Fresh broad bean falafels, tahini yoghurt
Using fresh broad beans instead of the more traditional dried, along with the fresh mint and coriander, gives an awesome colour that surprises when you bite into the dark golden brown shell. I like them spicy, but you can tone the heat down to suit your palate. The tangy lime and nutty yoghurt make these hot little gems an invigorating mouthful.
Broad bean falafels
- 2 teaspoons cumin seeds
- 2 teaspoons coriander seeds
- 1 teaspoon white peppercorns
- ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper (or to taste)
- 400 g (14 oz/2⅔ cups) blanched broad (fava) beans (frozen broad beans can be substituted – no need to blanch them, just peel when defrosted)
- 200 g (7 oz/1⅓ cups) frozen peas
- 250 g (9 oz) cooked chickpeas (garbanzo beans) (or 400 g/14 oz tinned chickpeas, drained and rinsed)
- 1 small red onion, finely chopped
- 3 garlic cloves
- 1 or 2 small hot green bird’s eye or scud chillies, deseeded
- 20 g (¾ oz/1 cup) firmly packed mint leaves
- 1 bunch of coriander (cilantro), stalks and roots intact, well rinsed
- 85 g (3 oz/⅔ cup) cornflour (cornstarch)
- 250 g (9 oz/1 cup) plain yoghurt
- 1 tablespoon tahini
- juice of 1 lemon
- For deep-frying
- 2 litres (68 fl oz/8 cups) canola oil
- sea salt flakes
- extra mint and coriander (cilantro) leaves and shoots (optional) for garnish
- lime cheeks
- black sesame seeds (optional)
For the falafels Toast the cumin and coriander seeds and the white peppercorns in a frying pan over medium heat for several minutes, shaking the pan constantly, until the spices are fragrant. Allow to cool, then pulverise in a spice grinder or crush until very fine using a mortar and pestle. (If you use a mortar and pestle you may have to sieve the spices to remove any large pieces.)
Pop the broad beans from their shells.
Place all the remaining falafel ingredients, except the cornflour and salt, into a food processor (you will probably need to do this in batches) and process until fairly smooth, firm and spoonable.
Transfer the mixture to a bowl and stir the cornflour in thoroughly. Taste the mixture and adjust the seasoning. If you like it hot add more cayenne pepper.
Using 2 dessertspoons dipped in hot water, shape the mixture into quenelles and place on baking paper.
For the tahini yoghurt
Mix all the tahini yoghurt ingredients together well and adjust the seasoning to your taste.
Heat the oil in a deep-fryer or large deep saucepan to 180°C r until the handle of a wooden spoon bubbles vigorously when dipped in the oil.
Deep-fry the falafels – in batches of 8 at a time, or you will cool down your oil too much. Cook until dark golden brown and very crisp, about 4–5 minutes.
Drain the falafels on paper towel.
Season the falafels with salt flakes to taste and arrange them on your serving platter.
Scatter around the mint, coriander, lime cheeks and sesame seeds (if using) and serve the falafels hot with the tahini yoghurt on the side for dipping.
This recipe first appeared in New Classics by Philippa Sibley ($49.95).