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Monday, August 30, 2010

Falafel




Falafel is very popular in the Middle East as a fast food. As a main dish, it is served as a sandwich, stuffed in pita bread with lettuce, tomatoes, and Tahini.
Traditional Falafel balls are made out of Chickpeas, sesame seeds and blend of spices. I find them very dry, and they soak lot of oil when you fry them, so I have modified this recipe using Indian pulses and beans mixed with the falafel mix which is made of chickpeas flour.

Ingredients:

• ½ cup Falafel mix (available in Mediterranean or Indian Stores) .
• 1 cup Moong dal (available in Indian stores)
• ½ cup dry black eye peas
• ½ cup dry split peas green or yellow
• 1 large onion, chopped
• 2 spring onions chopped
• 2 cloves of garlic, chopped
• ½ cup of fresh cilantro, chopped
• ¼ cup parsley, chopped (optional)
• 2 green chilies chopped
• 1 inch piece of ginger minced
• 1 teaspoon coriander powder
• 2 teaspoon cumin powder
• 1 tbl spoon of sesame seeds
• 2 tablespoons flour (can be regular flour or chickpeas flour)
• ½ teaspoon baking soda
• Salt
• Pepper
• Oil for frying

For sandwich: you will need Pita bread, Tahini, chopped lettuce, chopped tomatoes, chopped onions, and hot sauce (all of these ingredient to desired quantity)


Method:


•Place Moong dal, black eyed peas and split peas in a bowl, covering with cold water. Allow to soak overnight.
•Discard all the water from all beans and grind them in a food processor to consistency of a thick paste.
•Add falafel mix, garlic, onion, coriander, cumin, salt and pepper and all the spice to it.
•Form the mixture into small balls, about the size of a ping pong ball. Slightly flatten.
•Fry in 2 inches of oil at 350 degrees until golden brown (5-7 minutes).
•You may bake these too if counting calories. (Baking instructions: you may need to add more flour to the paste for thicker consistency and preheat an oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Then Heat olive oil in a large, oven-safe skillet over medium-high heat. Place the patties in the skillet; cook until golden brown, about 3 minutes on each side. Transfer patties to preheated oven and bake until heated through, about 10 minutes.

Serving Suggestions:

•These patties can be served as an appetizer with hummus and Tahini.
•Can be served in a sandwich: stuff pita bread with Falafel, lettuce, tomatoes, Tahini, and hot sauce.
•As an alternative, Falafel can be served as platter on bed of lettuce topped with tomatoes, onion, Tahini and hot sauce with pita bread on the side.


Recipe for Tahini


Tahini sauce is made from “Tahini” - a sesame seed paste available in Middle Eastern Stores.

Ingredients:


• 1 cup Tahini (available in Mediterranean stores) (you can make it at home by roasting sesame seeds in oven at 325 F for 15 minutes, stirring regularly to toast evenly. Once cool, blend them in commercial power blender with olive oil to paste form, but much easier to buy from store)

• ½ cup Hummus
• ½ cup Sour cream or plain yogurt
• 5-6 gloves garlic, crushed
• 1 teaspoon Cilantro, finely chopped (optional)
• ½ -1 Jalapeno pepper (if want spicy can put more)
• 2 teaspoon salt
• 2 tablespoons olive oil
• ½ cup Lime juice

Method:

In a food processor combine all ingredients together except olive oil and make a thin paste.

Remove from food processor and add olive oil.

Serve immediately or refrigerate.

Recipe Modified by Surekha from original Falafel/Tahini recipes from friends and family.
Photos by Surekha.

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