Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Falafel lettuce rolls

I make these very often and I almost prefer it rolled in lettuce to the pita style version as it is lighter and fresher for summer. A Falafel is a chickpea fritter originted from Egyptian street food,  normally served with pickles and tahini sauce which is made from sesame seeds. Here is my version, Falafels, sesame wilted spinach, carrot, mushrooms, smokey tomato relish and tahini rolled in lettuce.

Chickpea Falafels
Makes 18
1/2 small onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, chopped
1 chilli, seeded and chopped
1 tin chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 egg
flour / chickpea flour to thicken
3ml cumin
3ml coriander ground
2ml paprika
10ml lemon juice
salt and pepper
oil for frying
Pinch of sumac

Fry off the onion, garlic and chilli until softened, place everything in a blender except the oil and blend until smooth with 100ml of flour. Add more flour if necessary to make a thick paste that comes away from the sides of the blender, adjust seasoning and heat to your liking.
Heat oil in a pan and either roll balls of falafel mix or quenelle with 2 spoons into the hot oil and fry until golden.
Drain on kitchen paper and sprinkle with sumac a tart flavoured spice (optional).

1 head of Iceberg lettuce 

Handful of english spinach
Squeeze of lemon
sesame seeds

1 Tomato, seeded and diced
1/4 onion, finely chopped
2ml chipotle chilli (Smoked Mexican chili found at V&A Waterfront, Pick n Pay)
5ml white vinegar
10ml Olive Oil
salt and pepper
few sprigs finely chopped celery leaves

sliced raw mushrooms
1 Carrot julienne
Tahini ( found at V&A Waterfront, Pick n Pay)

Separate the lettuce leaves carefully so as to keep them whole, rinse and dry.
Toss the spinach in a dry pan to wilt, add sesame seeds and a squeeze of lemon, season.
Mix the tomato, onion, chilli, vinegar, oil, seasoning and celery to make a tangy relish.
Serve all on a platter with the falafels, lettuce, spinach, carrot, mushroom, salsa and tahini. Take a lettuce leaf, top it with all the ingredients and roll up then eat, use loads of napkins.

This recipe is wheat and dairy free if you use the chickpea flour as well as vegetarian.

Recipe and picture Copyright by Tamsyn Wells.

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