Falafel | Ta’amia | Spicy Middle Eastern Chickpea Patties or Balls

Using cooked or tinned chickpeas, falafels are very easy to make.

Who can resist a good falafel? Wonderful for snacks, meals, in wraps or topping salads, they are wonderfully tasty, textural and healthy. Whip them up using chickpeas you have previously cooked and  frozen, for an easy supper.

Home made falafel are a huge cut above store-bought ones, or even those from some restaurants that must purchase them in bulk and keep them frozen for a long time. One has to wonder why, they are so easy to make, whereas many pre-prepared ones taste like cardboard. Who hasn’t had a wrap or roll with cardboard-tasting falafel stuffed into them for a “vegetarian option” when it would have been more flavoursome to leave them out?

Worry no more, we have your back. These are fantastic. Crispy crunchy on the outside and soft and fluffy on the inside. You can grind the chickpeas coarsely or more finely, which ever is your preference. But they must be ground enough to hold together as fritters.

You might like to also try hummus, which goes well with falafel. Chickpeas make a whole range of dishes. Try Chickpea Fingers, for example (it uses chickpea flour). Or Chickpea “Tabblouleh”Chickpeas can be baked, or made into a spread, or smashed and made into a salad.  They are really healthy – have a look at this article.

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Crushed Du Puy Lentils with Tahini and Cumin

This sustaining meal-on-a-plate is a little bit like hummus, though much easier and quicker to prepare. Eat with warm flatbread and a salad.

It is a very very cool summer’s day, full of storms and we are all reaching for our unused jackets to keep warm. We look for something more substantial and comforting today from the kitchen.

I love the lentils of India and the Middle East, and I love the lentils of the West (although a much more limited range). Commonly, lentils soften much more quickly than most dried beans and peas, and take only 20 – 40 minutes to cook. While red lentils (masoor dal), fall apart in the cooking (so making them perfect for soups), brown and green varieties hold their shape, making them a very good base on which to layer other foods. A pan of cooked lentils – braised with carrots, onions, celery, hard herbs and vegetable stock – is a useful thing to have in the fridge, ready to for the basis for turning yesterday’s leftover dishes into a whole new meal.

You might also like to try Indian Du Puy Lentil Sundal Salad, or Du Puy Lentil Soup. Browse through our Du Puy recipes here and here, and you might like to explore all of our Ottolenghi recipes. Be inspired by our Summer recipes here and here.

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Yoghurt Tahina Dip with Herbs

Thick yoghurt and tahini dip with walnuts.

Try this Yoghurt Tahina Dip with herbs. You might like to eat it with Oatmeal Crackers, or perhaps, just by the spoonful. It is made with Thick Thick Yoghurt, a favourite ingredient in this kitchen.

You might like to try Shrikhand or Haydari. Or browse our yoghurt dishes, or Turkish dishes, and the general Middle Eastern dishes. Find inspiration in our Spring recipes here and here.

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Tahina Tarator | Tahini Spread | Tahini Dip or Dressing

A taste of the Middle East

This is a wonderfully simple dip, spread, dressing or sauce, quick to make, healthy and delicious to eat while watching the share prices.

This time in other years I was making a Cucumber Olan Curry, Salt and Pepper Lotus Seeds, Marinated Zucchini, Dal Makhani Nilgiri, Green Mung Dal Soup, Lentil Dumplings in a Spicy Gravy, and Overnight Breakfast Oats.

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Creamy Pearl Hummus Salad | Deconstructed Hummus Salad | Chickpea and Tahini Salad

Make a salad from hummus ingredients – sort of like a deconstructed hummus.

Hummus is ubiquitous now. In much of the Western world good hummus is usually available in stores and Middle Eastern restaurants. The base flavours of hummus have a natural affinity for each other, and are a classic combination.

More unusual is using the very same ingredients, but stopping short of blending them into a paste. The same flavours are there, it is as beautiful as hummus, and it makes a salad that will have you coming back for more.

You might also like to try Chickpea, Almond and Sesame Spread, Chickpeas with Ginger Root Salad, Chana Chat with Chat Masala, or Cheat’s Hummus. Try other Chickpea Salads. All the Chickpea recipes are here and here. You might like to browse our Salad recipes here and here, or find inspiration with our Autumn collection here and here.

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Hummus | Middle Eastern Chickpea Dip

Middle Eastern deliciousness in a chickpea dip

I prefer hummus made the old fashioned way, with chickpeas soaked and cooked before whizzing into that heaven called hummus. To make the whole process quicker, soak and cook chickpeas beforehand, and pop them into the freezer. When you want hummus, defrost them and whizz them up with garlic and tahini.

But sometimes an emergency solution is required. At these times, use a tin of chickpeas or butter beans.

You might like to browse our Dips here and here, or our Chickpea recipes here and here. You might find inspiration in our Spring recipes here and here.

You might like to also try Smashed Chickpeas with Broccoli, Baked Chickpeas, or Channa Sundal. You might even like some Falafel with the hummus.

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