Root Vegetable & Chickpea Falafel

I only really discovered falafel when I started working in Watford. It has always been something I have avoided and thought would have little or no flavour. Let me also just clarify that when I say falafel I don’t mean the dried up little balls that you get in the supermarkets that feel like you are eating the Sahara when you bite into them , I mean real falafel that is moist and full of flavour and the ultimate guilt free comfort food.

One of my colleagues always surprises me with Falafel when I get into the office after a 5 hour drive and as I am totally enamoured by food it instantly cheers me up regardless of what joys the M6 have had in store for me en route.

Try this recipe and you’ll be a falafel convert I promise. Add some fresh lavash (bread) and mast o khiar (cucumber & mint yoghurt) and you have a mezze for any surprise guests that arrive. Nooshe Jaan!

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Ingredients

2 cans of chickpeas in water drained and rinsed

1 Red onion, finely chopped

2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced

1 tsp cumin seeds, crushed

1 tsp sumac

1 tsp baking powder

2 raw beetroot (or equivalent amount of any other root vegetable), coarsely grated

Large pinch of salt

Large pinch of pepper

3 tbsp olive oil to brush

Shredded salad leaves, flatbread or pitta to serve

Method

Pre heat the oven to 180′ (fan assisted)

Add all of the ingredients to a food processor and blitz to a coarse paste. Tip into a bowl and season with salt and pepper and mix together.

Spoon the mixture into 10 medium batches and squeeze them into egg shaped balls. I think these look prettier than small round ones and keep the moistness locked in.

 Brush a large roasting dish with olive oil and heat for a few minutes. Add the falafel and drizzle with the remaining oil and roast for 20-25 minutes. Turning once. They are ready when golden brown and the centre is warm.  Serve in a warm flatbread with salad and mast o khiar.

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