Falafel pittas with tahini sauce
The humble chickpea doesn’t really get the rave reviews it deserves. It’s a pretty unassuming pea that can transform itself (with a little help) into some wonderful dishes. The core of these is houmous but falafel balls are the traditional Middle Eastern food most often served in a pita and topped with salads and a variety of sauces.
We have cooked our falafel in a pita with tahini sauce but you could use Sriracha hot sauce or your favourite hot sauce.
The chickpea transforms itself into wonderful houmous.
- 250 g dried chickpeas not canned soaked overnight in cold water
- 1 small onion roughly chopped
- 2 cloves of garlic finely chopped
- 1 tbsp gram flour
- 1 tsp ground cumin heaped
- 1 tbsp ground coriander heaped
- pinch cayenne pepper
- Handful of flat leaf parsley ripped
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- 3 tbsp sesame seeds
- oil for frying - use sunflower vegetable, grapeseed or rapeseed oils as they have a high smoking point.
- Salad stuff such as lettuce tomato, red onion
- Dill pickles or your own favourite pickles optional
- 100 g tahini
- 75 mls water
- small handful of parsley ripped
- 2 cloves garlic
- 3 tbsp lemon juice
- 1/4 tsp salt
Drain the chickpeas and rinse well. Put them into a food processor along with the onion, garlic, parsley, ground coriander, ground cumin, cayenne pepper, gram flour and salt and pepper. Blitz to a lumpy paste. Form small balls with the mixture and then roll in the sesame seeds. Cover in cling film and pop in the fridge for 30 mins or so to firm up.
Meanwhile, make the tahini sauce. Place all the ingredients in a mini-blender or processor and blitz into a smooth runny sauce. We like the sauce to be a little runnier than the consistency of tomato ketchup but you can make it as you like it by adding more or less water and lemon. Adjust the seasoning to taste.
Prepare the salad ingredients. Just chopped and slice stuff ready to go in a pita!
To cook the falafel, heat the oil (about 5 tbsp) in a small pan until it is hot. Turn the heat down and cook the falafel in batches for 2-3 minutes on each side, or until golden brown. Drain and keep warm.
Lightly toast the pitta, then add the falafel and all of the salad ingredients and dill pickles (or whatever pickles you prefer) and pour over the tahini sauce. Eat with a smile on your face 🙂