April 19, 2012

So I suppose I was on a Mediterranean kick, but I wanted to make some falafel after having some amazing food back in DC.  I found this recipe* online, and since it was my first time I decided to try to follow it as closely as I possibly could.

You’ll need chick peas (I used 1 can), 1/2 of an onion, fresh parsley and cilantro, salt and pepper, dried hot red pepper, 4 cloves of garlic, cumin, baking powder, cooking oil, and flour.  However, instead of using the ingredients they used for their garnish, I used a different recipe for cilantro yogurt*.

Let’s start with the falafel.  If you’ve ever made meatballs before, its pretty much the same process.  Chop up your parsley (2 tablespoons), cilantro (2 tablespoons) and onion. You don’t need to dice these ingredients too finely because the food processor is going to help you out a lot.

If you are using dried chickpeas, you will need to soak them overnight before.  Instead, I used canned chickpeas.  All I had to do was drain and rinse them.  Place the chickpeas, onions, parsley, cilantro, hot pepper, 4 cloves of garlic, and cumin into a food processor.  Process until just integrated.

Since I have a relatively small food processor, I had to blend in batches.  Add 4 tablespoons of flour to the mixture in the food processor.  Place the mixture into the refrigerator for one hour.

While this is cooling, you can prepare your cilantro yogurt.  The recipe is outlined after this recipe is complete.

After your hour, take the dough and form small balls the size of walnuts (about 1.5 inches in diameter, I would say). Heat 3 inches of cooking oil in a pot.  If you don’t have a thermometer, a good way to test if the oil is ready is to drop a small piece of bread in.  If it starts to bubble, it is ready.  Prepare a place with a paper towel on it for when the falafel is fried.

Place one falafel in the oil.  If it disintegrates, then add more oil to the flour mixture.  The recipe says to fry about 6 at a time – it actually affects how the falafel will come out, because the more or less of the flour balls you add to the oil, the more or less you will affect the temperature of the oil.  So we want to try to keep it consistent.

Now for the yogurt…

You’ll need some plain yogurt, freshly chopped cilantro, chopped onion, chopped garlic, lemon juice and cayenne pepper.

Super easy.  Chop all of the vegetables and herbs up, and whisk together with the pepper, yogurt, and lemon juice.

I ate my falafel with Israeli couscous (here*) and some roasted brussel sprouts (here*).  This whole meal ended up being completely vegetarian, which I enjoyed.


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