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How to make it: John Gregory-Smith's falafel recipe

Avoid dry and crumbly falafels with this failsafe recipe

Published 21 Sept 2018, 16:37 BST, Updated 15 Jul 2021, 10:59 BST

The key is to use dried chickpeas which have been soaked overnight. These hold together when frying and don't dry out. I learned this simple recipe when I was in Ramallah in the Palestinian territories, and find it's best served with chilli sauce, hummus and salad.

Serves: 4 Takes: 20 mins, plus overnight soaking

6 garlic cloves
2 tbsp coriander leaves
300g chickpeas, soaked overnight and drained
3 tbsp gram flour
2 tsp ground cumin
½ tsp baking powder
approx. 650ml vegetable oil

1 Put the garlic and coriander leaves into a food processor and blend until fine.
2 Add the chickpeas, gram flour, cumin, baking powder and a pinch of salt.
3 Blend into a course paste and roll into 20 walnut-sized falafels. If the mix starts to break up when you are rolling, just squeeze it back together.
4 Heat the oil for deep-frying in a medium-sized saucepan over a medium-high heat. You need a good few inches of oil to completely cover the falafel.
5 Fry the falafel in 4-5 batches for 1-2 mins until golden and crisp. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on kitchen paper. Serve immediately.

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As featured in Issue 3 of National Geographic Traveller Food.

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