2 tablespoons salt • 2 cloves garlic, smashed • 5 sprigs thyme • 1 tablespoon black peppercorns • 1/2 small cauliflower, cut into small florets) • 1 large beetroot, peeled, halved and sliced • 1 turnip, peeled, halved and sliced
Falafel: 300g dried chickpeas • 1/4 small bunch fresh coriander • 1/4 small bunch fresh parsley • 1/2 tablespoon ground coriander • 1/2 tablespoon ground cumin • 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda • 1 small chilli, finely chopped • 1/2 small onion, finely chopped • 1/2 clove garlic, finely chopped • 75g hazelnuts, roasted and roughly chopped
• 1 teaspoon sea salt
Tahini Yoghurt: 150g natural yogurt
• 3 tbsp tahini • 1 lemon, juice • 1/4 garlic clove, crushed • 1/2 tablespoon ground cumin • 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda • 1 small chilli, finely chopped • 1/2 small onion, finely chopped • 1/2 clove garlic, finely chopped
• 75g hazelnuts, roasted and roughly chopped • 1 teaspoon sea salt
Soak the chickpeas in 1 litre of cold water for 24 hours. Drain and rinse well.
To Serve: • 4 Turkish pita breads, as fresh as possible • 1 bunch watercress
In a food processor, blitz chickpeas with a pinch of salt until they are the consistency of coarse, sticky breadcrumbs. Add all other ingredients (except for bicarbonate of soda and nuts) and whiz until they orm a bright green paste which still has a fine crumb – don’t overwhizz. Refrigerate for half an hour before frying. When ready to cook, heat oil to 180°C. Add the bicarbonate of soda and nuts plus up to about 40mls cold water to the falafel mix. Shape falafel into little patties and fry for 6-7 minutes until a deep crunchy brown. Cut warm flatbreads, stuff them with the yoghurt, falafels, pickles and cress.