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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.

Serves 4-6

Ingredients

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

Method

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.

Paradise by Way of Kensal Green,
19 Kilburn Lane, W10

020 8969 0098; theparadise.co.uk

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