This is a great nibble with a cold beer or crisp wine on a hot evening, goes great in pita bread with minted yoghurt and a squeeze of lemon and your kids might even appreciate them in little pita breads in their lunches!
If your coriander has gone to seed, collect it in jars and reuse it with a fresh grind in just about anything, but especially Middle Eastern dishes. With coriander and parsley going gangbusters right now, this is a fresh seasonal recipe that's a winner with just about everyone.
1 brown onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
2 teaspoons ground coriander
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
2 x 400g cans chickpeas, drained, rinsed
2 cups chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
1 cup chopped fresh coriander
1/3 cup plain flour
1 egg white
salt and pepper
rice bran oil
Rice bran oil has a high smoke point. This means you can bring it to a very high temperature without it burning before frying your falafel, reducing the amount of oil absorbed by the falafel and also ensuring they don't break up in the oil.
Place all ingredients (but not the oil, it's for frying) into a food processor and blend until a grainy paste forms. Don't blend it to a puree – a bit of texture makes for better falafel.
You may need to work the mixture around your processor bowl a couple of time to get an even blend, especially if your mixer has a smaller motor.
Tip the mixture into a bowl.Dust your hands with flour before shaping the falafels, either with two spoons (like a quenelle) or – if you are good at judging measures – just use your fingers and ball the mixture with your hands.
In a deep, heavy-bottomed saucepan, put enough rice bran oil on a high heat and bring it up to temperature (170 C). If you don't have a thermometer, take a little chunk of bread and drop it into the oil to test its readiness; if the bread turns golden in 30 seconds, the oil is hot enough.
Drop the falafel gently into the hot oil with a metal slotted spoon. Deep fry the falafel in small batches until golden brown (around 3-4 minutes max). Don't overload the saucepan as the oil will bubble up over the sides! Drain them on paper towel.
Serve with green tahini, minted yoghurt, lemon wedges, pita bread or toast, and hummus.
2 cups coarsely chopped coriander leaves
1/2 cup lemon juice
2 garlic cloves, peeled
1/3 cup tahini
1 teaspoon sea salt flakes
Blend the coriander with 100ml water in a food processor to a smooth green paste. Don't over-blend or the coriander will go black.
Add the lemon juice, garlic and tahini and blend until smooth.
Place in a bowl and stir through the sea salt flakes.
This dip can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.