Falafels!

Falafels

In honor of the recent events in Egypt, we decided to have a Valentine’s Day falafel feast. My favorite recipe is one that I found in the New York Times a number of years ago. Being unsure if falafels were really a favorite in Egypt, I looked up falafels in Wikipedia and was pleased to find out that they may have originated in Cairo. It’s a debatable topic but good enough for me.

Falafels

FALAFEL

Adapted from ”The Complete Mediterranean Cookbook”by Tess Mallos (Charles E. Tuttle Company, 1996)
Time: 1 hour 15 minutes, plus 24 hours for refrigerating chickpeas

1 1/4 cups (8 ounces) dried chickpeas
1/2 cup (3 ounces) bulgur wheat
2 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
4 scallions, roughly chopped
3 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon lemon juice1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
Freshly ground black pepper
Vegetable oil, for deep frying.

1. Place chickpeas in a large bowl and cover with cold water. Refrigerate for 24 hours.
2. Rinse bulgur in a fine-meshed sieve, and transfer to a bowl. Cover and let stand for 20 minutes.
3. Drain chickpeas. In a food processor, combine chickpeas, bulgur, garlic, scallions and parsley. Add coriander, cumin, cayenne, lemon juice, salt and baking soda. Season with black pepper to taste. Process until ground to a coarse paste-like consistency. Cover and let stand for 30 minutes.
4. With moistened hands, shape rounded tablespoons of the mixture into meatball-size balls. Heat oil for deep frying to 375 degrees, or until a cube of bread turns golden in 1 minute. Deep-fry 6 or 7 falafel at a time, turning to brown evenly, about 5 minutes. (To check if falafel is cooked, cut one in half. The color should be even through to the middle. If not even, increase cooking time by 1 minute.) Drain on paper towels.

Yield: About 30 fritters. (Actually makes more like 25)

Hot Sauce

1 cup veggie broth
6 tablespoons tomato paste
2 teaspoons red chili paste
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon fresh parsley, minced
1 tablespoon cilantro, minced

Combine all ingredients in a pot.  over medium heat, simmer till slightly thickened, should take 5 minutes.

Cilantro Yogurt Sauce

1 cup plain yogurt
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/4 cup chopped onion
1 large garlic clove, chopped
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Whisk all ingredients in a bowl.  Season with salt and pepper to taste. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Add a tabouli salad and some hummus and you’ll have a feast!

Tabouli

Tabouli

Hummus

Hummus

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2 Responses to Falafels!

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