Rumbellion Festival Falafel

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At the beginning of June I took my catering escapades one step further and opened up a pop up food stall at the magical festival of Rumbellion. I needed something I could cook in a field with little power but still be hot and tasty, so I turned to the old faithful vegetarian classic, falafel.

When I am at festivals I want something which won’t go everywhere, I can eat whilst dancing and still holding a beer.  Lo and behold, the wrap does this all! I also want something pretty healthy – I’m not one to live off burgers anyway and festivals generally include copious amounts of binge drinking and little sleep, so a bit of salad never goes amiss. Therefore I tried to incorporate everything I look for in festival food into what I cooked. I think I went a little overboard to be honest…

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I made freshly made falafel (recipe below) with an assortment of salads and dressings including carrot, preserved lemon and cumin, houmous, fresh paprika tomato salsa, cabbage and mustard, chimichurri, lettuce, mango, tahini and hot chilli sauce. The wraps were massive in the end, with loads of flavours and textures.

Everything was homemade right there in the field, with me chopping and cooking on my knees as I had no proper table, and my fantastic workers Tselane, Cat, Lydia and Anna (and a little prep from Nathan) assembling the falafels and chatting to customers. I really couldn’t have done it without you guys, thank you.

I came up against a few challenges, namely my electric cooker shorting out within the 1st 5 minutes (good job I had a backup gas cooker), the gas cooker then melting so the ignition wouldn’t work (a few singed fingers) and then running out of gas only to find I had lost my keys so I couldn’t get more from the car – minor, but stressful times. However it was all worth it as I received excellent feedback and had a fantastic time at the festival. The hours were long but I didn’t want to take a break for a second – I love to make people happy with my cooking, and could easily see myself dedicating my weekends to doing more festivals. Watch this space!

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So you can enjoy these wonderful wraps at home I am going to share my falafel recipe. Be warned however – I was cooking en masse and therefore didn’t measure anything, so the measurements here are estimated. It should serve around 4 people with lots of salads, easily multiplied to feed many.

Note: The photography published is not mine – I was too busy cooking to get snapping. Copyright goes to Catrina Banks, Tselane Mead, Phoebe Coulthard, Simona Remesova.

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 Rumbellion Festival Falafel

  • 1 400g/240g (drained weight) can Chickpeas
  • 1 heaped tbsp Flour
  • 1 tsp each Cumin, Coriander, Allspice
  • Small handful fresh Coriander
  • 1 Garlic Clove
  • ¼ Onion
  • ½ tsp Salt
  • Vegetable oil, to shallow fry
  1.  Peel the onion and garlic and finely chop, or add to a blender to chop.
  2. Finely chop the coriander and add to the onion and garlic, along with the spices and salt.
  3. Add the chickpeas and flour to the blender and blend until mostly smooth with some chickpeas whole for texture. If you don’t have a blender user a potato masher or fork.
  4. Heat about 1 cm oil in a wide, heavy bottomed frying pan. Test the oil is hot enough by dropping a tiny amount of the falafel batter into the oil. It should sizzle straight away. If not, leave it to heat for longer.
  5. Roll the falafel into balls the side of ping pong balls, then flatten to make patties. They will cook quicker like this and be easier to wrap.
  6. Fill the pan with falafel, flipping after around 3-4 minutes and cooking on the other side until brown and crispy.
  7. Place on kitchen towel to drain, then add to wraps with plenty of fresh salads, houmous and sauces.

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