Several countries lay claim to inventing falafel, and the various sauces are equally delicious. Lebanon uses a garlic mayonnaise and Israel is partial to sesame tahini. I’ve chosen the latter and pimped it up with some pickled cabbage for added crunch. Use fresh Middle Eastern flatbread and give it a little heat first to soften while rolling up. If you have time, make my Grilled Flatbread recipe. Roll up the warm falafel balls in the soft smoky bread with all the fixings for a little slice of heaven.
To make the pickled red cabbage, thickly shred the cabbage and toss in a large bowl with the salt. Leave to sit a few hours, then rinse the salt off, drain well and return to the bowl. Pour the vinegar over, cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight. Drain before using.
Meanwhile, to make the tahini sauce, whisk the tahini and 1½ tablespoons of water in a bowl until smooth. Add the lemon juice and zest, garlic, olive oil and yoghurt, season with salt and pepper and combine well. Refrigerate until serving.
To make the falafel, drain the chickpeas and put them in a food processor with all of the ingredients except the sesame seeds and olive oil. Process until a thick dough forms. Using lightly floured hands, form the mixture into spheres the size of a ping-pong ball. Put the sesame seeds on a plate, then roll the falafel in the seeds, pressing to coat well.
Heat the oil in a wok or small heavy-based saucepan to about 7 cm (
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