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
- 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.
- 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.
- Add the cumin, mixed herbs and lemon zest and mix well. Taste and season with salt and pepper. Add the egg and mix together.
- Preheat the oven to 200°C
- Divide the mixture into 16 walnut-sized balls and place on a non-stick baking tray. Rest in the fridge for 20-30 minutes.
- 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.
- 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.
- Lightly toast the pitta breads then carefully slice open along one side using a knife.
- 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.
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.