It’s Thursday again which means that another turbo recipe is coming your way. This time we go vegetarian and cook up a super quick wrap. The reason for why I call this “almost falafel” is because that’s just what it is – the main ingredient is chickpeas just like in falafel and the flavors are also inspired from these irresistible fried balls. Cumin, cayenne, paprika, garlic, lemon and herbs (parsley and/or coriander).
You get the taste but without the tedious falafel rolling and frying; instead you just pop chickpeas and spices in a pan and roast until crisp and golden. Easy peasy! Add a nice flatbread, a cooling tzatsiki and some fresh veggies and you’re home.
With canned chickpeas you throw this dish up in under 20 minutes. It’s easy, delicious, cheep and healthy – in other words all you want from a weekday dinner.
“Almost Falafel” Veggie Wrap with Tzatsiki – 4 Wraps
2 tins chickpeas/garbanzo beans (2×230 g, drained weight)
1½ tsp cumin
½ tsp cayenne pepper
½ tsp paprika powder, hot
1 tsp salt
25 g lemon juice
2 garlic cloves
500 g Greek style yoghurt
300 g cucumber
1 garlic clove
4 Lebanese style flatbreads, or some other kind of flatbread, they should be quite big
½ iceberg lettuce
2 tomatoes or 10 baby tomatoes
1 red onion
100 g Feta cheese
Parsley and/or coriander/cilantro
Chickpeas. Drain the chickpeas and rince them under some cold water. Bring a pan up to high heat. Grind the cumin in a pestle of mortar or use an electric grinder. You can of course use the same amount of preground cumin, but I think the taste really gets a boost when it’s freshly ground. Add a glug of oil to the pan and pour in the chickpeas, the dry spices and salt. Fry on quite high heat until crisp and golden, it will take about 10 minutes. Turn the chickpeas every now and then just to get an even distribution of the color. Add finely chopped or grated garlic and lemon juice and fry for another minute.
Tzatsiki. Deseed the cucumber if you want to by splitting it lengthwise and scrape out the seeds with a small spoon. Chop or grate the cucumber and place it in a sieve. I like to chop mine because it gets a more rustic feel, but how fine you want your tzatsiki it’s up to you. Sprinkle with salt and let drain for 10 minutes. The salt draws some of the moisture out of the cucumber which makes the final tzatsiki less watery. After 10 minutes squeeze the excess water out of the cucumber with your hands just to get rid of that last bit of liquid. Mix the cucumber with yoghurt and finely chopped or grated garlic. Add salt and pepper to taste.
To serve. Shred the salad and rinse it under cold water. Cut the tomatoes into whatever size you want and peel and finely slice the red onion. Chop the herbs. Put the flatbreads in the microwave for a few seconds to achieve a newly baked flavor, or roast the bread in a hot pan with some oil or butter if you prefer the toasted character. Place the bread at the bottom and top with chickpeas veggies tzatsiki and herbs.