Fun with Falafel
Deccan Chronicle.| Bindu Gopal Rao
June 12th is International Falafel Day and we teach you some interesting variants of this Middle Eastern speciality
Falafal is a traditional Middle Eastern deep-fried ball or patty-shaped fritter. (Twitter)
A traditional Middle Eastern deep-fried ball or patty-shaped fritter, falafel is popular with most people as it is a powerhouse of proteins. It is typically prepared with Fava beans or coarsely ground chickpeas, a binding agent, scallions, garlic, parsley, cumin, and coriander. It also happens to be popular during Ramadan and is usually eaten as a part of Iftar.
Falafel can be served on its own with hummus or dips of your choice. It can also be served or tucked in pita bread, as falafel wraps, falafel waffles, falafel pizza, falafel tacos, falafel burgers or sliders and falafel in salads drizzled with tahini sauce or other sauces. You can also skip deep frying the dish and shallow fry or bake it if you are health conscious or watching your calories. The best part of falafel is that you can give it a new twist by choosing new dips and even adding an Indian touch. Falafel can be served as an appetiser with hummus and tahini, or as a main course. Stuff pita bread with falafel, lettuce, tomatoes, tahini, salt, and pepper. As an alternative, falafel can be formed into patties and served like a burger.
Here are some recipes for you to try.
Pita Pocket stuffed with Fattoush Falafel
(courtesy Thejeswara Rao, Executive Sous Chef, THE Park Hyderabad)
Ingredients For Falafel
> Garbanzo beans 250 grams
> Garlic 25 grams
> Parsley few sprigs
> Coriander few sprigs
> Mint few sprigs
> Green capsicum 20 grams
> Onion 20 grams
> Green chillies 10 grams
> Roasted cumin powder 10 grams
> Roasted Bengal Gram powder 10 grams
> Salt 5 grams
> Pepper 5 grams
> Plain flour 20 grams
Ingredients For Fattoush Salad
> Iceberg Lettuce hand full
> Cucumber 10 grams
> Bell peppers 10 grams
> Onion 1 small
> Cherry Tomatoes (optional) 10 grams
> Black Olives 5 grams
> Sumac powder 5 grams
> Lemon juice 20 ml
> Olive Oil 20 ml
Ingredients For Pita Bread
> Refined flour 250 grams
> Salt 6 grams
> Sugar 4 grams
> Yeast 2 grams
For baking fresh pita bread, take flour, yeast, salt, sugar and water. Mix it well, make a dough and rest it for some time.
Sheet the dough and cut it in a round shape. Bake it at 180 degrees for 12 minutes.
Once the pita bread is ready, keep it aside.
To make the falafel, soak garbanzo beans for a couple of hours in cold water. Add coriander, mint, parsley, onion, garlic, green chillies, roasted cumin powder, and roasted Bengal gram powder. Coarsely blend it, give the desired shape, and fry it.
For the fattoush salad, wash the vegetables, and cut them in the desired shapes.
Make a dressing with olive oil, sumac powder, salt, pepper, and lemon juice.
Toss it well and serve on a bed of iceberg lettuce.
Garnish it with olives, parsley, fried pita bread and a pinch of sumac powder.
Make Pita Pockets, apply a dollop of hummus and then load with Falafel & Fattoush salad.
(courtesy Deva Kumar, Executive Chef, Hyatt Regency Chennai)
Chickpeas 200 grams
Onion chopped 100 grams
l Parsley chopped 100 grams
Cilantro (Coriander leaves) chopped 100 grams
Green chili 15 grams
Garlic peeled 20 grams
Cumin seeds 10 grams
Chickpea flour 30 grams
Lemon juice 60 grams
Cooking oil 200 ml
Salt 10 grams
Tahini sauce 50 grams
Soak the dried chickpeas in water overnight.
Drain and rinse the chickpeas and add them to the food processor, along with the onion, parsley, cilantro, pepper, garlic, cumin, salt, and lemon juice.
Pulse the food processor several times until the mixture becomes coarse in texture.
Transfer the mixture to a bowl and add the chickpea flour. Stir together, then cover and refrigerate the mixture for 20 to 30 minutes.
Using your hands, shape the falafel into round patties.
To deep fry the falafel, add about oil to a pot on medium heat. Heat the oil and cook the falafel in batches for 2-3 minutes or until golden.
Serve the falafel immediately, while warm and crispy on the outside.
Crispy Lebanese Falafel
(courtesy Chef Mayur Ramachandran, Executive Chef, Holiday Inn Bengaluru Racecourse & Glass)
1 cup dried chickpeas
1 large onion, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, chopped
3 tablespoons of fresh parsley, chopped
1 teaspoon coriander
1 teaspoon cumin
Salt to taste
Pepper to taste
Oil for frying
Place dried chickpeas in a bowl, covering with cold water. Allow to soak overnight.
Combine chickpeas, garlic, onion, coriander, cumin, salt and pepper (to taste) in a medium bowl.
Mince the chickpeas along with the other ingredients and ensure they are mixed well. Make small balls and slightly flatten.
Fry at 350 degrees until golden brown for 5-7 minutes.
Oats and Cilantro Falafel with Beetroot Tahini
(courtesy Chef Reetu Uday Kugaji, Culinary Expert and Chef Consultant)
Chickpeas, soaked drained and rinsed 1 ¼th cup
Oatmeal — Quick cooking oats ½ cup
Fresh Cilantro, chopped ½ bunch
Onion roughly chopped ½ cup
Parsley, finely chopped 2 tbsp.
Garlic cloves 6 nos.
Cumin, lightly roasted ¾ tsp.
Salt to taste
Bengal gram flour 4 tbsp.
Vegetable oil as required for deep frying
For the Beetroot Tahini Sauce
Tahini ½ cup
Garlic cloves 4 nos.
Cooked Beetroot puree 4 tbsp.
Lemon juice 2 tsp.
Salt to taste
Pepper to taste
Ground cumin ½ tsp.
In a food processor, place the rinsed and uncooked chickpeas. Blend with oats, cilantro, onion, parsley, garlic, cumin, and salt to taste.
To this add two tbsp of Bengal gram flour and pulse. Do not puree it but ensure that it blends properly.
Place the mixture in a glass bowl, cling wrap and refrigerate for two hours.
Divide mixture into 16 equal balls, you may fatten it and deep fry in hot oil on each side so that it is evenly cooked and coloured.
For preparing the Cilantro Tahini Sauce, pulse together the garlic, beetroot puree, cumin, salt, and pepper in a food processor until smooth. Add tahini and freshly squeezed lemon juice; process only for 20 seconds. Add water, if required to adjust consistency and whisk well.
Serve the falafel hot with Beetroot Tahini Sauce.
You may add herbs and freshly ground black peppercorns in the Chickpea mixture before it
(courtesy Monika Manchanda, Chief Culinary Officer & Co-founder, LiveAltLife)
By swapping the traditional chickpeas for some nutrient-packed edamame, you can give a delicious twist to this classic dish. While chickpeas are delicious, edamame offers this dish a green color along with plenty of protein, fiber, and healthy fats to create a well-rounded main dish. Made using plenty of fresh ingredients, this green falafel is packed with flavour and nutrition. Simply serve them with your favourite dips, roll them into a wrap or make them into a sandwich.
For the Falafel
Garlic, chopped 2 tsp
Parsley, chopped 1 tbsp
Edamame, shelled 1 cup
Cumin powder 1 tsp
Coriander powder 1/2 tsp
Almond/Coconut flour 2 tsp (for binding)
Baking powder 1/4 tsp
Salt to taste
Lime juice 2 tbsp
Green chillies 1-2 no's
For the Tahini sauce
Tahini paste 2 tsp
Hung curd 2 tbsp
Lime juice 1 tsp
Warm water 2 tbsp
Chili paste 1 tsp
Blanch the edamame beans in hot water until cooked through.
In a blender add all the ingredients needed for the falafel and blend until coarse.
Do a taste test before taking it out. Increase spice according to preference.
Remove and form into 4-5 balls and then flatten it a little, with the help of your palm.
Deep fry in oil until golden brown and fully cooked.
For the tahini paste, mix all the ingredients together and check for seasoning.
Serve with the dip, or in wraps and sandwiches.
Falafel Shawarma Pocket
(courtesy Ajay Thakur, Corporate Chef, Bayroute)
For the Falafel Base
Chickpeas 250 grams
Roasted Jeera Powder 5 grams
Onion 15 grams
Parsley 25 grams
Coriander fresh 25 grams
Salt to taste
Black Pepper Corn 3 grams
White Sesame 3 grams
Green Chilly 10 grams
For the pockets
Pita Bread 250 grams
Tahini Sauce 5 grams
Gherkins 15 grams
Spicy Sauce 25 grams
Lettuce (Shredded) 25 grams
Tomato (Sliced) a few
To make the falafel, soak the Chickpeas for at least 12 Hours. Strain all the water from the chickpeas. Roughly chop all the vegetables. Add all the ingredients to a blender and start to blend till all the ingredients are well mixed together. Adjust the seasoning. Make small patties of the same. And deep fry at a constant 150 Degrees for six to eight minutes.
To make the pockets, cut the Pita Bread into two and hollow out the pocket. Add In the lettuce, tomato, and gherkins. Add in the spicy sauce and tahini and finally the prepared falafel tikki.
Heat them in a pan till the outside of the pita is nice and warm and serve hot.