From the DENHAM Kitchen: Falafel Salad

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Our amazing chef, Sonja, shares her secret recipe for falafel salad! It’s one of our lunchtime favourites.

For a large bowl of falafel salad you will need:

A big bag of green salad

3 grated carrots

¼ of a white cabbage, grated

¼ of a red cabbage, grated

Handful of roasted pumpkin seeds

A dressing made of tahini, olive oil, lemon juice, salt, pepper and honey

20 pieces of falafel (either from the store of homemade)

Feta cheese

Lebanese bread  and hummus (to serve)

Homemade falafel:

2 cups dried chickpeas (do NOT use canned or cooked chickpeas)

1/2 tsp baking soda

1 cup fresh parsley leaves, stems removed

3/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves, stems removed

1/2 cup fresh dill, stems removed

7-8 garlic cloves, peeled

Salt to taste

1 tbsp ground black pepper

1 tbsp ground cumin

1 tbsp ground coriander

1 tsp cayenne pepper, optional

1 tsp baking powder

2 tbsp toasted sesame seeds

Vegetable or Canola Oil for frying

How to make the falafel:

  1. Place the dried chickpeas and baking soda in a large bowl filled with water to cover the chickpeas by at least 2 inches. Soak overnight for 16-18 hours (more if the chickpeas are still too hard). When ready, drain the chickpeas completely and pat them dry.
  2. Place the fresh leaves of parsley, cilantro and dill in a large food processor. Pulse to finely chop the herbs.
  3. Now add the chickpeas, garlic and spices. Run the food processor for 40 seconds at a time until all is well combined, forming a smooth falafel mixture.
  4. Transfer the falafel mixture into a container and cover tightly. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour or until ready to fry (up to one whole night).
  5. Just before frying, add the baking powder and sesame seeds to the falafel mixture and stir with a spoon.
  6. Scoop tablespoons of the falafel mixture and form into patties (1/2 inch in thickness each). It helps to have wet hands as you form the patties.
  7. Fill a medium saucepan 3 inches up with oil. Heat the oil on medium-high until it bubbles softly. Carefully drop the falafel patties in the oil, and let them fry for about 3-4 minutes or so until medium brown. Avoid crowding the falafel in the saucepan; fry them in batches if necessary.
  8. Place the fried falafel patties in a colander or plate lined with paper towels to drain.

Prepare the salad by mixing the green salad with the carrots, white and red cabbage, the pumpkinseeds and the falafel, then drizzle with dressing and crumbled feta cheese. Serve it with a lovely piece of Lebanese bread and hummus.

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