BEETROOT & SMOKED PAPRIKA FALAFEL PITA POCKETS
Sometimes things don’t work out, and that really sucks. But then you get over it, analyse the situation and the end result is even better. Do you agree? This is what happened when I came home one day with the intention of making beetroot patties (for a beetroot veggie burger). After an hour in the kitchen, the patties just did not seem to work. I could just imagine them breaking apart when I was gonna fry them. So I turned the mixture into bite-sized little falafels, perfect to fill up a fresh pita bread. Things made even more sense when I discovered that in addition to pita breads I also had hummus (very necessary for a good pita) and all of these veggies waiting to be used. Without sounding corny, it was meant to be.
And the beetroot falafels – ahhh, they’re just dreamy. I love the taste of smoked paprika together with the earthy beetroot. Combine that with a pocket full of flavoursome vegetables and you are good to go!
2 tbsp cooking oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 onion, finely chopped
1/2 bird’s eye chilli, finely chopped
3 button mushrooms, finely chopped
1 tsp chilli sauce
1 small beetroot, finely grated
20 ml water
70g cooked black rice
120g red kidney beans
1 tsp smoked paprika
4 tbsp all-purpose flour
3 tbsp breadcrumbs + more if needed
Mushrooms, sliced and sauteed in oil with a bit of hot sauce
Avocado, thinly sliced
Purple cabbage, thinly sliced
Radish, thinly sliced
4 pita breads, toasted
Heat oil in a pan. Add the garlic, onion, chilli and mushrooms. Cook until mushrooms are translucent, then add the beetroot and beans. Add the water and cook for 5 minutes or until the beetroot is tender.
Transfer mixture to a blender and add the rice, salt, pepper and smoked paprika. Blitz a couple of times, then add the flour and blend more. You want it a bit chunky. Place mixture in a bowl and stir in the breadcrumbs until the falafel mix is firm enough and then shape it into balls. Place falafels in the fridge for 30 minutes, then either cook on the stove with a bit of oil or in the oven at 180 for 15-20 minutes, turning half way.
To assemble, toast the pitas, cut open and smear with hummus. Place all the ingredients inside and top with coriander and sesame seeds. Enjoy!