Enjoyed with salad and a drizzle of tahini dressing, or stuffed in a wrap with pickles, spicy sauce, pickled cabbage plus a side of hot chips, falafels are the world’s second favourite way to eat chickpeas – after hummus, of course.
Those of us who love falafels probably have a distinct memory of our most favourite one. Or maybe that is just me.
The best one I can remember was early last summer. Our niece Madison was over from Florida and, capitalising on some fair weather, we were doing a bit of sightseeing and errand running in the studenty Southside district of Edinburgh.
Anyone who knows Edinburgh will know that this university area is dotted with cheap and cheerful cafes, restaurants, bars, walk-up windows, and even the odd converted police boxes selling crepes and coffee. Suddenly, absolutely starving, we were fairly desperate to get some food – and fast.
It was a bit windy and cool so hot food, hot fast-ish food, was what we craved. We walked into the tiny takeaway space on the side of a quiet Lebanese restaurant and were immediately assailed by wonderful spicy aromas, the smell of frying oil and the sight of a young man tending a revolving spit of lamb. We definitely weren’t up for a kebab but we spotted a grandfatherly gentleman hunched on an old wooden stool, digging gloved hands into a big plastic bowl of what I can only describe as “stuff”. He rolled large pinches of it in his hands then dropped the cricket ball-sized hunks into a deep fat fryer, where the beige, nondescript balls spun in the heat, turning deep golden and delectably crunchy. Continue reading