There’s something irresistible about the crunchy exterior and yielding centre of a good falafel – but the shop-bought versions often aren’t that inspiring. There’s no faff to making falafel at home: our version is quick and easy, using ingredients that can be grabbed in a rush from the kitchen cupboard. We’ve coated them in a few of our favourite things – dukkah, sesame seeds, LSA – for that all-important Midlife lift.
Makes 8 small or 6 large falafel
For the falafel
- 400g can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 1 tbsp Midlife Spice Mix, see below, or 1 tsp ground coriander and 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 egg
- a large handful of flat leaf parsley
- juice of 1/2 a lemon
- sea salt flakes and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tsp olive oil
For the coating
- 1 tbsp Midlife Sesame Seasoning (see below) or sesame seeds or 1 tbsp Midlife Dukkah (see below) or 1 tbsp Midlife LSA (see below), or ground almonds
- 2 wholemeal pitta breads
- 2 carrots, peeled and grated
- 2 tbsp hummus
- 2 tbsp Zehug, see below (optional)
- Place all the falafel ingredients, except the olive oil, in a food processor and blitz to a coarse paste. Shape the mixture into 8 small or 6 large patties. Coat each in your chosen coating, patting so it sticks well. They can be chilled at this point, and cooked later.
- When ready to cook, heat the olive oil in a large frying pan, add the falafels and fry for 5 7 minutes on each side until golden brown on the outside and cooked through. Serve in warm pittas, with the grated carrots, Zehug and hummus.
Midlife spice Mixes
Makes approximately 5 tbsp
- tbsp ground fennel seeds
- tbsp ground coriander seeds
- tbsp ground cumin
- tbsp ground turmeric
- tsp ground cardamom
Combine all the ingredients and store in an airtight container for up to 6 months.
Makes approximately 12 tbsp
- tbsp flaxseeds (another name for linseeds)
- tbsp sunflower seeds
- tbsp whole almonds (skin on)
Simply use a 3-2-1 ratio of L-S-A. Using a coffee grinder or spice mill, pulse the seeds and almonds in batches until finely ground.
Transfer the mix to an airtight jar and store in the fridge for up to 2 months.
- 10 tsp black (or white) sesame seeds
- tsp sea salt flakes
Using a pestle and mortar, pound the sesame seeds until lightly crushed (alternatively, whizz in a blender), then combine with the salt.
Transfer the mixture to a jar and use as an alternative to salt.
Makes approximately 10 tbsp
- tbsp whole almonds, blanched or with skins on
- tbsp pistachio nuts
- tbsp sesame seeds
- tsp cumin seeds
- tsp coriander seeds
- tsp fennel seeds
- 10 black peppercorn
- 10 pink peppercorns
- tsp sea salt flakes
Place all the ingredients in a large, shallow frying pan and dry-fry over a medium heat for a few minutes until the nuts and seeds start to colour and pop, taking care not to burn them. Leave to cool.
Tip the mixture into a coffee grinder or spice mill and pulse until it resembles the coarse texture of a ‘dry rub’ seasoning. Alternatively, pound the mixture using a pestle and mortar.
Transfer the dukkah to an airtight container and store in the fridge for up to 1 month.
The Midlife Kitchen: Health-Boosting Recipes for Midlife and Beyond by Mimi Spencer and Sam Rice is published by Mitchell Beazley, £25. Photographs by Issy Crocker.Last modified: June 10, 2021