Falafel in Arabic flatbread wraps
Falafels are one of my favourite fast foods. Well, that is in the days when you could still pop into the local kebab shop and order a falafel wrap. And before I moved to France. Can’t find felafel here for love or money.
I discovered felafel wraps many years ago at a market stall in J’oburg in South Africa where I grew up. They just are the best. But, to make them truly sublime, they need a good tahini sauce with lots of garlic and a little bit of lemon. And of course, a good hot pickled chilli.
Simon (my husband) and I are twinning our live demos. He’s a watercolour artist and he’s been doing FB lives of watercolour demos of locations around the globe. He started in France but I think he was getting jealous of my exotic locations and decided to join the round world trip. If you want to get creative just pop onto his FB page for more details.
So, this week we have both popped over to the Middle East. Falafels are a firm veggie favourite, but even us meat eater love their slightly nutty flavour, together with a wonderful mix of herbs and spices.
1 onion peeled
250 g soaked chickpeas, (from 125 dry chickpeas)
small bunch of parsley
1 tsp ground coriander
1 TBSP ground cumin
1 TBSP ground cinnamon
a pinch of white pepper (rather don’t use than use black pepper)
3⁄4 tsp salt
2 TBSP gram flour (use plain flour if needs be)
1 1⁄4 tsp baking powder
- Place chickpeas in a large bowl and cover with cold water. The chickpeas will expand to over double their size, so make sure you cover by several inches of water to allow for expansion. Cover the bowl with a clean towel and let them soak overnight.
- In a food processor roughly chop the onions and herbs add the chickpeas and blitz until everything becomes a thick past with small even size bits. Do not over work.
- The best way to check if it is done is to scoop up small amount and squeeze together in your palm, if it holds together it’s done, if not return to the processor.
- Tip the mixture into a large bowl, add the spices, salt, flour and baking powder and mix until well combined.
- Roll the falafel into small balls or torpedo shapes.
- It is important to fry falafel in deep oil that will cover them entirely. To use less oil fry 5 at a time in a small pan.
- Once oil is hot (170oc) or test with a small quantity when it floats to the top the oil is ready, fry the balls in small batches until golden brown.
- Serve rolled in Griddle bread or toasted pitta with salad, pickled chillies and tahini sauce
125g of tahini paste
1 clove of garlic
pinch of salt
Juice of 1 lemon
125 ml of water
- Place all the tahini paste, garlic, lemon and salt in a food processor and blitz until smooth, add water until the mixture loosens up to a creamy consistency.
Soft Flat Breads
2 cups / 300g plain flour (all purpose flour) (level cups, unsifted, not packed), + keep 1/4 cup extra for dusting & adjusting dough
1/2 tsp salt
3 1/2 tbsp / 50g butter (1.75 oz)
3/4 cup / 185 ml milk
1/2 tbsp oil (for cooking)
- Combine butter and milk and heat until butter is just melted – on stove or in microwave.
- Combine 2 cups flour, salt, butter and milk.
- Sprinkle work surface with flour then knead for a few minutes until it is smooth – it doesn’t need much kneading. Add extra flour if the dough is too sticky.
- Wrap with cling wrap and rest at room temperature for 30 minutes or so.
- Dust bench top with flour, cut dough into 4 pieces, roll into balls, then roll out into rounds about 15cm in diameter
- Heat 1/2 tbsp olive oil in a non stick pan over medium heat – or lower if you have a heavy based skillet.
- Place one flatbread in the pan, cook for around 1- 1 1/2 minutes – it should bubble up (see photo in post)- then flip and cook the other side, pressing down if it puffs up. There should be a smallish golden brown spots on both sides.
- Stack the cooked bread and keep wrapped with a tea towel – the moisture helps soften the surface, making them even more pliable.
- Continue to cook with remaining pieces.