I love Greek food, particularly a good falafel, however, a really tasty one is hard to find. There’s a great Lebanese restaurant in LA called Marroush and they make the best homemade falafels I’ve ever tasted – crispy on the outside and soft & crumbly in the center.
In the Winter I like to expand my weekend lunchtime repertoire as for most of the year in So Cal, we subsist on mainly salady stuff. These little fritters are a healthy, vegan treat. I ate them for lunch, but they’d be equally good if you did them as part of a Greek-style dinner with some oily Kalamata olives, hommous etc. They also might be good for the Holidays either as an appetizer or a warm canape with drinks around the fire (if you’re doing the latter, just make them smaller/bite-size. They are crumbly – so be warned, but I promise you – so well worth preparing.
Chickpea Fritters With Lemony Dip.
1 15 oz can garbanzo beans (AKA chickpeas,) drained
3 small or 2 medium sweet potatoes
2 tbsp garbanzo bean flour (health food store)
1tsp: sea salt, pepper, ground cumin, ground coriander
The grated zest of one lemon
1 cup whole wheat bread crumbs
2 tsp smoked paprika
6 tbsp grapeseed or olive (not extra virgin) oil
1 cup thick greek yogurt
1/2 tsp paprika
1 garlic clove, minced
Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees F
Place the sweet potatoes in the oven for 30-40 minutes or until tender. Remove and allow to cool.
When cool enough to handle them, cut in half and scoop out the potato into the food processor. Add the beans, the flour and all the seasoning (set 1/2tsp of the lemon aside.) Pulse until everything is really well-combined, but not smooth (you’re not trying to make hummus here – you want the beans mashed but still chunky).
Place the breadcrumbs on a plate and mix in the paprika.
Scoop out walnut sized lumps of the bean mixture and press into the breadcrumbs on both sides.
Heat the oil in a frying pan until it spits. Carefully add the fritters and fry on a medium to high heat for about 4 minutes on either side or until very brown and crisp.
Drain on a paper towel.
Meanwhile mix the yogurt, paprika, remaining lemon zest and garlic in a little bowl.
Serve the fritters warm with a generous dollop of the dip, and a few crisp Romaine leaves drizzled with good olive oil and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice