falafel burgers

For some reason, Jehovah’s Witnesses have taken to standing around outside of Eldon Square of a lunchtime, thrusting copies of The Watchtower at me as I shuffle past with my headphones in and trying desperately not to catch their eye. I feel like I can’t be mean to religious people in the same way I often am with chuggers – I usually just point at my ears and pretend I’m deaf, and I once told someone collecting for Alzheimer’s Research that she’d spoken to me just a few minutes before, didn’t she remember…she called me a very unsavoury name, and perhaps rightly so. But the JWs are a bit creepy – too earnest with the smiles, too keen to stop people and try and engage them, too comfortable with being told to fuck off. Perhaps tomorrow I’ll rock up to them and ask what they can do for me, as a blood-giving (sssh), civil-partnered sodomite who believes in abortion and hard living.

I’ve never been a religious person – the only time I went to church growing up was at Easter to get a free Easter egg (although it was always a Spar special egg, dead cheap with white bloom on the chocolate) or Christmas for the same reason, substituting egg for a chocolate jesus. It didn’t help that the guy delivering the sermons had an almighty lisp, which as a child was immensely hilarious. I know, cruel, but there you go. Actually, unusual disability seems to have followed me around through religion – our RE teacher in middle school was amazing (used to let us watch South Park rather than read the bible) but he had a tremor in his left hand, which combined with his hand all clawed up through arthritis, looked like he was wanking all the time. Awful I know, but that also used to cause much hilarity during lessons – teacher twittering on about God whilst calling him a wanker with his left hand.

I haven’t had much experience with other religions either, sadly. As part of a cultural exchange, our class had to go and visit Newcastle Hindu Temple – the idea being our minds would be broadened by their lavish food, colourful buildings and pleasant atmosphere, whereas young Hindu children would get to come and sit on the rock hard pews and listen to a man in a frock lisp his way through All Thingth Bright and Beautiful. Well see it was all going swimmingly until we had to sit cross-legged on the floor and listen to the brahmin explain Hinduism – champion. Except I, coming from an environment where the only spice I consumed belonged to Ginger, Baby, Scary, Sporty and Posh, was having a bad reaction to the pakora we had been given at the start and, genuinely accidentally, let out a fart that, pushed between my flabby schoolboy bumcheeks and the hard, polished floorboards, was ridiculously loud. And long. Once it was coming, there was no stopping it – at least ten seconds easily of earth-shattering, hair-burning fart. It sounded like the police helicopter was hovering overheard, it truly did. No-one believed me that it was a genuine accident and I got made to stand outside, although to be fair that was probably to give my nipsy a chance to cool off in the autumn air. I got detention and summarily bollocked for that little incident. It’s no wonder there’s so much tension these days – if only there’d been a bit more tension in my sphincter, eh.

Whilst I’m talking about religion, a quick comment on the upcoming Pegida march through Newcastle. I find it shameful, utterly shameful. People say it isn’t racist but you’ve only got to look at the comments on Facebook to see the true colours. I’ll say only one thing – people bleat on and on and on about what asylum seekers get given – but they base it on hearsay and what they read in the paper. Take a moment, do some proper research – they get next to nothing. I worked for a charity for over a year and the state of some of the properties that these asylum seekers were living in would make you weep. It really would. You’d hear stories of what they went through, what they’d seen, and you’d know straightaway why they tried to get away. Awash with benefits? Absolutely not. And do you know, it was always, always, ALWAYS the same type of person complaining about foreigners getting this that and the other – bone-idle, lazy bastards who had never worked a day in their life, or even intended to. Give me 1000 asylum seekers over just one of those type of people each and every time. That’s all I’m saying – don’t like to tubthumb on a funny blog, but it boils my piss.

Anyway! Let’s move on. Tonight’s recipe is these lovely falafel burgers, served with tzatziki dip.


Assume you’re using your bun as your healthy extra, this is syn free. Admittedly I had two, but ssh.

to make falafel burgers you will need:

1/4 chopped onion, three cloves of garlic, a good handful of parsley (or rocket), 2 tsp cumin, pinch of smoked paprika, salt and pepper, 1 tsp of lemon zest, 1/2tsp of baking soda, pinch of pepper. You’ll also need 250g of chickpeas but NOT the tinned version, no, get dried and soak them for around 36 hours – just cover them, leave, drain and dry. I chucked in some shredded chicken that I had in the fridge but you don’t need to.

to make falafel burgers you should:

blend everything together, gently – you want a coarse, grainy paste, nothing too smooth. If you need to dry it out a little, add breadcrumbs (6 syns for a wholemeal roll). Shape into four burgers and put in the fridge for 30 minutes. Bake on 180 for thirty minutes, serve with tzatziki in a wholemeal bun!

to make tzatziki you will need:

mix 200g of finely chopped cucumber, a small red onion finely chopped, 200g of fat free yoghurt, a bit of garlic finely chopped, 1 tbsp of lemon juice and salt and pepper. Season to taste and put in the fridge until you need it.

Enjoy, enjoy.