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