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- Prep time:
- 1 hr, plus overnight soaking
- Cook time:
- 10 min, per batch of falafels
Allegra McEvedy brings lots of gutsy flavours and her own twists to three classic mezze dishes
Method1. For the hummus: preheat the oven to 200C/fan 180C/gas 6. Put the pumpkin chunks into a roasting tray with the olive oil, cumin, allspice and chilli, then season with salt and pepper. Roast for 45 minutes to 1 hour, turning and stirring regularly until softened and golden brown on the edges. Remove from the oven and reserve a few chunks for garnish.
2. In a food processer, blitz the chick peas for a couple of seconds then add the garlic and pumpkin chunks. Blitz again, then transfer the smooth purée to a large bowl. Add the rest of the hummus ingredients, except the garnishes, and mix well with a spatula, adding salt and pepper to taste. Transfer to a serving bowl. Garnish with the reserved pumpkin chunks, the pumpkin seeds, a drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkling of cayenne.
3. For the falafel: drain the raw chickpeas after soaking overnight. Blend together with the rest of the falafel ingredients, except the oil, in a food processor or blender. Rest in the fridge for 30 minutes then, using a falafel shaper, mould your falafels. If you don’t have one, use your hands to shape the mixture into golf ball-sized rounds. Dust each ball in a little extra chickpea flour.
4. Heat a deep heavy-based saucepan with 8-10cm of oil added, or use a deep fat fryer if you have one. When the oil is medium hot, about 170C, carefully lower the falafels into the oil and fry them for 5-7 minutes, or until golden-brown and cooked through - you will probably need to do them in batches. Remove with a slotted spoon and transfer to a plate lined with kitchen paper to drain.
5. For the dip: mix all the ingredients in a bowl. Season to taste, drizzle with oil and serve with the hummus, falafel and flatbread with a garnish of coriander and lemon wedges.
For the hummus
- 850 g pumpkin, or butternut squash, peeled and cut into 5cm/2in chunks
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 400 g tin chickpeas, drained
- 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
- 1/4 tsp cumin seeds
- 1/4 tsp ground allspice
- 1/2 red chilli, thinly sliced
- 2 1/2 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tbsp tahini
- 70 ml extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
- 1 tsp cayenne pepper, plus extra for sprinkling
- toasted pumpkin seeds, for garnish
For the falafel
- 500 g dried chickpeas, soaked overnight in water with a pinch bicarbonate of soda
- 4 tbsp chickpea flour, plus extra for dusting
- 1/2 onion, chopped
- 2 tsp ground coriander
- 2 tsp ground cumin
- 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 1 green chilli, finely chopped
- 1 red chilli, finely chopped
- 5 spring onions, finely chopped
- 2 lemons, zest only
- 2 tbsp chopped coriander
- 4 tbsp chopped parsley
- vegetable oil, for frying
For the dip
- 150 g Greek yogurt
- small handful mint leaf, shredded
- 1/2 lemon, juice only
- pinch cayenne pepper
- drizzle olive oil
- lemon wedges
Tips and suggestions
- Adding bicarbonate of soda when soaking the chickpeas makes the skins softer and easier to break down.
When deep frying, make sure the oil is hot enough before adding the falafels - check it with a thermometer. If its not they will absorb the oil while cooking.
Chickpea flour, otherwise known as gram flour, is gluten free. If you don’t have it, use plain flour instead.