Tuesday, 10 December 2013

Falafel- a Lebanese fair

My love for falafel is many years old now, but not in the least weakened by invasion of newer cuisines. It all started at Ovenfresh, a nice little cafe hidden in a cozy by-lane of Dadar, an otherwise chaotic suburb. I was meeting a friend there. We decided to give this new name a try. I was very excited; I am, generally when experimenting with food. Two stuffed bread envelopes were served with side salad. We, each took an envelope and bit into amazing flavours. Not experienced before. Loved it. So the affair began. Our rendezvous were not many, but somethings never lose that zing, now do they?

Recipe: Makes for four
Ingredients- for falafel balls
200g Chickpeas, boiled
1.5 tbsp tahini
2 tsp green chillies- coarse paste
1 tsp cumin seeds
2 tbsp corriander, finely chopped
3-4 cloves garlic-minced
1 medium sized onion, finely chopped
2 tbsp maida- all purpose flour
oil to fry. You can make them with little oil in an appam patra / vessel too.
salt to taste

Non-fried falafel balls
1. Soak chickpeas overnight in sufficient water. Cook them in the pressure cooker next morning for 8-10 whistles. Set aside to cool down.
2. Once cool, remove the excess water. Do not throw away as you will need it for hummus. Mash the dry chickpeas with a potato masher, till no chickpea is intact. You now have coarse chickpea paste.
3. Add all the other ingredients and mix well. Form equal sized balls. If you are planning to fry them, ready oil in a deep pan for frying while you are mixing and shaping the falafel balls.
4. Fry till brown and crisp. You can even roll the balls in bread crumbs for extra crispy taste and texture. If not frying, make them in an appam vessel, adding little oil in each round. Cook till golden in colour.
5. Put the fried falafel balls on a tissue paper to drain excess oil.

Ingredients- for hummus
200g chickpeas, boiled
2-3 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
salt to taste
1/2 tsp cumin

1. Grind the chickpeas along will all the other ingredients. Add the chickpea water (kept aside) as required. We are looking at a nice thick paste like consistency. Add more olive oil if required.
2. You can add chopped black olives / parsley if you like. If you have za'atar powder, you can add that as well.

Ingredients- for tahini
3/4 cup sesame seeds
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
salt to taste

1. Grind everything together in a mixer till you get nice thick paste like consistency. Add more olive oil if required.

Putting together Falafel
4-6 pita pockets (available at Moshe's in Mumbai)
3 medium sized tomatoes, finely chopped,
1 large onion, finely chopped,
few salad leaves, roughly torn.
5-6 tbsp red garlic chutney

1. The pita pockets have a thin slit. carefully open the pocket enough to stuff the fillings but be careful not to break it. But if it breaks, it's not a major catastrophe. Just treat it like a sandwich!
2. Those who like it, you can warm the pitas with a bit of butter on tawa. It is not a must.
3. Apply hummus like you would apply butter on a sandwich. Press the falafel balls lightly and stuff them in the pita pockets. Add tomatoes, onions and salad leaves. Add 1-2 tsp tahini. Then top with some garlic chutney and hummus. Cut into two halves. Serve with side salad of your choice. You are now ready to bite into amazing flavours.

Bon Apetit!
This is going to  This entry is going to Potluck Party, Cyber Style @ Jagruti's Cooking Odyssey


  1. Yummy Lebanese platter and loved all recipes.tahini is in my to do list too.happy to follow you.Am Ramya from Lemonkurry along with potluck party

    1. thanks a lot Ramya :) I loved your biscuit brownie entry. It will be fun sharing recipes :)
      Are you following this blog, coz didn't see your name.. ?

  2. Hi Rachana dear , had an opportunity to make your falafel and it was just wonderful.... also first time on your blog and loved it, glad to follow you, do visit my blog when you get time and leave your valuable comments....

    1. thanks a lot Nayana :) loved your blog too! Sorry for replying so late. was down with very bad cold :(


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