Falafels: An Incoherent Truth

 

falafalThere are, on this planet, only a couple of truths that are universally acknowledged. One of these is that drunk people make a mess. To progress this idea could be to argue that drunk people will make a spectacular mess, merrily, and often in record time. It’s inescapable, and therefore should be embraced whole-heartedly. The fact that drunk people enjoy making a mess is, in fact, the sole reason behind the existence of many of our most celebrated dishes. Do you really think the Mexicans would have invented nachos if they hadn’t invented tequila first? What other purpose does a kebab actually have? Do you think chips and cheese would even exist without drunk people?

And so I bring you falafel wraps. These are the perfect drunken food. DIY wrap-making can be messy at the best of times, even when your sobriety is not actually in question. So you have the added bonus of watching your friends trying to navigate a cheesy, leaking wrap into their silly drunk faces. It’s pretty much the equivalent of giving them a hair-trigger Super Soaker full of hot sauce. Amazing.

RECIPE: (serves 3-4)

Falafel

  • 1 x 400g tin of mixed beans
  • 1 x 400g tin of chickpeas
  • 1 lemon
  • 1tbsp harrissa
  • 1tsp allspice
  • 1tbsp plain flour
  • 1 bunch fresh coriander
  • olive oil

Sides

  • 2 bell peppers, roughly chopped
  • 4 spring onions, as above
  • 8 small tortillas
  • 2tbsp mango chutney
  • 250g cottage cheese
  • cherry tomatoes
  • 1 red chilli
  • 1/2 clove garlic
  • 1 lime
  • sweetcorn

Drain the chickpeas and the mixed beans in a colander. Make sure all the gunk from the tin has come off, or your falafels will end up smooshy. Nobody wants a smooshy falafel. Put them in the food processor, grate in the lemon zest and season with salt and pepper. Add the harrissa, allspice, flour and coriander and blitz everything together. It doesn’t matter if it it doesn’t have a perfectly smooth consistency, the falafel are actually nicer with a bit of texture, and besides, your drunk, so what do you care?

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Scrape out the mixture and (with slightly wet hands) shape it into 8 to 10 balls. Squish them flat, heat a tbsp of oil in a frying pan and cook the falafel on both sides turning them when they are nice and crispy.

Fry up the bell peppers with the spring onions. It’s alright if the peppers go a little black, they’ll be sweeter that way, so you can let your drunken mind wander… just not too far. Put them in a bowl.

Put the tomatoes, chilli, garlic and some more coriander in the processor with the lime juice. Whiz it up till it’s smooth and salsa-y, season and put it in a serving dish. Mix the cottage cheese with the mango chutney or sweet chilli sauce – both is good trust me, I know it sounds bizarre – and put it into another bowl. Other nice bowls of stuff could be sweetcorn, some chopped cherry tomatoes and grated cheese. I know this already sounds washing up heavy, it’s worth it, I just hope you have polite friends.

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Put the tortillas in a microwave for about 45 seconds, or warm them in the oven. Pop them on a plate and let battle commence.

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I will warn you: Do not serve this to your in-laws unless they are either forgiving, like-minded or suitably plied with alcohol. You are going to end up looking like a toddler with problematic motor skills.

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