Monday, October 24, 2011

Meatless Monday - Falafels

Another family favorite - falafels. This recipe was a little too spicy for my 4 and 1 year old (next time I will cut down on the onion to see if it makes it more palatable for them).  I used to buy a premade mix for falafels, but this recipe is so easy and delicious, no need for a mix (adapted from About.com/middleeastern food) -




In case you're not familiar with falafels...


Falafel is very popular in the Middle East as a fast food. Vendors sell it on the street corners in Cairo. As a main dish, it is served as a sandwich, stuffed in pita bread with lettuce, tomatoes, and tahini. As an appetizer, it is served on a salad, or with hummus and tahini. Falafel is a favorite among vegetarians. In Egypt, McDonald's has their version of a falafel sandwich. Can you guess the name? McFalafel, of course (from About.com/middleeasternfood). 


Prep Time: 15 minutes 
Cook Time: 1 hour, 45 minutes  


Ingredients: 1 cup dried chickpeas (or 16 oz. can of chickpeas or garbanzo beans) 
1 large onion, chopped 
2 cloves of garlic, chopped 
3 tablespoons of fresh parsley, chopped 
1 teaspoon coriander 
1 teaspoon cumin 
2 tablespoons flour 
Salt 
Fresh ground pepper 
Coconut oil for frying 


Preparation: Soak dried chickpeas overnight. Drain chickpeas, and place in pot with fresh water, and bring to a boil. Boil for 2 minutes, then simmer for about an hour. Drain and allow to cool for 15 minutes. If you're in a crunch for time, canned chickpeas can be used. I find that dried and boiled taste much better - sometimes canned chickpeas are a bit slimy. 


Combine chickpeas, garlic, onion, coriander, cumin, salt and pepper (to taste) in medium bowl. Add flour. Mash chickpeas (with fork or food processor), ensuring to mix ingredients together until a thick paste forms. 




Form the mixture into small balls, about the size of a ping pong ball. Slightly flatten. I pan fry with coconut oil, or you can fry in 2 inches of oil at 350 degrees until golden brown (5-7 minutes). 






Serve hot as an appetizer with hummus and tahini, or as a main course.  Make it into a sandwich with pita bread, top with lettuce, tomatoes (we omitted tomatoes - nightshade), red onion, tahini, yogurt, salt and pepper.  Falafel can also be formed into patties and served like a burger. 


Serves 4


Do you have a favorite Middle Eastern food?

5 comments:

  1. Okay, this looks doable for me. Keep them coming! I am going to need some Big time help once Boston training starts...well, that is next week! Bring on the healthy recipes! I need HELP. :) Happy Monday!

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  2. I like the texture of these so much better than the deep fried ones too!

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  3. That sounds really yummy! I'll have to give it a try. And I owe you some recipes..hoping to post some this week!

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  4. Yumster! We love falafels and they really are easy to make.

    Now to the important stuff...how do you pronounce it???

    DH says fahl a fell
    I say fah la fuhl

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  5. Yes, this totally looks do-able and with the meat-devouring caveman away this week, I may try it!

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Have you tried this gear? Something similar you like better? Something I should try? Let me know by leaving a comment!

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