Remember those days when you would pile out of an appalling nightclub and lurch down a pitta full of a dead man’s leg with chilli sauce and lettuce? Its rotating awfulness was mesmerising. Not wanting to miss out but certain of a 4am expulsion, I generally went for the gastro-intestinally safer ‘chip kebab’ instead, the memory of which makes me weak with longing.
I have sampled my fair share of Frankenfood (I recently discovered that hot dogs contain Mechanically Recovered Chicken. Google it, I dare you. Sorely regretting that foot-long now), but nowadays there are some food wastelands I refuse to traverse, drunk or not.
So this is my Drunk Vegetarian’s Kebab*, where I cleverly replace the floor meat with extra spicy falafels. If toting this vegetarian version of a pissed up ‘classic’ makes me a card-carrying soft Southern shite, so be it. You get to a certain age and you start thinking about chickpeas a lot, it’s as inevitable as being able to sling your tits over your shoulder and tuck them in your rucksack.
Fry these falafel burgers in lots of oil until they are hot and crispy, stuff into a pitta or wrap with plenty of hot sauce, garlic mayonnaise or yoghurt and lettuce. Feel past it but smug.
Serves 4 (I made a few more for lunch) prep: 20 mins cooking time: 10 mins
2 tins of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 small red onion
2 garlic cloves
1 fresh red chilli
1 tsp of cumin
1 tsp of ground coriander
1 tbsp of harissa paste
2 tbsp of plain flour
Handful of fresh coriander or parsley (if you have it)
Salt and pepper
Oil for cooking
To serve: pittas/wraps, lettuce, tomatoes, hot sauce (I used Frank’s Original), mayonnaise or yoghurt.
1. Roughly chop the onion. Put everything into a food processor. Whizz into a chunky paste, adding a splash of water.
2. Tip the mixture onto a board. Divide into 8-10 small patties. Chill for 20 minutes.
3. Heat a large slosh of oil (any will do) into a frying pan and fry the falafels for around four minutes on each side until they are crispy and heated through. Heat the pittas in the toaster.
4. Stuff into the pitta with the salad, mayo and hot sauce.
*You don’t have to be pissed to eat this.