Falafel are perfect for al fresco eating – picnics, barbecues – as well as lunch on the move. Chickpeas are packed with protein, fibre, iron, manganese and magnesium. They also contain fructo-oligosaccharides, which increase the friendly bacteria of the gut that improve digestion. These falafel are baked instead of fried, so they don’t absorb extra oil.
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Serves 2 (makes 12 falafels approx)
400g (14 oz) can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
½ onion, very finely chopped
1 tbsp chopped fresh coriander
1 tbsp chopped mint or parsley
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tbsp gram flour (chick pea or lentil flour) mixed with 2 tablespoons (30 ml) water
1 tbsp olive oil
2 large ripe tomatoes, skinned
¼ red onion, finely chopped
1 tbsp fresh coriander, finely chopped
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Pre-heat the oven to 200 C/ 400 F/ Gas mark 6. Lightly oil a baking sheet.
Put the chickpeas in a blender or food processor and process for a few seconds. Add the onion, coriander, mint or parsley, garlic, spices, gram flour paste and olive oil. Process for a few seconds until combined and a fairly smooth, stiff puree.
Form the mixture into balls about the size of a walnut. You should be able to make about 12. Coat lightly with a little gram flour. Place on the oiled baking sheet and cook in the pre-heated oven for about 20 minutes until golden, turning once.
Meanwhile, make the salsa. Finely chop the tomatoes and mix with the onion and coriander. Season to taste. Chill.
Serve the cooked falafel with the salsa, salad and wholewheat pitta breads