Never mind raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens, falafel are definitely one of my favourite things. They transport me straight back to the bustling streets of Alexandria in Egypt. Every street corner had its own falafel vendor who sold them fresh and hot, stuffed into pitta bread and drizzled with tahini sauce. We used to have them for breakfast as a special treat. These air fryer carrot falafel may not be the authentic recipe, but they’re delicious and are a breeze to make.
Barley is a much underrated grain. It grows well in the UK, it’s easy to cook, has a nice nutty flavour and is highly nutritious. Traditionally, it’s used in soups, but I’ve been using it more and more these days as the main grain in our meals. This vegan barley bowl is a simple meal of whole grain barley topped with a combination of spiced aubergine, chickpeas and tomatoes.
These falafel were the inspiration that kick-started me into planning a six course chocolate themed Middle Eastern menu for a dinner party last week. I saw a recipe for falafel salad in the summer edition of the Co-operative’s Share magazine and it immediately appealed to me. I decided to separate the falafel from the salad and add raw chocolate and almond spread. The falafel recipe I have from the Vegetarian Cookery School used tahini, so I couldn’t see why a nut butter wouldn’t work instead of a seed one. I mixed and matched between the two recipes and came up with a version I am really happy with.