LAWRENCE MURPHY: A vegetarian dish that’s loved by all

Try serving up your falafel with a harissa mayo dip
Try serving up your falafel with a harissa mayo dip

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SWEET POTATO FALAFEL

Makes 16

Falafel is normally made with chickpeas or fava beans, which are soaked overnight and then ground with spices before being shaped and fried.

This wonderful croquette is widely eaten across the middle east as part of meze and is considered the national dish of Israel where large volumes are consumed during religious holidays. In Egypt, it is often cooked and eaten on the streets served in flat bread with tahini and salad.

Falafel is one of those vegetarian dishes that is loved by every one and makes a great lunchbox filler, starter or main meal.

If you want to make traditional falafel you have to start thinking about them the day before but with this recipe I have used sweet potato that doesn’t require the overnight soaking.

If you don’t like the thought of fried food then you can bake the croquettes in a hot oven for 12 minutes, turning over halfway through. Serve them with hummus and a spicy dip made from mayonnaise and harissa.

Ingredients

1 large sweet potato

1 onion, finely diced

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

1 teaspoon cumin

1 teaspoon coriander seeds

120g chickpea flour

1 tablespoon lemon juice

Seasoning

Oil for frying

Method

1. Bake the potato in a hot oven (180C, gas 6) for 90 minutes until soft.

2. While the potato is cooling, cook the onion and garlic in a little oil to soften.

3. Grind the cumin and coriander seeds and add to the onion.

4. Scoop the sweet potato flesh from the skin into a bowl and dab with a kitchen towel to remove excess liquid.

5. Mash the potato with a fork and stir in the onion mixture and lemon juice.

6. Add the flour and seasoning.

7. Shape into balls and place in the fridge for 30 minutes.

8. Fry in batches until crispy on the outside and serve straight away.

Lawrence’s restaurant is Fat Olives, Emsworth. Visit fatolives.co.uk or call 01243 377 914.