Falafel

Falafel

If you were in Israel, you probably noticed the fast food vendors selling pita with ruddy balls. These balls are called falafel. They are made from chickpea or other legumes, often from their mixture, necessarily with the addition of oriental spices, breaded in flour, breadcrumbs or sesame, fried in deep fat. In fact, falafel belongs not only to the Jewish cuisine - it is prepared in Palestine, Syria, Lebanon, Iraq. It is believed that the food was originally invented in Egypt, they were replaced with meat there during Lent, but gradually the dish spread to a large part of the Middle East. His savory taste won the hearts of many of our compatriots, especially often include it in the menu of vegetarians.

Cooking Features

Even an aspiring cook can be able to cook falafel at home, but he cannot do without knowing some of the points.

  • Most often falafel is made from chickpea or its mixture with other legumes. This product is solid and requires long preparation. If you do not first soak it in cool water for at least 12 hours, you will not be able to make savory balls out of it. Peas and beans before cooking falafel also need to soak, but for less time.
  • Falafel is among the savory dishes. Unless Eastern spices are put into it, he will lose some of his charm. Usually it is supplemented with turmeric, cumin, coriander, various types of pepper. Especially popular is the Lebanese blend consisting of black and allspice peppers, ginger, cinnamon and nutmeg.
  • Falafel is usually made in the form of balls the size of a walnut, but this is not mandatory. In the Middle East, you can find a larger oblong or flattened falafel. Sometimes it even reminds us of the chops we are used to.
  • Traditionally, falafel is fried in a large quantity of butter in a pan (it should cover the bottom with at least a three-centimeter layer). But if you are committed to a healthy diet, you can move away from tradition and bake falafel in the oven. It will not be as ruddy and crunchy as traditional, but it will still be tasty.
  • After deep-frying, the falafel is spread on a dish covered with a napkin so that it absorbs excess oil.
  • Often, fresh greens, onions or garlic, and cheese are added to give falafel new flavors. Adding eggs or starch allows you to make the balls more dense, so that they do not fall apart when frying in deep fat.

Falafel can be served not only in a drink, but also with vegetable stew, vegetable salad. He himself can also serve as a side dish for meat dishes, it is especially well combined with smoked meats. As a separate snack, falafel is also good, but then it’s better to serve it with sauce.

The classic recipe for chickpea falafel

Composition:

  • chickpeas - 150 g;
  • onions - 100 g;
  • dill - 20 g;
  • parsley - 20 g;
  • coriander - 2-3 g;
  • zira - 2-3 g;
  • turmeric - 1 g;
  • dried garlic - 1 g;
  • chili flakes - 2-3 g;
  • mustard seeds - 1 g;
  • salt - to taste;
  • breadcrumbs, vegetable oil - as required.

Method of preparation:

  • Rinse chickpeas, cover with water. Its level should be several centimeters higher.
  • Leave for 12 hours.
  • Rinse. During this time, chickpeas should become softer and increase in volume by about 2-2, 5 times.
  • Place chickpeas in portions in a blender container and chop until a homogeneous composition is obtained.
  • In the greenery, tear off the leaves - the stems will not be needed.
  • Free the onions from the husk, cut into large pieces.
  • Place the onions and green leaves in the blender jar, chop. Connect with chickpeas.
  • Spice up the spices in a mortar with salt or grind them with a coffee grinder.
  • Add spices to chickpeas. Mix thoroughly. This can be done manually or using household appliances (blender, mixer).
  • From the resulting mass, form balls with a diameter of about 2 cm. Dip them in breadcrumbs.
  • Add oil to the pan. It should cover at least 3 cm bottom.
  • Heat the oil.
  • In the boiling oil, lower the chickpea balls, fry them until they are lightly browned.

It is possible to grind chickpeas and ingredients not only in a blender, but also using a meat grinder. The number and ratio of spices in the recipe are allowed to change according to their gastronomic preferences.

Lentil Falafel

Composition:

  • lentils - 0, 25 kg;
  • red onion - 100 g;
  • garlic - 2 cloves;
  • cilantro - 10 g;
  • parsley - 20 g;
  • salt, spices - to taste;
  • hot peppers - 10 g;
  • lemon juice - 20 ml;
  • breadcrumbs, vegetable oil - as needed.

Method of preparation:

  • Rinse lentils and soak in cool water for 30-60 minutes, depending on its grade. Drain water.
  • With a blender or meat grinder, turn lentils into mashed potatoes.
  • Peel the onion, garlic, pepper.
  • Cut onion into several pieces, mince or chop in a blender. Put onion mashed potatoes to lentils.
  • Finely chop or chop the pepper using kitchen equipment, add it to the rest of the ingredients.
  • Finely chop the greens with a knife, put to other components.
  • Add garlic passed through the press.
  • Pour lemon juice into the food container, add salt and ground spices. Mix well.
  • Form balls, tan and fry in large amounts of boiling oil.
  • Put on a napkin to remove excess oil, and serve to the table.

Lentil falafel is cooked faster than other legumes. This snack option is quite hot, it will appeal to lovers of spicy dishes.

Pea Falafel

Composition:

  • crushed peas - 0, 25 kg;
  • ginger root (fresh) - 20 g;
  • chili pepper - 0, 5 pod;
  • cilantro - 50 g;
  • garlic - 4 cloves;
  • cooked couscous - 100 g;
  • baking powder for dough - 5 g;
  • salt - 5 g;
  • onions - 100 g;
  • wheat flour - 50 g;
  • turmeric, cumin - to taste;
  • breadcrumbs, vegetable oil - as required.

Method of preparation:

  • Soak the peas overnight or at least for 4 hours. Throw it in a colander, but do not pour the water out from under it.
  • Grind peas with a blender or meat grinder.
  • Cut the peppers and onions into small pieces. Pass them together with garlic cloves through a meat grinder or turn them into puree using a blender.
  • Pour boiling water over couscous, after a few minutes loosen it with a fork.
  • Combine the pea puree with vegetable, add couscous, flour, salt, spices, baking powder and crushed cilantro with a knife. Mix thoroughly. To obtain a compound with a consistency that resembles thick stuffing, add a little pea liquid.
  • Form balls, lightly flatten them. Fry from both sides to brown in hot oil.

Falafel made with this recipe resembles small patties. If they are not fried, but baked in the oven or boiled for a couple, they can be considered a dietary dish.

Chickpea Falafel

Composition:

  • chickpea flour - 0, 23 kg;
  • semolina - 60 g;
  • wheat flour - 50 g;
  • soda - 5 g;
  • onions - 100 g;
  • salt, spices - to taste;
  • water, breadcrumbs, oil - as required.

Method of preparation:

  • Spread the ground flour with warm, boiled water so that it becomes like a village sour cream.
  • Separate the semolina, onion, spices and salt in a blender. Add 50 ml of water to this mixture and leave for half an hour to make the semolina swollen.
  • Combine the prepared mixture with chickpeas, mix well.
  • Add wheat flour, mix again.
  • Roll small balls out of the resulting dough, roll in breadcrumbs and fry in deep fat.

This dish can be served with a sauce prepared on the basis of fermented milk products. One of the options is a mixture of ryazhenka and grain mustard.

Falafel is a popular snack that is prepared in many countries in the Middle East. The dish is balls of chickpeas or other beans. Food is prepared with the addition of spices, fried in deep fat, served separately or with vegetables. Falafel is often used as a pita filling.

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