Weeknight Falafel

I am very good at putting off going food shopping. This has forced me to develop the ability to whip up meals for two from the contents of the ever dwindling cupboard. The previous night I had made Jack Monroe’s goulash (a stock cupboard lovers dream – try it) so I made these falafel to use up the leftover wraps and salad. The best thing about these is that they use up a lot of cupboard ingredients and usually don’t require a trip to the shops. I did however pick up some coriander on the way to work because for some reason I just can’t grow it. Even if I buy a healthy plant it’s dead within a week. If anyone has any tips on this please let me know…

This served the two of us but could easily serve 4 with a few more trimmings. I have a history of chucking in pretty much anything from the cupboard to make falafel so here’s what got chucked in this week:

One tin of chickpeas
Red onion
Squeeze tomato purée (this helps it to stick together without egg, keeping it vegan)
A decent shake of cumin
About a tsp bouillon powder
Bunch of coriander chopped finely, stalks an’ all
Tbsp flour (I used wholemeal plain flour because that’s what I keep in the cupboard)
About 2 tbsp oil to cook them in

Sweat the onion with the cumin in a medium pan. I don’t use oil to cook onion, just a splash of water if it starts to stick. When the onions are translucent and soft, drain and rinse a tin of chickpeas and tip into the pan. Add all the remaining ingredients apart from the flour and mix to combine. Turn off the heat and use a potato masher to squish the mixture together. Keep mashing until about 3/4 of the chickpeas are mush. It’s nice to keep a bit of texture in the falafel. It’s also nice to not have to wash up a food processor so everybody wins here. Stir the flour into the ever stiffening mixture.

Heat up a little oil in a shallow pan. Scoop out small handfuls of falafel, roll into a ball and place into the oil. You don’t want the oil so hot that it sizzles or the outside will burn before the inside heats up. This batch will make 8 – 9 decent sized falafel so you may need to cook them in two batches. Once the falafel are in the oil do not be tempted to move them. They will be stuck and you will prove to all the naysayers that veggie food always falls apart and we must fight the haters. When you see the golden colour creeping up around the edges you can grab them with a pair of tongs and turn them over. Keep the temperature on medium and turn them regularly until they are golden all over. Don’t worry too much if they’re a little over – this is veggie food after all, nothing bad will happen.

I served these with with seeded wraps, grated carrot, za’atar mixed with water to make a dressing, gem lettuce and avocado. The whole thing took me about 45 minutes from start to finish including washing up and dancing in the kitchen. A speedier cook could do it in 20 but that sounds like too much hard work.


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