After living for over a year in Middle East, it was time to attempt recreating what I have grown to love eating every now and then in Dubai & Bahrain - Falafel Sandwich & Hummus. Till coming to this part, I have to admit not knowing much about all these dishes other than Shawarma in Delhi. But once I did, I regretted not having discovered it earlier or having good Lebanese or Arabic restaurants in Delhi.
Sometimes in life we forget to know our neighbour in the quest to know the world. That's what's happened to our neighbourhood Arabic cuisine, which I strongly believe to be the cuisine closest to Indian, in terms of flavours and spices. Unfortunately its not as popular as Chinese or Italian to have entered our life back home. Arabic or Mediterranean cuisine is an amalgamation of foods & cooking styles from many countries of that region. What unifies all of them is the high health quotient with grilled meat and vegetables, large portions of leafy salads, lots of usage of olive oil and garlic making an integral part of it.Falafel is one of the most popular street food of this part of the world, almost like 'samosa' back home. It's a patty made of mainly chickpeas and few other additions. And mostly its served as a sandwich in pita bread with a dip and salad as complete meal. But surely one can dig a bite into the patties just like too. I also made its companion hummus, the most essential dip in Arabic cuisine made again of chickpeas, blended with sesame and olive oil.
Falafel Sandwich Recipe
Recipe Source: Nita Mehta' s Multi Cuisine Cookbook
Note: Don't get startled by the long list, its just like making a cutlet with a chutney!!
1 1/4 cups chickpeas - soaked overnight
1 cup chopped parsley/ coriander
1/4 tsp hing (asafoetida)
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/2 tsp baking powder
2 bread slices - ground in mixer to get fresh crumbs
1/2 tsp lemon juice
Grind to a paste:
2 tsp coriander seeds
2 tsp cumin seeds
5-6 garlic flakes
4 tbsp all purpose flour/ maida
Oil for frying - I toasted them on pan, so 2-3 tbsp oil
Pita Bread - 6, cut in 2
1/2 cup shredded letttuce
- Soak chickpeas overnight. Drain water and cook them till well cooked. If using pressure cooker - 5-6 whistles on medium flame. Drain and reserve little water.
- Grind all ingredients of paste and make crumbs of bread
- Put cooked chickpeas in a grinder and make a very very coarse paste, retaining some texture. Use very little water (of drained chickpeas) only to run your blender
- Add chopped coriander, bread crumbs and ground paste to chickpeas and blend it just once, so that it all gets well combined
- Now transfer to a large bowl and add hing, salt, pepper and lemon juice and mix well and knead it
- If deep frying, heat oil in pan or if pan frying, heat the skillet/pan
- Make small balls of the mixture. Flatten them to form patties. Roll these patties in flour till its well coated. Dust of extra.
- Now either deep fry or shallow fry or pan fry the patties till golden brown on both sides
- Keep it on tissue to drain excess oil
1 cup chickpeas - soaked overnight
1/2 tsp hing
Salt & Pepper to taste
2-3 tbsp Olive oil
4 tbsp lemon juice
3 tsp sesame seeds (til)
4-6 garlic flakes
- Rinse the soaked chickpeas really well. Put them in 3 cups of boiling water in a large pan with baking soda. Bring to a boil. Then let it simmer till almost done. Keep removing the froth created by chickpeas. Alternately cook it in pressure cooker till 4 whistles.
- Now place these hot chickpeas under cold water to remove the skin - this helps in getting smoother dip
- Puree the raw chickpeas with hing, salt, pepper, 1 tbsp olive oil, lemon juice and minimum amount of water to get a thick paste
- Roast sesame seeds and garlic on a tawa. Grind them together. Mix this paste and 1-2 tbsp olive oil with the chickpea paste.
- Serve at room temperature
For making the sandwich, warm the pita breads on the skillet. Cut it in half and open the each piece with a knife from the center to create a pocket in each semi circle. In this pocket spread 1 - 2 tbsp hummus dip and 2 falafel patties and some shredded lettuce. Serve it with the hummus dip and your tasty lunch is ready.
Sending it as my entry to Bookmarked recipes-every tuesday.