Whether as a snack, part of a salad, or served with flatbreads for lunch, falafel are hearty, tasty and healthy. The garlic sauce and avocado hummus are delicious serving dips and add a creaminess to the dish.
- 450g of butternut squash or sweet potato, peeled and cubed
- 2 tbsps of olive oil
- 1 tsp of allspice
- 1 tsp of chilli flakes
- 2 tsp of ground coriander
- 2 x 400g tins of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- Small bunch of coriander leaves, chopped
- Juice of 1 small lemon
- 1 tsp of nigella or onion seeds
- 3 tbsps of plain flour, plus extra to coat
- 5 tbsps of sunflower oil
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
FOR THE GARLIC SAUCE:
- 150g of thick Greek yoghurt
- 100ml of buttermilk
- 3 tbsps of milk
- 1 fat garlic clove, crushed
- 2 tbsps of flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
- 4 tbsps of pickled jalapenos, to serve (optional)
FOR THE AVOCADO HUMMUS:
- 400g tin of chickpeas, rinsed and drained
- 3 tbsps of tahini paste
- 1 large garlic clove, crushed
- Zest and juice of 1 lemon
- 1 large ripe avocado
- 2–3 tbsps of cold water
- 1 tbsp of olive oil or avocado oil
- 4 flatbreads or wraps
- Preheat the oven to 200°C/fan 180°C/gas 6.
- In a large roasting tray, toss the squash or sweet potato with the oil, allspice, chilli flakes and ground coriander. Season to taste. Place in the oven for 30 minutes or until just cooked.
- Place one tin of the chickpeas, the roasted squash and half the coriander leaves in a food processor and blitz several times to create a rough-textured mixture. Transfer to a bowl and blitz the remaining chickpeas in the food processor to a coarse texture. Add to the rest of the mixture and stir through the flour, most of the remaining coriander leaves and lemon juice. Season to taste. Form the mixture into 12 balls, flatten gently with the palm of your hand and sprinkle with the nigella seeds. Set aside in the fridge for at least 30 minutes to firm up.
- Make the sauce. In a small bowl, combine the yoghurt, buttermilk, milk, garlic and parsley. Season to taste and set aside.
- Next, make the hummus. Blitz the chickpeas, tahini, garlic and lemon zest and juice together in the small bowl of the food processor. Scoop the flesh out of the avocado, add to the chickpeas and blitz until smooth. Transfer to a bowl and stir through enough of the water to create a dropping consistency. Transfer to a bowl and drizzle with the oil.
- Now, return your attention to the falafel. Sprinkle some flour onto a plate and dip each falafel into it, making sure each one is evenly coated. Heat the sunflower oil in a large non-stick frying pan over a medium heat. Add the falafel and gently fry on each side for five minutes. Set aside on kitchen paper then transfer to a baking sheet and place in the hot oven for ten minutes.
- Meanwhile, warm the flatbreads in a low oven for five minutes. Assemble the flatbreads with the falafel, a good drizzle of the sauce, a spoonful of hummus, the remaining coriander and some pickled jalapenos, if you like.
Recipe courtesy of Proper Healthy Food: Hearty Vegan & Vegetarian Recipes For Meat Lovers by Nick Knowles (BBC Books, £14.99)