Falafel is all about goodness, made totally of chickpeas or garbanzo beans.
Love it because it is one of the tastiest vegetarian food. It can be a starter or it can be the main meal.
I ate this many years ago in London for the first time in one of the Middle Eastern Cafés which are just about everywhere in the London streets. It was good. It reminded me of snacks that I ate as a child but not the “’dressed up’’ kind.
I began to have a liking for such food and I started exploring the making of it as well as eating in places where middle eastern food is served. Not that I have tried all but the tastiest was in Amsterdam near a palace. Really couldn’t remember the name of the restaurant though.
Now coming back to the making – many make the mistake of boiling or steaming the dried chickpeas.
Absolute NO! The dried chickpeas needs to be soaked preferably overnight and blended with some ingredients.
Form into canelles or lime sized balls, then just deep fry, no need for crumbing or egg washing!
I have made it very easy for you to follow my recipe. Easy and yet not short cutting the taste that comes with it.
Here I am using mini chapatis to wrap it, but of course you may use any other wraps such as pita bread or soft tacos that are available in the supermarkets now. Try and you will not be disappointed and you will have an accomplishment of feeding your friends and family a nutritious and tasty meal.
Serve it with Hummus ( a middle- eastern dip) or simply grated cucumber with yoghurt – delicious!
INGREDIENTS to make FALAFEL
1 cup dried chickpeas.
1 green chilli -chopped
1 onion – chopped
1 tsp coriander powder
1 tsp cumin seeds
2 tsp chopped coriander leaves
½ tsp chilli powder
½ tsp Garam masala – recipe in notes.
1 tsp garlic paste or chopped garlic
1 tbsp flour
Oil for frying
Soak chickpeas overnight.
Wash and drain the chickpeas and put in the food processor with the rest of the ingredients except the oil and process till coarsely ground.
Form into canelles or small lime sized balls.
Deep fry in oil. Drain and keep aside. Falafel should be golden brown and crispy on the outside but still soft inside.
Mini chappati – Indian bread made from wholewheat flour
Mix sour cream with cubes of feta cheese.
To serve, place chappati, put some lettuce, put 2 or 3 falafels ,garnish with sour cream . Fold like a taco and munch.
Serve with cucumber relish made with grated cucumber mixed in yoghurt or Hummus.
You can increase the spiciness of the falafel by adding more green chillies and garam masala.
You can use store bought garam masala or you may toast some whole spices, cool and grind it in a coffee grinder.
Sieve it before use. The spices can be varied but I used 2 cinnamon sticks, 1 tbsp cumin seeds, 5 cloves, 1/2 nutmeg, 1 pc mace. Store the extra garam masala in an air tight jar and use it for your other recipes. You can vary the spices used according to your preference.
Besides chappati you can use flatbreads, crepes that are meant to be used as wraps etc. I have used hot dog buns and it works perfectly well. Add more crunchy vegetables such as lettuce, cucumber, and thin slices of fennel.. oh so delicious!
As I have said earlier, the chickpeas must be soaked overnight and should not be cooked!
If you cook them, it is harder to form nice balls and it will be mushy inside. Definite no no!
If you like more crunch, chopped walnuts or pecans can be added to the mixture before frying them.This gives additional texture to the falafel.
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