*Guest Recipe from John Gregory-Smith*

Author, presenter and food and travel writer, John specialises in Middle Eastern and North African cuisines. He has published five books, including best-selling Orange Blossom and Honey, Turkish Delights, Mighty Spice Express, Saffron in the Souks and The Mighty
Spice Cookbook.

Ingredients

1 onion, roughly chopped

4 garlic cloves, peeled

a large handful of coriander

leaves and stalks

a large handful of parsley leaves

400g chickpeas, soaked overnight in cold water and drained

4 tbsp gram flour

2 tsp ground cumin

2 tsp ground coriander

1 tsp Aleppo pepper flakes

½ tsp baking powder

¼ tsp bicarbonate of soda

vegetable oil, for deep-frying

sea salt

For the tarator sauce

80g Tahini

½ lemon, juiced

sea salt

To serve

6–8 round pitta breads, split

2 baby gem lettuce, finely sliced

2 handfuls of parsley leaves

200g pickles, thinly sliced

2 teaspoons sumac

Tahini, to drizzle

chilli sauce, to taste

Ingredients

1 onion, roughly chopped

4 garlic cloves, peeled

a large handful of coriander

leaves and stalks

a large handful of parsley leaves

400g chickpeas, soaked overnight in cold water and drained

4 tbsp gram flour

2 tsp ground cumin

2 tsp ground coriander

1 tsp Aleppo pepper flakes

½ tsp baking powder

¼ tsp bicarbonate of soda

vegetable oil, for deep-frying

sea salt

For the tarator sauce

80g Tahini

½ lemon, juiced

sea salt

To serve

6–8 round pitta breads, split

2 baby gem lettuce, finely sliced

2 handfuls of parsley leaves

200g pickles, thinly sliced

2 teaspoons sumac

Tahini, to drizzle

chilli sauce, to taste

1

Blitz the onion and garlic in a food processor until fine. Add the herbs and continue to blend until they are completely whizzed up. Add the chickpeas, gram flour, cumin, coriander, Aleppo pepper flakes, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda. Season with a really good pinch of salt and blitz again for a few minutes to combine. Scrape the sides down with a spatula and blend until the mixture combines into a paste. Roll into 30–32 small falafel the size of walnuts.

2

Heat the vegetable oil in a deep saucepan over a medium–high heat. You will need about 7–10cm oil, enough to completely cover your falafel. Cook the falafel, a few at a time, for 1–2 minutes until golden. You have to watch the heat, adjusting it so that they don’t cook too fast and burn. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain
on kitchen paper.

3

Make the tarator sauce by whisking all the ingredients together with 65ml water until lovely and glossy.

4

Serve in the pitta with lettuce, parsley, pickles, a sprinkle of sumac, a drizzle of Tahini and chilli sauce to taste.

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