Project Description

Falafel, a recipe from Royal Lily boat which cruised down The Nile, Egypt

Makes 16 or serves 4 with salad and bread
Preparation 15 minutes + 20 minutes resting
Cooking 30 minutes for baking, 4 – 5 minutes for frying

For the Falafel
2 tablespoons (40ml) extra virgin olive oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, crushed
400g can chickpeas, drained & rinsed
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon mixed herbs
1 lemon, zested
Salt and black pepper
1 egg, beaten
Baba ganoush, to serve (optional)

For the Salad
¼ cup (60ml) extra virgin olive oil
1 lemon, juice only
½ cucumber, peeled and thinly sliced
100g tomatoes (approx. 2 medium tomatoes), roughly chopped
1 round lettuce, washed, leaves torn
4 pitta breads

  1. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a small pan. Fry the onion over a medium heat for 3-4 minutes until softened. Add the garlic and fry for a further two minutes and remove from the heat.
  2. Drain and rinse the chickpeas and transfer to a mixing bowl. Add the sautéed onion and garlic and crush together with a potato masher until the mixture is broken down.
  3. Add the cumin, mixed herbs and lemon zest and mix well. Taste and season with salt and pepper. Add the egg and mix together.
  4. Preheat the oven to 200°C
  5. Divide the mixture into 16 walnut-sized balls and place on a non-stick baking tray. Rest in the fridge for 20-30 minutes.
  6. Remove the falafel from the fridge, drizzle with the remaining oil and bake for 25 minutes, or until crisp and golden brown. Turn occasionally to ensure even cooking.
  7. Meanwhile place the cucumber, tomato and lettuce in a large bowl. Squeeze the juice of half the lemon into a small bowl, add a pinch of salt and pepper and using a fork whisk together with the olive oil to form a dressing. Pour over the salad and mix well.
  8. Lightly toast the pitta breads then carefully slice open along one side using a knife.
  9. When ready to serve, arrange a little salad in each pitta, top with some of the falafels and add a squeeze of juice from the remaining lemon half. Serve with the remaining salad alongside.
Falafel Mould, which I bought in Egypt

Lyndey’s Note: This recipe was given to me on the cruise boat when we were cruising The Nile in Egypt from Luxor to Aswan. On the boat, the Falafel were shallow-fried to order on the buffet and served as is, with the choice of tahini, baba ganoush and side salad. They make a lovely finger food item too.