This website uses cookies to improve your experience navigating our site. By continuing to browse, you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

OK, I understand

Free to Feed · Felafel

Food

It’s a new month, which means we welcome a new Tasty Tuesday contributor, or in this case, two. We’re pretty excited to share the recipes of Hamed Allahyari of Free to Feed and Julia Busuttil Nishimura of OSTRO.

Free to Feed is a not-for-profit cooking class and workshop program hosted by asylum seekers and refugees. The project was founded by young Melbourne husband and wife team Loretta and Daniel Bolotin, in order to provide meaningful employment to asylum seekers and refugees, and share their vibrant culture with the people of Melbourne. We’re so in awe of Loretta and Daniel’s vision and incredible work bringing Free to Feed to life!

Born in Tehran, and having owned a cafe in his hometown, Hamed dreams of opening another in Melbourne one day, and is passionate about Persian cuisine. Together with Julia, Hamed has been bringing some of his favourite recipes to life in his cooking classes over at Free to Feed, along with other great classes by a host of teachers from diverse backgrounds. Today the pair teach us how to make the tastiest homemade felafel ever (not kidding – it’s so simple but SO good).

2nd August, 2016

Loretta Bolotin, co-founder of Free to Feed with Hamed Allahyari of Free to Feed and Julia Busuttil Nishimura of OSTRO. Location: Firecracker HQ in Thornbury. Photo – Eve Wilson. Styling assistant – Natalie Turnbull.

Felafel ingredients. Recipe by Hamed Allahyari and Julia Ostro for Free To Feed. Props – plate from Tyler Hayes from BDDW, linen napkin from Mr Draper, flat plate and bowl by Valerie Restarick, small dish by Bridget Bodenham. Surface from Fibonacci Stone. Photo – Eve Wilson. Styling – Lucy Feagins. Styling assistant – Natalie Turnbull.

Felafel. Recipe by Hamed Allahyari and Julia Ostro for Free To Feed. Props – plate from Tyler Hayes from BDDW, green condiment dish from The Establishment Studios, linen napkin by Mr Draper, Cutipol gold fork from Francalia. Surface from Fibonacci Stone. Photo – Eve Wilson. Styling – Lucy Feagins. Styling assistant – Natalie Turnbull.

Hamed Allahyari and Julia Busuttil Nishimura of Free to Feed
Tuesday 2nd August 2016

For the last few months I (Julia) have had the absolute privilege of sharing my kitchen with Hamed Allahyari, as we cook and reimagine his favourite Persian dishes, working together to put a twist on some of the classics. Having owned his own cafe in Tehran, Hamed has dreams of opening a Persian eatery in Melbourne, which will be AMAZINGLY delicious! He has introduced me to new ingredients and taught me how to spot good saffron, and of course the importance of rosewater!

We’ve shared many stories, laughed, cried (me), and bonded over our love of cooking. To me, food is a pretty powerful thing and I feel super lucky to have this opportunity to cook with Hamed and be involved in Free to Feed. This month we will be sharing some of the recipes we’ve worked together to create for Free to Feed, a pop-up cooking school with all classes taught by exceptional cooks from the refugee and asylum seeker community. In each class you can learn to cook authentic, traditional dishes from your instructor’s home country.

First up, is the felafel. Felafel is a street food staple in Tehran, where Hamed grew up. Although found across the Middle East, Iranian felafel are made from very few ingredients, and can be made in a matter of minutes (just don’t forget to soak the chickpeas as there is definitely no short cut)! We added coriander to these felafel (not strictly traditional according to Hamed!) but he cites the importance of the garlic and seasoning to ensure the felafel pack a punch. In fact, Hamed usually adds a whole tablespoon each of pepper and salt, but feel free to season the mixture to suit your taste. The felafel can be eaten on their own or with flat bread and pickles, for a more substantial meal.

Tasty Tuesday shoots are generously supported by The Establishment Studios.

Ingredients (Serves 6)

300g dried chickpeas, soaked overnight
6 cloves of garlic, peeled
1 small red capsicum, diced
1 small bunch coriander, finely chopped
Neutral oil, such as vegetable, for deep frying

To serve (optional)

Pickled vegetables (available from most Middle Eastern grocers)
Flatbread
Dip of your choice

Method

After the chickpeas have been soaking overnight, drain them and place in a food processor with the garlic and capsicum. Blitz until the mixture becomes like fine breadcrumbs and resembles a coarse paste. The mixture should feel a little squishy in your hands and will come together when pressed into a ball.

Transfer to a bowl and add the coriander. Season generously with sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper. Stir to combine and check again for seasoning.

Fill a deep fryer or large pot with vegetable oil and heat to 180C.

Meanwhile, roll golf ball-sized pieces of the felafel mixture with your hands or use a felafel-making tool.

When the oil is at the right temperature, fry in batches until deep golden, draining the cooked felafel on absorbent paper.

Serve immediately with pickled vegetables.

View Comments

Similar Stories

Food

Free to Feed · Baghlava with Rosewater syrup

Introducing Iran's queen of desserts, baghlava.
Hamed Allahyari & Julia Busuttil Nishimura of Free to Feed

Food

Free to Feed · Persian Nougat

A contemporary take on one of Iran's most famous sweets.
Hamed Allahyari and Julia Busuttil Nishimura of Free to Feed

Food

Free to Feed · Herb Yoghurt and Beetroot Dips

Two fragrant, textural dips sure to add excitement to any mezze platter!
Hamed Allahyari & Julia Busuttil Nishimura of Free to Feed

This Week

Food

Julia's Herby Prawn Mayo Sandwiches

Julia Busuttil Nishimura serves up the ultimate summer sanga. YUM!
Julia Busuttil Nishimura

Stays

The Most Dreamy Getaway Spots Of 2021

From beach shacks on Stradbroke Island to a Blue Mountains weekender that floats among the clouds, these are the hottest holiday spots of la...

Family

Artist Miranda Skoczek On Single Parenting, Smelling The Roses + Spontaneity

Artist Miranda Skoczek shares her multigenerational family life in the Dandenongs with son Harper and aunt Margaret.

News

Ring In The New Year With A Massive DOMO Sale!

DOMO are bringing in the new year with up to 50% off major international brands.
Sponsored

Studio Visit

The Graduate Designer Pushing The Limits Of Traditional Furniture Design

Brigitte Owers-Buccianti is the designer behind Real Non-Real, an exciting new practice making multi-functional furniture pieces.

News

Save Soho Rose Farm!

Donate to help save Victoria’s most beautiful field-grown roses, after a devastating hail storm. 

Homes

The Experimental Melbourne Home Of Two Artists

The 'warped maximalist colour feast' home of artists Nabilah Nordin and Nick Modrzewski in Newport, Melbourne.
Lucy Feagins
  6 hours ago

Creative People

Creating Original, Ever-Changing Gardens With Kep Horticulture’s Andy Kepitis

Kep Horticulture founder Andy Kepitis talks how to create dynamic gardens, and his aversion to 'certain' plant palettes!

Tiny Homes

The Most Inspiring Tiny Homes Of 2021

From converted shipping containers to prefabricated dwellings available for purchase, these were our favourite tiny houses of 2021.

Architecture

9 Outrageously Beautiful Australian Coastal Homes

From humble shacks, to architectural masterpieces, these are our favourite beachside homes of 2021!

Gardens

Heide Museum’s Enchanting New Healing Garden

Heide Museum of Modern Art opens a new healing garden – a therapeutic space to benefit the mind, soul, and body.

Food

The Tastiest Recipes Of 2021

From savoury galettes to triple tiered vanilla sponges with craem and lemon curd, these are our five most popular recipes of last year.

On The Market

The Perfect Mid-Century, NSW South Coast Beach House Is For Sale

This mid-century Mollymook Beach house is perfect in its proportions, feel and water views... and it's on the market!

Homes

Designer Anna Spiro’s Heavenly Island Home

The celebrated interior designer shares her relaxed yet luxurious Minjerribah/North Stradbroke holiday house.

Creative People

Seven Standout Emerging Creatives of 2021

Discovering talented new creatives is our favourite thing we do – here are the artists, designers and makers who got us talking in 2021.

Similar Stories

Food

Free to Feed · Baghlava with Rosewater syrup

Introducing Iran's queen of desserts, baghlava.
Hamed Allahyari & Julia Busuttil Nishimura of Free to Feed

Food

Free to Feed · Persian Nougat

A contemporary take on one of Iran's most famous sweets.
Hamed Allahyari and Julia Busuttil Nishimura of Free to Feed

Food

Free to Feed · Herb Yoghurt and Beetroot Dips

Two fragrant, textural dips sure to add excitement to any mezze platter!
Hamed Allahyari & Julia Busuttil Nishimura of Free to Feed

The Design Files acknowledge the traditional custodians of the lands on which we work, the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin Nation. We pay our respects to Elders past and present.

First Nations artists, designers, makers and creative business owners are encouraged to submit their projects for coverage on The Design Files – we would love to hear from you.

Please email us here.