Flavoursome Beirut-style falafel balls served as funky finger food. Prepare the falafels ahead of time, then simply cook when ready to serve. The pickled vegetables will keep for one week in the fridge. Bring to room temperature before using.
- 100 g Kewpie mayonnaise (see Note)
- ½ preserved lemon, finely chopped
- 10 mint leaves, torn
- 10 parsley leaves, torn
- 10 coriander leaves, torn
- 12 mini burger buns, halved
- 150 ml store-bought tomato chutney
- 300 g dried chickpeas, soaked overnight, drained
- 1 cup coriander leaves and stems
- 80 ml (⅔ cup) lemon juice
- 2 garlic cloves, chopped
- 2 small red chillies, halved, seeds removed
- 2 tbsp cumin seeds, toasted, ground
- 2 tbsp ground coriander
- salt and pepper
- cottonseed oil or vegetable oil, to deep-fry
- 6 radishes, finely shaved on a mandoline
- 6 baby turnips, finely shaved on a mandoline
- 6 baby cucumbers, finely shaved lengthways on a mandoline
- 6 baby beetroot, finely shaved on a mandoline
- 2 tbsp coriander seeds, toasted
- 400 ml olive oil
- 150 ml sherry vinegar
- 2 tbsp natural honey
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
You will need to begin this recipe 1 day ahead.
To make the falafels, place the chickpeas in a food processor and blend until roughly chopped. Add the remaining ingredients and blend until combined and the mixture comes together. Season to taste then shape into patties, about 50 g each, sized to fit the buns. Refrigerate for about 30 minutes or until chilled (cold felafels will hold together better when frying).
To make the pickled vegetables, combine the vegetables and coriander seeds in a sterilised, 1 litre-capacity jar. Whisk together the olive oil, vinegar and honey then pour over the vegetables to cover. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before using.
Heat the cottonseed oil in a deep-fryer or deep saucepan to 180°C. Cook the felafels, in batches, for 3–4 minutes or until golden. Drain on paper towel and season with salt.
Combine the mayonnaise and preserved lemon. Drain the pickled vegetables and toss with the herbs. Toast or pan-fry the buns until golden, then lay out the lids and bases parallel to each other.
Spread the chutney on the bases and top with falafels and pickled vegetables. Spread the bun lids with mayonnaise and place the lid on top. Serve immediately.
• Kewpie mayonnaise is a brand of Japanese mayonnaise available from some supermarkets and some Asian grocers.