Falafels

Makes about 20 patties
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Indy Lifestyle Online

Falafels make an ideal snack, but they're much more than that. Considered the national dish of Egypt, they are eaten there for breakfast, lunch and dinner, or at any time of the day, hot or cold. You will find them in Lebanese and many other Arab and Middle-Eastern restaurants as mezze, or snacks.

Falafels make an ideal snack, but they're much more than that. Considered the national dish of Egypt, they are eaten there for breakfast, lunch and dinner, or at any time of the day, hot or cold. You will find them in Lebanese and many other Arab and Middle-Eastern restaurants as mezze, or snacks.

I've eaten some made with chick peas, but traditionally falafels are made with dried broad beans. As it's summer and there's an abundance of broad beans, it occurred to me to make these little Middle-Eastern delights with fresh beans. It works just as well and tastes extremely summery, especially with that tangy yoghurt and mint dip.

400g podded weight of fresh broad beans or 150g dried, soaked overnight
1 large clove of garlic, peeled and crushed
12tsp ground coriander
1 12tsp ground cumin
1tbsp chopped parsley
1tbsp chopped dill
1tbsp chopped coriander leaves
5 spring onions, finely chopped
A good pinch of cayenne pepper
Salt
Vegetable or corn oil for frying
Lemon wedges to serve

for the minted yoghurt

1tbsp chopped fresh mint leaves
100g thick Greek yoghurt
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

If you are using dried beans you may have to remove the skins from the very large ones. Put the raw fresh beans (or soaked but not cooked dried ones) in a food processor with the garlic, ground coriander and cumin, and blend to a coarse pasty purée. You will have to stop the machine a couple of times to scrape the sides with a spatula so you get an even-textured purée. Remove from the machine and transfer into a bowl. Mix in the parsley, dill, coriander and spring onions; season with salt and cayenne pepper (they will need seasoning well). Make the patties by shaping small handfuls into balls in your hands and f flattening them slightly. Put them on a tray or plate and refrigerate for an hour.

Pre-heat about 8cm of vegetable oil to 160-180ºC/320-360ºF in a heavy bottomed pan or electric deep fryer. Fry the falafels, about 5 or 6 at a time depending on the size of the fryer, for 5-6 minutes until golden, then remove from the fat and drain on kitchen paper.

Meanwhile mix the mint with the yoghurt and season well. Serve hot with the lemon wedges. You could serve them in pitta bread as a vegetarian kebab, or have them cold for a picnic.

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