A VEGETARIAN FEAST, PACKED WITH FLAVOUR AND TEXTURE, THAT’S THE PERFECT DISH FOR LATE AUTUMN LUNCH.
Make the falafel mix ahead, roll into balls and refrigerate until you’re ready to drop them into hot oil. The herby yoghurt dressing provides a cool, creamy coat that ties everything together in a bright yet comforting way. Enjoy this with the sleek Spier Seaward Shiraz.
Note: The chickpeas and beans need overnight soaking, so prep a day ahead. If you prefer not to use a mixture of chickpeas and beans, use two cups of chickpeas. This recipe serves four to six people.
For the falafels, you’ll need: 1 cup dried chickpeas; 1 cup dried beans (split broad beans, butter beans or heerenbone); water, for soaking; half an onion, roughly chopped; 30ml (2 Tbsp) lemon juice; 20g each parsley and coriander leaves; 3 garlic cloves; 5ml (1 tsp) each of ground coriander, ground cumin and salt; 1ml (¼ tsp) each of ground nutmeg and ground cinnamon; 2.5 ml (½ tsp) baking soda; vegetable oil, for frying
Method: Place the chickpeas and beans in a bowl and cover with water. Leave to soak overnight (8 to 12 hours). Drain, then add to a food processor with the onion, lemon juice, parsley, coriander leaves, garlic, coriander, cumin, nutmeg, cinnamon, salt and baking soda. Process until you have a relatively smooth paste, scraping the sides. There should still be some texture — you don’t want a complete mush. Refrigerate for 15 to 30 minutes, then roll into balls with a diameter of about 4cm. Heat the oil over moderate heat. Fry the falafels in batches until golden brown. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on kitchen paper. Serve immediately with the salad bowls and yoghurt dressing (see below).
For the herbed yoghurt dressing, you’ll need: 3/4 cup Greek yoghurt; 15 to 30ml lemon juice; handful each of fresh parsley and fresh chives; 5ml Dijon mustard; salt and pepper
Method: In a blender, add the yoghurt, lemon juice, herbs and mustard. Season with salt and pepper, then blend until smooth. Refrigerate until ready to use then serve with the falafel bowl.
For the salad bowls, you’ll need: a bunch fresh salad leaves; shredded carrot and/or beans; some roasted vegetables of your choice (like cauliflower or aubergine), optional; pickled onions; freshly fried falafels; yoghurt dressing; sesame seeds for sprinkling
Method: Arrange the leaves, vegetables, pickled onions and falafels in bowls. Top generously with yoghurt dressing and a sprinkle of sesame seeds.
Serve with a glass of Spier Seaward Shiraz – a tall, dark and handsome Shiraz which also cuts a delicious dash when served with grilled meats or a charcuterie platter.