Fresh pea falafels
Makes about 20 patties
Saturday 20 June 2009
I'm probably going to be criticised by falafel purists for using peas instead of broad beans – and fresh ones at that! A few years ago I made falafel with fresh broad beans, which really added a new dimension, but falafels are more often made from dried chickpeas as well as dried fava or broad beans.
400g podded weight of fresh peas
1 large clove of garlic, peeled and crushed
tsp ground coriander
1tsp ground cumin
1tbsp chopped parsley
1tbsp chopped dill
1tbsp chopped coriander leaves
5 spring onions, finely chopped
A good pinch of cayenne pepper
4-5tbsp dry white breadcrumbs
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
Put the peas in a food processor with the garlic, ground coriander and cumin, and blend to a coarse 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) and mix in the breadcrumbs. Make the patties by shaping small handfuls into balls in your hands and flattening them slightly. Put them on a tray or plate and refrigerate for a couple of hours.
Pre-heat about 8cm of vegetable oil to 160-180C 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 the falafels hot with the lemon wedges in pitta bread as a vegetarian kebab, or you could also have them cold for a picnic.
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