Falafel are perfect for al fresco eating – picnics, barbecues – as well as lunch on the move. Chickpeas are packed with protein, fibre, iron, manganese and magnesium. They also contain fructo-oligosaccharides, which increase the friendly bacteria of the gut that improve digestion. These falafel are baked instead of fried, so they don’t absorb extra oil.

Method

Pre-heat the oven to 200 C/ 400 F/ Gas mark 6. Lightly oil a baking sheet.

Put the chickpeas in a blender or food processor and process for a few seconds. Add the onion, coriander, mint or parsley, garlic, spices, gram flour paste and olive oil. Process for a few seconds until combined and a fairly smooth, stiff puree.

Form the mixture into balls about the size of a walnut. You should be able to make about 12. Coat lightly with a little gram flour. Place on the oiled baking sheet and cook in the pre-heated oven for about 20 minutes until golden, turning once.

Meanwhile, make the salsa. Finely chop the tomatoes and mix with the onion and coriander. Season to taste. Chill.

Serve the cooked falafel with the salsa, salad and wholewheat pitta breads.

Kids in the Kitchen

Let kids really own making the falafels: they can add ingredients to the blender and push the buttons to pulse and mix everything together. Get the mixture out of the blender for them and show them how to shape the falafels so they can make them themselves. Chop the salsa ingredients and let them mix them together.