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Thermomix Falafel (vegan): Review of recipe by Roland Rauter

Take a look at this internet site even if you can’t speak or read German:

http://rolandrauter.wordpress.com/about/

Roland Rauter has published a vegan cookery book entitled “einfach Vegan” (simply vegan). AT LAST there is a vegan cookery book on the German book market that really makes me want to clank my pots and pans  in the kitchen. To be more exact, to unpack my Thermomix.

I watched “Forks over Knives“, it rekindled my interest in plant-strong cooking (a term that is less intimidating to carnivores than the frightening word “vegan”) and I started abusing my amazon account ordering all manner of vegan books in English. There are some good ones out there, there are some pretty dismal ones which simply replace meat with soya products (seitan goulash anyone?).

Most US-American vegan cookery books are (obviously) aimed at the American audience and the European, here German speaking, vegans really need a book that inspire those vegans living  on the continent to cry YES! (or OUI!  JA! IGEN! etc.) because the recipes actually consider European tastes. I really, really don’t wake up in the morning craving Mexican food and I don’t think many Europeans do. But these are the kind of recipes you’ll find in the breakfast section of many US-American cookery books.

Finally, a vegan book has hit the market here in Germany which will provide 100 new impulses for vegan cooks.

As I have a serious cookery book addiction,  my New Year’s Resolution has been to really cut down on buying cookery books, instead I aimed to meander through the internet and find out what other people who enjoy vegan food are cooking. “Einfach vegan” could make me weak, but first I want to try out a few recipes from Roland’s internet site before committing myself.

The first recipe I’m going to try today is falafel. If you check out the following link, you’ll get a few ideas for food presentation.

http://rolandrauter.wordpress.com/2012/01/15/falafelspiese-auf-linsensalat-mit-koriander-dip/

The last time I made falafel they were a disaster. I can’t remember which recipe I used, but they dissolved in the oil.

I decided to make Roland’s falafel in the Thermomix for two reasons: 1) it takes seconds to mix the ingredients together and 2) last year I went to France with my family, packed up the Thermomix to accompany us, came home and completely forgot about it. So this recipe gives me an opportunity to dust it off and use it again.

You’ll need to start this recipe one day before you make the falafel to allow for soaking the chickpeas.

Ingredients:

250g chickpeas, dried
1 small onion, peeled and quartered
3 garlic cloves, peeled
½ bunch of parsley
1 bunch of coriander
1 tbsp flour
1 generous pinch of baking powder

1 tsp cumin, cinnamon, cayenne pepper, ground cloves, ground nutmeg to taste (I added salt).

Directions:

Soak the chickpeas in plenty of water for 24 hours. Drain.

Add all the ingredients to the Thermomix bowl, puree on speed 10 until you have a smooth consistency. Tip mixture into a large bowl and leave to rest in the fridge for one hour.  Then roll the mixture into balls of about 4 cm and leave to rest for 20 minutes in the fridge. I rolled balls each weighing 33-34g and got about 18 falafel in total.

Fill a saucepan with oil, so that you can deep fry the falafel. Place a few sheets of kitchen paper on a plate next to the hob to drain the falafel after frying. Once the oil is hot enough to form energetic bubbles on  a wooden spoon (I don’t have a deep fat fryer), add the falafel in batches (I did 4-5 falafel per batch), give them a loving nudge within the first few seconds so that they don’t stick to the bottom of the saucepan. Fry for 4 minutes until they are a deep golden brown. Remove from the oil, drain on the kitchen paper while you start the next batch. I must have done something right with the oil temperature because the kitchen paper showed practically no traces of oil.

My review:

These are delicious, easy to make and practically foolproof. I served them with Tsatsiki because I didn’t have any soya yoghurt for the soya yoghurt/coriander dip that Roland suggests. As an accompanying salad, I made a beluga lentil salad: Fill up TMX with 1 liter boiling water, pour 250g beluga lentils into steaming basket. Steam for 20mins/Varoma/speed 1, drain, allow to cool. Make a balsamic vinegar, olive oil vinaigrette, add half a diced cucumber, a finely diced onion, a diced tomato, chopped fresh coriander, a couple of teaspoons of capers and two tablespoons of sliced chili olives, salt, white pepper and a pinch of sugar. Mix thoroughly.

Next time I’ll follow Roland’s suggestion and use fresh mint instead of the coriander in the salad. I didn’t have any, that’s why I substituted.

Photo follows!

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