Chestnuts - these sweet little nuggets of festive happiness usually only find their way into a stuffing. But, why not pair them with sweet potato and sage in falafels, serving them with rye chapatis and a gremolata-topped hummus?
Did you know… chestnuts are packed full of vitamin C?
The perfect snack for winter time!
250g sweet potato (peeled, finely grated)
8 sage leaves (finely chopped)
60g peeled, roasted chestnuts (chopped)
2 scallions (finely chopped)
1 clove garlic (finely grated)
2 cm ginger (finely grated)
½ tsp ground cumin
½ tsp salt
1 tbsp lemon juice*
1 egg yolk
50g gram flour (plus extra for dusting)
Coconut oil for frying
(*note grate zest off first for gremolata below, and save the rest of the juice for the hummus)
Handful of parsley (finely chopped)
1 clove garlic (grated)
Zest of 1 lemon (grated)
Extra rapeseed oil
1. Mix all the chapati ingredients together in a bowl until they come together into a dough. Knead this for 2-3 mins, roll into a ball, cover in cling film and put in the freezer for 20 mins while you make the falafel mixture.
2. Mix together the sweet potato, sage, chestnuts, scallions, garlic, ginger, cumin and salt - delicately (use a couple of forks so it’s mixed, but stays quite airy).
3. Add the egg yolk and lemon juice, mixing delicately before combing through the flour until fully combined. Form into walnut sized balls (don’t over-work them), roll in gram flour and set aside in the fridge for 5 mins.
4. Blitz all the hummus ingredients in a blender, scraping down the sides a couple of times, until you have a nice paste, still a touch coarse. Place in a bowl.
5. Place all of the gremolata ingredients on a chopping board and chop together until combined. Top the hummus with the gremolata and drizzle with a good slick of rapeseed oil.
6. Put a frying pan on a low-medium heat and add a little coconut oil when it's warm. Place the falafel balls in the pan, press down gently to make a patty shape (about 1.5cm tall) and leave to lightly brown (don’t disturb with them, leave them to sit) for about 3 mins. Then turn, cooking on the other side for about 3 mins. Then keep cooking and flipping until they’re a lovely hazlenut brown (not burned or black!) - this should take another 5 mins or so.
7. Meanwhile, put another frying pan on a high heat (a dry pan, no oil) to get it REALLY hot. Then remove the chapati dough from the freezer, divide into four balls, heavily flour a work surface and rolling pin and roll out each to 2mm thick, cut out side plate sized circles from each and set aside under a damp cloth or wet paper towel.
8. When the falafels are finished, set aside on kitchen paper while you cook the chapatis - 20-30 seconds (tops) on each side. They should become a lovely mottled brown colour in this time (if not your pan didn't get hot enough). A bit like a decent pancake.
9. Serve the falafels warm or cold with chapatis, hummus, lettuce and grated carrot.