Falafel is a popular fast food in Israel – a delicious combination of spicy chickpea filling in pita bread wrap. In fact, falafel is synonymous with many parts of the Middle East. Falafel is also served as an appetizer, either as balls or as a patty. Falafel balls are usually served with humus or yogurt sauce. Often, falafel balls are eaten alone as a snack, sans the pita bread. The falafel patty is not made with cooked chickpeas. Instead, they are soaked and ground with onions and spices. These patties are then fried.
The Egyptian version of falafel contains fava beans while the Middle Eastern one is made with chickpeas. Falafel is popular with vegetarians and is rich in fiber and protein. Interesting variations on the original falafel recipe include replacing chickpeas with white beans, canellini or black beans. In Lebanon, you can get your falafel with a topping of tahini sauce.
Don't be surprised to find falafel with toppings like hot pepper flakes, cilantro, sauerkraut or dill. Piping hot falafel served in freshly baked pita and layered with crisp vegetables is sure to appeal to most. Falafels are popular since they are nutritious and cheap. They also confirm to Kosher rules. In Egypt, falafel is known as ta 'amiyya and is served with tahini sauce. You can serve the falafel on a bed of thinly spread hummus. Garnish the platter with chopped parsley and lemon wedges.
Soak chickpeas overnight. Blend chickpeas with garlic, green onions, coriander, cumin, freshly ground pepper and egg. Shape into balls or patties and fry over medium heat till golden brown. Use flour or egg as a binding agent while shaping falafel balls. Serve falafel with sliced tomatoes and cucumbers. This recipe for yogurt sauce is a wonderful accompaniment for falafel, as a dipping sauce or to drizzle over the prepared falafel.
Recipe for yogurt sauce: Blend plain yogurt, pepper, mint, garlic and salt till smooth.
Recipe for relish: Chop tomatoes, cucumber and mint leaves. Mix with plain yogurt and season with mint leaves, salt and pepper.
Sauté chopped onions and garlic. Blend it once it has cooled. Add soaked chickpeas along with seasoning such as cilantro, parsley and cayenne. Add fresh lemon juice. Knead the mixture to form patties. You can grill the patties if you want to avoid deep fried falafel.
Bake the falafels
1 cup cooked chickpeas 1 chopped garlic pod 1 tbsp chopped onion Cumin powder as per taste Coriander powder as per taste Chili powder as per taste Fresh ground pepper 1 tbsp Extra virgin olive oil Blend the ingredients for the falafel in a processor - chickpeas, garlic, onions, spices, oil and salt. You can add a bit of flour to help the mixture to bind well. Form small balls with this smooth mix. Preheat the oven to 400F. Bake the falafel balls for about 30 min. They will turn out golden brown and crisp.