These divine little chickpea balls are baked rather than fried, so they are not as crusty as the ones you buy, but they taste lighter and fresher. Serve with hummus and tomato, or wrap the lot in lightly warmed flat bread with yoghurt.
400g can chickpeas, drained
4 spring onions, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
4 tbsp chopped parsley
2 tbsp chopped mint
Half tsp dried chilli or cayenne
1 tsp salt
2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
2 tbsp plain flour
Hummus (recipe here)
1 tomato, finely diced
Mint and parsley leaves for serving
Extra virgin olive oil for serving
In a food processor, whiz the chickpeas with the spring onions, garlic, parsley, mint, chilli, salt, cumin, coriander, bicarb and flour until you have a fine green paste - don't overmix or it will be too wet. Refrigerate for 1 hour.
Heat the oven to 180C. Use two spoons to form the felafel mixture into small ovals (or squish a spoonful in the palm of your hand, as I do), place on an oven tray, brush with olive oil and bake for 15 minutes, turning once, until piping hot and lightly coloured.
To serve, spoon the hummus into the centre of each plate. Arrange 3 falafel on top and scatter with fresh mint, parsley leaves and diced tomato. Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and serve.
Tip: If you prefer to deep-fry, heat vegetable oil to a depth of 5 centimetres in a heavy pan or wok, and cook in batches of four or five for about 4 minutes each until browned, then drain well. Or you can brown them in the hot oil first and finish the cooking in the oven.