Feta and nigella seed falafel
Feta and nigella seed falafelSubscribe to Sainsbury's magazine
Tony Kitous says: ‘In the Middle East, falafel are the poor man’s bounty, eaten from dawn until dusk. I’ve made these extra special with some added ingredients. I serve them as part of a mezze, but they’re equally delicious stuffed into pitta bread with a drizzle of natural yogurt and some crisp salad vegetables.’
- 500g dried chickpeas
- 50g mild green chillies, deseeded and roughly chopped
- 50g coriander, roughly chopped
- 50g onion (about ¼ of a large one), roughly chopped
- 25g garlic cloves, peeled (about 6)
- ½ -1 tsp ground cumin
- ½ -1 tsp ground coriander
- 1 tsp fine sea salt, plus extra to serve
- 1½ tsp sesame seeds
- ¼ tsp nigella seeds, plus extra for rolling
- 150g vegetarian feta, chopped into 1.5-2cm cubes
- vegetable oil, for frying – about 1 litre
- About 12 hours before you want to make the falafel, put the chickpeas in a bowl, cover with plenty of cold water and leave to soak.
- Drain the chickpeas and put into a food processor. Add the chilli, coriander, onion and garlic, and whiz all the ingredients together until everything is finely chopped and the mixture looks slightly powdery.
- Add the spices and salt and, with the motor running, gradually add between 175ml-250ml cold water, until the mixture starts to stick together. You’ll need to stop every now and then to check the stickiness of the mixture. Stir in the sesame and nigella seeds.
- Take half the mixture and roll it on a board to make a long sausage about 3cm thick. Cut it into 9 pieces, each weighing about 75g. Take one piece, flatten it slightly in the palm of one hand and push a cube of feta into the middle. Bring the flattened mixture around the feta to cover it. Sprinkle some nigella seeds on a plate and roll each ball lightly in the seeds. Set the balls aside, then continue making balls with the remaining pieces and feta. Repeat with the other half of the falafel mixture, rolling it out and shaping it into balls around the remaining feta cubes.
- Heat the oil in a large pan or deep-fat fryer until the temperature is 170°C, or test with a cube of bread, which should turn golden in about 20 seconds. Fry the falafel in batches of 4 or 5 balls for 8-10 minutes until golden, then drain on kitchen paper. Sprinkle with salt before serving with salad or pickled veg.
Tip Recipe adapted from Feasts From The Middle East by Tony Kitous (HQ, £20). Comptoir Libanais has branches throughout the UK, including in London, Exeter and Leeds.