Thursday, April 12, 2012

National Dishes #86 Falafel

Falafels are not a food that I am incredibly familiar with. Usually if I was at a place that served them, they usually opted for another food that they offered such as a gyro. When I was looking for good vegetarian meals, I kept coming across falafels. I had several revelations making this food myself. First,

making this from scratch is really easy. Second, all of the ingredients for this food are ones that we stock regularly in our house.Third, I love falafels. Just a week into my two months of vegetarianism, I had already found two foods that will get rolled into our regular rotation for meals. The first part of making Falafels takes place the night before you are to make this dish. This is, assuming that you have dried chickpeas. If you are using canned chickpeas, you can save yourself some time and the bragging rights of making something from scratch. Here is a tip for you if you are going to soak dried beans overnight. Add one part baking soda to one part salt and two parts. flour.

Once you are ready to use the beans, rinse them off. This mixture does several things. First, it prevents the beans from staying hard once they are cooked. Secondly, through the magic of science, it prevents (or at least lowers) the gaseous side effect of eating legumes.
For the next step, add the chickpeas and a small onion into a food processor. Pulse until the peas are chopped into small pieces. Add :
1/2 cup fresh parsley                                                2 cloves garlic                                                          1 egg                                                                       2 teaspoons ground cumin                                        1 teaspoon ground coriander                                    1 teaspoon salt                                                  Pinch Fresh Ground Pepper                               Pinch Cayenne Pepper                                             1 teaspoon lemon juice                                             1 teaspoon baking powder                                       1 Tablespoon olive oil                                               Pulse until the contents have smoothed out. Then Add  1 cup breadcrumbs. Pulse together more. This will dry up the mixture and allow you to form it into balls. Don't pulse too long, you don't want a paste.
Form into balls.                                                        

To make the sauce, peel, seed and finely cut a cucumber. Mix 6 ounces plain yogurt, 1 teaspoon dill weed and salt/pepper to taste, and 1 Tablespoon mayonnaise.
Add a 3 Tablespoons of oil to skillet pan. Cook Falafel balls on medium high heat, rotating every thirty second to brown each side. To assemble, spread cucumber sauce over flat bread, add falafel balls, cut cucumbers and tomatoes. Roll. Feel free to smash the falafel balls down inside the wrap. this will prevent the bites from being too big AND you can get a better sauce/vegetable ration with each ball.
Restaurant: Petra Falafel House

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