Chickpea and Zucchini Falafel with Tahini Dipping Sauce

Serves 6 - 8

  • 200g (7 oz) zucchini, grated
  • 400g (14 oz) tin chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • ½ red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • ¼ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • 45g (1¾ oz/¼ cup) white rice flour or potato flour
  • 1 egg white
  • 150g (5½ oz/2½ cups) panko (Japanese) breadcrumbs
  • 2 free-range eggs
  • 60ml (2 fl oz/¼ cup) vegetable oil, approximately
  • Pitta bread and salad leaves, to serve

Dipping Sauce

  • 1 teaspoon tahini
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 390g (13¾ oz/1½ cups) Greek-style yoghurt
  • Pinch of caster (superfine) sugar

1. Put the grated zucchini in a colander and squeeze out the excess moisture. Put the zucchini, chickpeas, onion, garlic, spices, baking powder, rice flour and egg white in a food processor and use the pulse button to process briefly until just combined. Don’t over-process the mixture or it will become too wet — you want to keep some texture.

2. Transfer the zucchini mixture to a medium mixing bowl and add a pinch of salt and some pepper. Add 30 g (1 oz/½ cup) of the breadcrumbs and stir to combine. Place the remaining 120 g (4¼ oz/2 cups) breadcrumbs in a shallow dish. Put the eggs in a second dish and lightly whisk. Roll 2 tablespoons of the zucchini mixture into a football shape, then flatten slightly. Dip in the egg, allow any excess to drip off and then toss in the breadcrumbs to coat. Place on a baking tray and repeat with the remaining zucchini mixture.

3. Heat the oil in a large, deep frying pan over medium–high heat. Fry the falafels in batches, for 5–6 minutes, turning often, until golden brown. Add a little more oil to the pan if they begin to stick. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the cooked falafels to paper towels to drain.

4. To make the dipping sauce, combine the tahini, garlic, lemon juice, yoghurt and sugar in a small bowl. Season with a pinch of salt and some pepper. Serve the warm falafels with pitta bread, salad leaves and the dipping sauce.

Chickpea and Zucchini Falafel with Tahini Dipping Sauce

Panko breadcrumbs are available from all supermarkets, in the Asian ingredients section. They are a coarse breadcrumb that give a much crunchier coating when frying.

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