Friday, June 4, 2010

Fun Fat Free Falafel that turned out to be more like Chick Pea Kababs!

My parents are usually eat home made North Indian vegetarian food. However with my recent intrusion in their lives they are subject to all my experimentation in the kitchen. With Jai gone to his gaon (village), a ritual that takes place in the month of May and June, I find myself experimenting more and more in the kitchen and cooking my parents some interesting meals. They have been totally cool about trying out the stuff I make.
Funny story about the falafels I made tonight- I'm finding that many of the foreign herbs such as parsley, chives etc. are not as easily available in Thane. I asked my dad to buy some parsley for the falafels. The poor man was sold basil instead of parsley (since he had never seen parsley before). I also bought some  mushroom, garlic hummus, which was a first for them to try. As with anything that they enjoy eating,  I had to plan for my falafels to be spicy and tangy vs. herb infused, warm, simple flavors of tahini, chickpeas and parsley (remember I don't have any parsley at this point).
So ofcourse as my sister says- improvisation is any cook's best friend. The falafel adventure turned more into a spicy kabab dinner. Instead of the traditional parsley I used cilantro (corriander leaves), green chilies and papa's magic masala was introduced to the falafel mix to increase the heat factor. The pita was replaced by parathas and the salad was a nice tangy, limey and spicy mix of onions, tomatoes and green chilies. I made my own version of tatziki sauce and probably the hummus was the only authentic middle eastern item on my dinner menu.

Ingredients for spicy falafels
Chick Peas (2-3 cups)
1/4 bunch Cilantro
Green chilies- according to taste
A thumb size piece of ginger
6-7 cloves of garlic
2 tspn Powdered Cumin
2 tspn Cilantro powder
red chili powder (according to taste)
salt
1/2 cup flour (acts as a binder)
1 tspn baking soda


Soak the chick peas over night.
Par boil them for 10 minutes- they should be soft but crunchy- (skip this step if you are deep frying them)
Blend the chickpeas in small batches in a blender to a bread crumb consistency.
Now blend the cilantro, ginger, green chilies and garlic.

Mix the blended herb mixture, spices, flour and baking soda in the bred crumb like mixture of the chickpeas.
Make small 3 inch diameter patties with the mixture and place them on a hot non-stick skillet with a little olive oil.
Place as many chick pea patties on the skillet and let them cook on low heat (15-20 minutes). This step can be hastened by deep frying- but you know the consequences!
After 15 minutes flip all the falafel on the skillet. They should have a gentle brown skin on them. Cook the other side for 15-20 minutes as well on low heat.

Now the falafel are ready to serve.

For the tatziki sauce:
Drain yogurt in a strainer for a couple of hours till you are left with a soft cheesy consistency. Add minces garlic, cucumber, salt and pepper ( pssst...I added some green chilies as well.

Decorate the store bought hummus with chick peas and olive oil and some paprika

Now for the finish:
Serve these falafel babies with parathas and fresh salad (onions, tomato, chilies, lime and papa's magic masala)
Spread the tatziki and hummus on the paratha. Place two pieces of falafel. Squeeze some lime on the falafel. Place as much salad on the falafel. Roll and enjoy.

P.S. Make extra falafels- they make excellent leftovers. Great as a burger in whole wheat buns and garlicy tatziki. Mmmmmm!

6 comments:

  1. ohhhhhhhhhhhhh I LOVE LOVE LOVE :
    a) the second picture with the spices and herbs - so colorful and beautiful i can taste and smell them all!
    b) the correlle plates! they remind me so much of home!
    c) i love the picture with mom's hands (picture 7) making the patties.
    so lovely!

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  2. I am a big fan of hummus and cous cous. Somehow falafel seems a bit sinful to me :)

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  3. Lovely explanations and crispy

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  4. Hey Shanthi- Thanks for visiting the blog and commenting. Hope to see you here more often..

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