Meat-free midweek: Sabrina Ghayour's chickpea & veg koftas

As someone already had the idea of inventing falafel wraps, I came up with this lighter version, which is absolutely delicious, packs in the vegetables and can easily be adapted to suit whatever you have in the fridge. With all the appeal of an indulgent kebab, these koftas are incredibly moreish on their own with a drizzle of tahini sauce on top.

Chickpea & Vegetable Koftas with Tahini Sauce

Makes 18-20

Ingredients
2 x 400g tins chickpeas
3 fat garlic cloves, crushed
1 carrot, peeled and grated
1 sweet potato (about 300g), grated with the skin left on
1 small packet (about 30g) of fresh coriander, finely chopped (reserve a handful to serve)
4 spring onions, finely sliced
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp chilli flakes
4 tbsp chickpea (gram) flour
1 egg
generous amount of Maldon sea salt flakes and freshly ground black pepper
vegetable oil, for frying

For the tahini sauce
150g Greek yoghurt
1 garlic clove, crushed
2 tsp ground coriander
3 tbsp thick tahini
juice of ½ lemon
generous amount of Maldon sea salt flakes and freshly ground black pepper

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To serve
6 tortilla wraps
few handfuls of rocket leaves
1 red onion, halved and thinly sliced

Method
Drain both tins of chickpeas, place the chickpeas into a large mixing bowl and use a potato masher or the end of a rolling pin to mash them. Add all the remaining kofta ingredients, except the oil, and using your hands pummel or pound (which is what the word “kofta” means in Persian) into a sticky, even mixture. Refrigerate the mixture while you make the tahini sauce.

To make the tahini sauce, combine the ingredients in a jug. Add just enough warm water to loosen the mixture to a thick pouring cream consistency. Set aside.

Pour enough vegetable oil into a large, deep frying pan or saucepan to fill to a depth of about 2.5cm. Heat the oil over a medium-high heat and bring to frying temperature (add a pinch of the kofta mixture: if it sizzles immediately, the oil is hot enough). Line a tray with a double layer of kitchen paper.

When the oil is ready for frying, scoop up a rounded dessertspoonful of the kofta mixture and use the edges of the bowl to smooth it a little. Lower it carefully into the hot oil. Repeat with the remaining mixture, but do not overcrowd the pan – fry in batches to avoid reducing the

temperature of the oil. Fry the koftas for a couple of minutes on each side, or until deep golden brown, then remove them from the pan using a slotted spoon and transfer to the paper-lined tray to drain.

Serve 3 koftas in each tortilla wrap with a good drizzle of the tahini sauce, some rocket leaves, some sliced red onion and a final flourish of the reserved coriander.

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Extracted from Bazaar: Vibrant Vegetarian Recipes by Sabrina Ghayour (Mitchell Beazley, approx €30), octopusbooks.co.uk. Photography by Kris Kirkham.

 

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