The request was for a failsafe felafel and hummus recipe. Fortunately these are quick and easy as today is Sistema curry night and I have curry for nearly 70 to make. So here goes!
Felafel and hummus are staples in our house. We love them, the boys love them. Everyone loves them. And they are simplicity itself to prepare. What makes these different is they have a little grated carrot in them that keeps them moist inside.
Toast two teaspoons of cumin seed , one of black nigella seed and one of coriander in a dry pan for a couple of minutes till they start popping then remove from the heat. Then grind them in a pestle and mortar. Put two cans of drained chick peas in the food processor with the following ingredients: a teaspoon of baking powder, a gently rounded tablespoon of plain flour, 3oz grated carrot that you’ve squeezed the water out of by wrapping in a tea towel and twisting; one teaspoon of smoked paprika, one small red chilli (whole) or a sprinkle of dried chilli flakes, one clove of garlic, about 12 stalks of parsley and the zest of a lemon. Oh, and a good sprinkling of seasalt (taste it at the end to see if you need more). Whizz all these ingredients in the processor until they are just on the chunky side of smooth – by which I mean don’t process it down to a paste! Cover and leave for 20 minutes for the flavours to combine, then form into walnut sized balls and put them all on a plate in the freezer for 5 minutes till you heat your oil till it is almost smoking. I prefer to shallow fry mine – if the oil is hot enough they will be done in a couple of minutes. Remember you will only have greasy felafel if your oil isn’t hot enough. Fry in batches of half a dozen at a time and remove, draining on crumpled kitchen paper. Done!
This is unashamedly filched from my favourite chefs Sam and Sam Clark at Moro with one slight change. Put one tin of drained chickpeas (keep the juice), the juice of one lemon, 1 large garlic clove, crushed to a paste with seasalt, two teaspoons of cumin powder, 75ml olive oil, two tablespoons of tahini into a blender and pulse until smooth. Then add a bit more of the juice if it is too claggy and two tablespoons of boiling water. Blitz again. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Best served in a shallow bowl sprinkled with smoked paprika and more olive oil and warm flatbread. When we are in Spain we like to accompany the felafel and hummus with bowls of olives, small onions pickled in red wine and wine vinegar, pickled chillis and baby artichokes from the market. Of course that’s not quite as easy in the UK in December, but you can improvise!