Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Tasty Tuesdays - Falafel Dinner

Tasty Tuesdays? What happened to Munchie Mondays? Well I have found that on Monday I just want to write about my weekend, so I've altered my format a little bit. I'm crazy like that.

Speaking of being crazy, last week I decided to make falafel. I've never even eaten falafel before much less tried to make it, but Geoff loves the stuff and I'm a big fan of chickpeas so I figured I'd like it too. I was right! I know it doesn't look to pretty, but this is really yummy so this is one of those times that you don't want to judge a book by its cover, ok? In case you're wondering I found the recipe here.

1 cup chickpeas (I actually used one can which was probably more than 1 cup...oh well)
1/2 large onion, roughly chopped
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley (mine was right out of our garden!)
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh cilantro (mine wasn't fresh)
1 teaspoon salt
1/2-1 teaspoon dried hot red pepper (I used cayenne)
4 cloves of garlic
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon baking powder
4-6 tablespoons flour
Soybean or vegetable oil for frying
Chopped tomato for pita filling
Diced onion for pita filling
Diced green bell pepper for pita filling
Tahini sauce (I actually used guacamole...I'll explain later)
Pita bread

1. Place the drained, uncooked chickpeas and the onions in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Add the parsley, cilantro, salt, hot pepper, garlic, and cumin. Process until blended but not pureed.

2. Sprinkle in the baking powder and 4 tablespoons of the flour, and pulse. You want to add enough flour so that the dough forms a small ball and no longer sticks to your hands. Turn into a bowl and refrigerate, covered, for several hours.*

3. Form the chickpea mixture into balls about the size of walnuts, or use a falafel scoop, available in Middle-Eastern markets.

4. Heat 3 inches of oil to 375 degrees in a deep pot or wok and fry 1 ball to test. If it falls apart, add a little flour. Then fry about 6 balls at once for a few minutes on each side, or until golden brown.

5. Drain on paper towels. Stuff half a pita with falafel balls, chopped tomatoes, onion, green pepper, and drizzle with tahina thinned with water**.

*Ok, probably because I used too many chickpeas my dough did not form a non-sticky ball. I also did not refrigerate the mixture...I used it right away. Everything turned out fine! It was a little more difficult to roll the mixture into balls as it was pretty sticky, but they stayed in shape and fried up nicely.

**I went to three different grocery stores (including Whole Foods) looking for tahini and could not find it. I figured I'd make my own since all you have to do is roast sesame seeds and combine them with oil in a food processer. I did this, tasted it, and gagged. I am NOT a fan of sesame seeds or anything flavored with sesame so why I thought I'd like a sauce made almost entirely of sesame seeds is beyond me. I tried mixing the paste with garlic and seasonings but it still wasn't up to par. This was a little frustrating since I'd spent hours of my life searching for and then making it, but oh well. Instead, I made my famous guacomole (avacado, mayo, salsa, garlic, onion salt, black pepper) and spread it on the inside of the pita pockets. Geoff liked my tahini mixture so he stuck with that.

Falafel? Is yummy! It had a nice kick to it because of the cayenne and came out so great. I really recommend you try it...it's worth it! There was even enough for lunch the next day...it sure beat my usual PB&J!



O.F.C.J. said...

Ooh yum. That looks good. I've heard of Falafel so many times, but never seen or tried it. I'd like to.


CLR said...

I never knew what Falafel was either. It looks delish!

Boots the Awesome said...

Yummy falafel! You're such a cool cook. I can only aspire to be you someday. ;)

Meg said...

mmm falafel. I definitely need to trying making these one day!

Unknown said...

Oh wow, does that ever look and sound YUMMY!

I love falafel. So delish! I'll probably never make it though; I never do deep fried stuff because I'm too lazy and don't like to clean up after!

Áine said...

Your blog always makes me hungry! lol :) Thanks for the recipe

Debbie said...

You know? I don't think I've ever tried falafel either. I bet I'd like it too since I love chick peas. I think I'll need to try it. I love that you tried something for the first time by making it yourself! Brave! I did the same exact thing with brussels sprouts and loved them! Who knew?

Jen T said...

O.F.C.J. - Try it! It's good:) Welcome by the way!

Christie - It's good, I'd seen and heard of it but for some reason never tried it. Glad I did!

Boots - Imagine if we could combine our Awesomeness into one being? We'd be one hot, smart, sassy, musical, culinary masterpiece!

Meg - Do it!

Picture Imperfect - It really was easy. Just a pan with oil in it, not too much clean up at all!

Smileyfreak - Haha, me too actually. Whenever I'm posting recipes I get hungry for it all over again.

Debbie - I have yet to be brave enough to try brussel sprouts...maybe someday!

kathryn said...

Wow! You never cease to amaze me! They look great!

Unknown said...

Tee hee... you've never seen me cook.

Kooking with Klutzy would be an accurate title if I had a tv show. LOL! I have never deep fried because I'm scared I'll set my kitchen/self on fire. ;o)

I'll take your word for it though, I really do believe you. Mostly I am just making excuses for being lazy.