Falafel Scotch Eggs with Ginger and Verjuice Tahini
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Serves: 4
 
You can perpare the tahini dressing up to a day in advance (as and when you soak the chickpeas) to allow the flavours more time to develop and remove it from the fridge a few hours before serving, as I find it tastes better at room temperature. Verjuice can be found at most Middle Eastern grocers and you could also substitute it with white wine vinegar, cider vinegar, lime or lemon juice, though taste as you go because acidity of each ingredient varies. I recommend you add salt to the falafel mixture at the end to reduce moisture buildup.
Ingredients
  • 250g/9oz/ 1 heaping cup dry chickpeas, soaked overnight
  • 3 tbsp tahini
  • 2.5cm/1in piece root ginger, peeled and grated
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • (sea) salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 5 tbsp verjuice
  • 1 onion, quartered
  • 2 garlic cloves, smashed
  • ½ green bell pepper, seeds removed
  • 3 tbsp roughly chopped mint leaves
  • 3 tbsp roughly chopped parsley leaves
  • 3 tbsp roughly chopped coriander leaves
  • 1 tsp allspice
  • ½ tsp cumin
  • 1 carrot, shredded
  • Vegetable oil, for deep frying
  • 7 medium eggs
  • Sea salt and Freshly ground pepper
  • Mixed leafy greens, to serve
Instructions
  1. Cover chickpeas in plenty of water and soak for at least 6 hours and up to 24 hours. Meanwhile, add tahini, ginger, garlic and a pinch of salt to a bowl and slowly pour in the verjuice, whisking quickly as you pour. Add about 3 tablespoons of water to thin out consistency and more if required. Cover and transfer to the fridge.
  2. Once the chickpeas have finished soaking, drain them and leave them to sit in a colander for a couple of hours to air dry and remove as much moisture as possible, shaking the colander every once in a while. Alternately, a faster approach would be to use a salad spinner, if available. Add the chickpeas, close with the cover and spin 2-3 times until water is removed. Add the onion, garlic, bell pepper, herbs and spices to a food processor and whiz for 1-2 minutes till a paste forms. Pass this paste through a mesh strainer to remove excess liquid then return to the food processor with the well strained chickpeas and whizz for a couple of minutes or until you achieve a rough paste; not too smooth or the batter will fall apart during cooking. The consistency of the paste should be grainy with a shade of pistachio green. Mix in the shredded carrot. Remove the tahini dressing and bring to room temperature.
  3. Fill a large pot with plenty of water, a generous pinch of sea salt and place on high heat. Add 6 of the eggs and bring to a gentle boil. Once the water reaches a boil, cook the eggs for 4-5 minutes for soft boiled eggs (this will vary depending on the size of your eggs, climate and elevation) or longer for desired consistency. Fill a large bowl with ice water and once the eggs have finished cooking, drain them immediately and transfer them into the ice water to shock them which also makes peeling their shells easier. Leave them to sit in the ice bath for about 10 minutes before peeling.
  4. Preheat the deep-fat fryer to 190C/375F. Season the falafel mixture with salt and pepper to taste and then add in the remaining egg and mix well to combine. The addition of the egg here will help the mixture bind better around the cooked eggs. If you're finding the mixture is too moist, stir in a pinch of breadcrumbs, flour or very fine burghul and test again. Flatten ⅙ of the falafel mixture into a very flat, thin patty. Gently enclose one of the peeled eggs in the falafel mixture making sure the entire egg is covered and the mixture is smooth. Dab your fingers in tiny amounts of water to help seal the mixture together, if you find it necessary. Repeat with the remaining eggs. Deep fry the eggs for 3 minutes till golden and crisp. Remove and drain on paper towel, serve them warm with the ginger and verjuice tahini. Serve with some mixed leafy greens, if you wish.
Recipe by Dirty Kitchen Secrets at http://www.dirtykitchensecrets.com/falafel-scotch-eggs-with-ginger-and-verjuice-tahini/