Before my first son was born I worked in a cafe that predominately sold middle eastern style food. I have fond memories of making large pots of chilli sauce, hummus, falafels and tahini sauce as well as stacking up the lamb marinated in oregano and lemon to slowly turn and cook in front of the flaming gas towers. I have always loved ‘middle eastern’ foods so to learn all these wonderful recipes on the job was just awesome for me 😊
A few years back I came across Claudia Roden’s A Book of Middle Eastern Foods at a secondhand book fair and snatched it up quickly as I knew it was a wonderful little book full of not only recipes, but also wonderful stories and reads much like a memoir. It’s an incredibly useful little book one which I go to for all manner of yummy ideas for the family.
Here is her falafel recipe well almost in that I used chickpeas rather than dried broad beans.
2 cups chickpeas, soaked for 24 hours
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons ground coriander
1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 large bunch parsley, about 1 cup
1 large red onion chopped
5-6 cloves garlic chopped
Salt and pepper
Put all the ingredients into a food processor and blitz until combined. So not to a fine paste but more a textured paste.
Roll into balls and pop in fridge until ready to fry. I squash mine into fritters as I don’t use a deep fryer. Fry until browned and cooked through on both sides and either freeze or use straight away.
This is the recipe we used at the cafe I worked in and I have used ever since it’s lovely with falafel.
1 cup unsweetened Greek yoghurt
1 clove crushed garlic
2 tablespoons tahini
Juice of 1 lemon
Mix first 4 ingredients together and season to your taste.