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Friday, 10 June 2011

Falafel @ home!

Home-made Falafel are delicious!
Right before everyone heads out of Dubai for summer vacations, why not invite your friends over for a real good Breakfast / Brunch next weekend? I am going to post all-time favourites, breakfast / Brunch platters, throughout this week so you can throw the best get together next weekend!!! You are going to love this :)

I will start with everyone's favourite Falafel

Falafel Sandwich
Contrary to common belief, Falafel -just like Hummus-  in fact belong to and originate from Middle Eastern / Arabic cuisine, which is essentially very influenced by the Turkish cuisine! It is mainly made out of minced chickpeas, broad beans herbs and a special falafel spice mix.
In the Middle East, Falafel is usually served alongside Hummus, Fool (broad beans mash), Fatet Hummus (A preparation of Hummous with a bed of bread underneath), Taratoor (a tahina sauce served with falafel, recipe below), or can be served as a sandwiches: with a tahina salad, pickles, tarator and sometimes hummus together with fresh mint leaves all wrapped in pita bread.
Falafel is essentially a breakfast item, but can also be had any time of the day.

Friday Mornings in Amman
will have you standing in long lines
waiting for your falafel
Growing up in Amman, it is tradition for most families to go buy Falafel, Hummus, Fattet Hummus and fool early on Friday mornings and gather up the family for an early breakfast. When we used to go on sleepovers at my grandparents', my grandpa used to always make sure to go really early to buy these, and would prepare breakfast for us before we woke up! I used to love sleeping over there, and occasionally I would get to go with him, if I woke up early :) Today, the same tradition lives on in Amman, and you would actually have to stand in a long line before it's your turn to pick your order! So if you love Falafel like I do, here is how you can make them....

Brown broad Beans (Fool)
You Need
2 cups dried chickpeas, soaked in water for 24 hours
1 cup dried brown broad beans (fool), soaked in water for 24 hours
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 green chili, finely chopped (optional)
1 medium green capsicum, finely chopped
1/4 cup fresh mint leaves, finely chopped
1/4 cup parsley, finely chopped
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 tsp cumin powder
1 tsp dried coriander powder
2 tsp DK Falafel Spice Mix
1 tsp Baking powder
1 tsp Bicarbonate of Soda (optional)
Special tools are used to shape
Falafel rounds

Place all in a food processor and process till fine and smooth. After processing, add cumin and coriander powder and 1 tsp DK Falafel Spice Mix, B.powder and B.soda; mix all to combine. Add 2 tbsp water (just enough to help the mixture bind together. Do not go overboard with the water)

At this point, you can either shape the falafel rounds by hand to the desired size, or you can use a special tool that has a cavity, which you fill with falafel mix and scrape off the excess. The shape is usually round, but you can make it a little flattened or into the shape of small sausages for variation. I personally prefer the classic round shape.

deep fry in hot oil till browned

Mini Falafel Wraps
Picture from BBC Good Food
once shaped deep fry in hot oil till browned on all sides. Drain a little on a sieve, transfer to serving plate and serve hot. you can sprinkle falafel with toasted sesame seeds or Sumac for garnish and added flavour. I find that falafel go especially well with fresh tomato and hummus...

Falafel is an excellent option for cocktail parties too! You can make them small and serve them on sticks with a taratoor sauce as dip. or I love this option from BBC GOOD FOOD, where they are served as mini sandwiches (wrapped in mini pita triangles).

For Taratoor Dip
You Need
1/2 cup Tahina (sesame paste)
1 cup water
juice of 1 lemon
1/2 clove garlic, finely minced
fresh mint Shiffonade for garnish

mix all except mint shiffonade very well till combined and smooth. It should be of ribbon consistency. Serve alongside Falafel.
Taratoor is also traditionally served alongside fried fish platters.

Enjoy :)

Hope you have enjoyed this post, and that you will give this recipe a try. It is a very good recipe and you don't have to have Falafel only from restaurants, you can make it @ home :)
Do let me know what you think of this recipe and if you usually make Falafel @home. So leave me a message before you go, I do love to hear from you...

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