Falafel in Pitta Pockets

Falafel is one of our favourite lunches, and this simple recipe makes it as easy to make your own as to open a packet.  A great one to get the children involved in making.  Plus this way you know exactly what's in it!  Serve as you wish of course, but the peppery hit of watercress makes a lovely addition in this serving suggestion.

Falafel in Pitta Pockets


225g/8oz dried chickpeas, soaked overnight in water
1 tbsp tahini
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1 garlic clove, crushed
100g bag watercress, roughly chopped
juice half a lemon
2 tbsp. rapeseed oil, for frying
100g bag watercress
150g Greek style yogurt
4 wholemeal pitta bread
1 small clove garlic, crushed


1. Drain the chickpeas and place in a food processor with the tahini, salt, baking powder, cumin, coriander, cayenne, garlic, watercress and lemon juice.  Whizz until very finely chopped but not puréed. (If you have time, set the mixture aside for a couple of hours, so the flavours can mingle, but it's not essential.)

2. Preheat the oven to 220C/Fan 200C/Gas Mark 6.  Place a large roasting tin in the oven to heat up.

3. Wet your hand and shape the mixture into 16 balls, then flatten slightly into patties.

3. Add the oil to the roasting tin, return to the oven for 2 minutes, then carefully add the falafel, tossing to coat in the hot oil. Bake for 20 minutes, turning once until crisp and golden.

4. Meanwhile, roughly chop half the remaining watercress and stir it into the yogurt with the garlic and seasoning to taste.

5. Lightly toast the pittas on each side, cut each in half and open up each half to make a pocket. Fill the pitta pockets with falafel, remaining watercress and the yogurt sauce. Serve whilst warm.

Recipe courtesy of www.watercress.co.uk

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