Slow Cooker Falafel (Slow Cooked by Miss South)
Innovative recipe for slow cooker falafel from the book Slow Cooked by Miss South!
As my regular readers will no doubt know, I am very keen on my slow cooker(s) (yes, I do have several!). I use them several times a week, in particular on the days when my eldest daughter has after-school clubs, as I love the ease of putting something in for dinner early in the day, and coming back to a steaming pot of something tasty. I bake cakes in them too.
The slow cooker really comes into its own in the autumn and winter, when a pot of chilli, curry or casserole is the order of the day. However, the slow cooker needn’t be used only to make stews and casseroles. It has far more to offer than that. I thought I knew a lot of innovative slow cooker dishes, since I am a member of a couple of busy slow cooker Facebook groups, and am always seeing new dishes people have tried out in their crockpots – current popular dishes there are slow cooker fudge, self-saucing puddings, jam, cakes and bread, and leg of lamb cooked without added liquid, as well as the ubiquitous pulled pork.
However, when the nice people at Ebury Press asked me if I would like to try out a recipe from Slow Cooked by Miss South, I was actually astounded by the recipes I discovered. A whole section of delicious sounding, authentic curries, plus sections on fish and seafood, pulses and grains, preserves, and cakes and puddings, alongside the more usual recipes for stews, roasts and pulled pork type dishes. The book contains over 200 recipes, which are according the book’s tagline, aiming to be easy, thrifty and delicious. From what I have seen so far, it definitely lives up to this.
The dish which caught my eye first was slow cooker falafel. I had never seen this cooked in the slow cooker before or even thought it could be possible. So, I decided to give it a go.
- 200 g dried chickpeas
- 150 g mashed pumpkin or sweet potato I used leftover roast sweet potato
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp chilli powder I used mild as it was all I had in
- 2 tbsp plain flour
- Salt and pepper
Soak the chickpeas for around 8 hours in cold water. Then drain them and rinse well and set aside.
Put the soaked chickpeas, spices and seasoning in a large bowl.
Use a hand blender to blend the chickpeas.
My tip - I found that the mixture was too thick for my hand blender to handle, so would suggest using a food processor if you have one, as my hand blender nearly burnt out!
Add the sweet potato and blend again.
Add half the flour and mix well. Add the other tablespoon and stir until combined. The batter will be firm, and not sticky.
Chill it for at least 30 minutes. Line the slow cooker pot with baking paper or a liner.
Scoop out spoons of the batter with a dessertspoon (the recipe suggests teaspoon size but I found this too smaland roll into balls. Place each falafel in the lined slow cooker with a little space between them. The recipe suggests making a second layer with more baking paper if needed - I tried this but found that the top layer of falafel were steaming rather than browning like the others, so I placed all my falafel in the pot.
Place the lid on the slow cooker and cook the falafel on low for eight hours or on high for around 4-6 hours (the recipe suggested 6 hours on high but I think as I used a large slow cooker, 5.7 litre, mine would have been burnt by then).
I found I needed to occasionally turn my falafel to ensure they were crispy on all sides and did not catch. After around four hours on high I had wonderful crispy falafel with a soft centre.
The slow cooker falafel were delicious with pitta bread, houmous and salad for a light meal. Cooking this in my slow cooker, at a cost of around 1-2 p an hour, makes the dish extremely thrifty, and the use of dried chickpeas even more so. I will be trying out more recipes from Slow Cooked very soon, so look out for more.
Slow Cooked will be published on 6th November by Ebury Press, and will cost £14.99.
Visit http://thehappyfoodie.co.uk/articles/the-slow-cooked-challenge to see what other fabulous recipes from the book other bloggers tried out for the Slow Cooked Challenge!