March 25, 2012

falafel three ways

Day 4 of A La Minute Vegetarian I decided to take on falafel, that vegetarian standby of the Mediterranean/Middle Eastern world. While traveling through those regions I had always opted for the meaty kebab instead - I actually never quite understood the appeal of falafel, personally likening it to fried dough with vegetable bits. Like a ball of fiber. Not exciting. But I think I wanted to change my mind and making them from scratch definitely helped.

falafel ingredients

I went off this recipe. Mashed all the chickpeas with my hands - was pleasantly surprised to find that the flat part of my fists were shaped just like one of those potato masher tools.

mixing falafel ingredients

The onion, parsley and garlic were food processed into a paste before they were mixed in - but for some reason the onion taste was really overpowering and I ended up starting everything over. Didn't have time to food process again so the end result was more rustic.

mixing falafel ingredients 2

Also didn't have breadcrumbs so I substituted panko.

falafel balls

Here's the result of the batter shaped into balls - I realize they're just like vegetarian meatballs.

yogurt side

For the sides I did what the recipe suggested for cucumber yogurt, except I added tomatoes and fresh dill.

I wanted more sides though, taking some inspiration from Liba's falafel truck since she provides so many sides with her falafel. I ended up doing sweet gherkins & onions (in pickle juice) as one side and lettuce and carrot ribbons in tahini dressing as another.

falafel special

These also sold pretty fast, deep-fried falafel balls with freshly grilled pita. I ate the sample, and the falafel balls were really tasty with the cumin and various spices. Would make again.

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