Beetroot & cumin falafels

beetroot falafel

Makes 10-12 medium or 24-26 small falafels
Preheat the oven to 200°C / 400°F / Gas mark 6

Approximately 4 tbsp coconut oil
1 tsp each of cumin seeds and coriander seeds
2 cardamom pods
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1cm (1/2”) chunk ginger, grated
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tsp cayenne pepper
2-3 medium beetroot bulbs, washed and cleaned
A handful of chives and coriander, chopped
Approximately 100g (3/4 cup) gram (chickpea) flour
A little rice or almond milk
Himalayan pink salt and pepper
Extra coconut oil for frying

Heat the coconut oil in a heavy based frying pan on a medium heat. Add the cumin and coriander seeds and fry for a few minutes to release the flavours (do not burn, they will taste bitter). Meanwhile, crush the cardamom pods and scrape out the seeds, add to the pan. Now throw in the onion, ginger, garlic and cayenne pepper and continue to fry until soft (add a little water occasionally to stop anything from burning). While the onion is cooking either grate the beetroot with a coarse grater, or chop into large pieces and pulse in a food processor (the finer pieces work better when making canapé sized falafels but it is a personal choice). Squeeze out any excess liquid and add the beetroot to the pan. Continue to fry until the beetroot begins to soften a little, about 5 minutes. Take off the heat and stir through the fresh herbs, taste and season with salt and pepper. At this stage the mixture should be quite dry so drain off any excess liquid. Now sieve in the gram flour and stir through the falafel mix, beating in any lumps of flour. Leave the mixture to stand for about 5 minutes to allow the flour to bind with the vegetables, if the mixture is too dry stir through a little rice or almond milk. The mixture should bind together and you should be able to mould small patties in your hands, if the mixture is excessively wet or dry this will be very hard to do, so adjust the texture by adding a little more flour and/or milk.

Wipe clean the frying pan and heat up a good 2-3mm coconut oil. Mould your patties and drop into the hot oil. Fry for a few minutes before attempting to move them, once they have crisped up on the underside they should be easy to lift with a thin fish slice and flip over. Once they are brown on each side they should be ready to eat but if they are quite thick continue cooking on a baking sheet in the oven for a further 10 minutes. It is possible to drain the falafel on kitchen paper, once fried, and reserve for later; either leave them on the side and reheat in a hot oven for 10 minutes or refrigerate for 2-3 days and reheat when needed.


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