Monday, May 14, 2012

Falafel from scratch

Last weekend we tried to go to our favorite Mediterranean restaurant. When we reached there, we found out that it was closed forever:(. There are many good Mediterranean restaurants here, but his one was a little different than the others. They served Turkish food, the falafel was made with Fava beans, as opposed to Chickpeas(at other restaurants here). Even their tabbouleh was red in color, and not sour at all, so my husband loved it.

Luckily, I had bought some fresh fava beans from the store last week. I had thought of making curry with them. This was the first time I ever bought fresh fava beans, so I had no idea how to prepare them or what to prepare with them:).

Since our favorite restaurant is closed forever now, I tried to make favabeans falafel at home. Surprisingly, it is very easy to make, and it tasted great. Here is the recipe for homemade favabeans falafel.

Ingredients:Falafel2 Cups Shelled Fava Beans
1 Medium Onion Cut into 1 Inch Pieces,
3 Cloves of Garlic, Peeled,
1 Teaspoon Cumin Seed Powder,
Salt to Taste,
1/2 Teaspoon Cayenne Pepper,
6-7 Mint leaves,
1/3 Cup Loosely packed Cilantro,
2 Teaspoon Chick Pea Flour,
Oil to Deep Fry

Yogurt Sauce1/2 Cup Yogurt,
1/4 Cup Tahini,
Salt to Taste,
1/2 Teaspoon Crushed Black Pepper,
1 Teaspoon Lemon Juice
1/8 Teaspoon Lemon Zest

Method:In a food processor, combine the onion, garlic, cumin powder, salt, cayenne pepper, mint leaves and cilantro. Pulse to make coarse paste. Now add the fava beans. Pulse again to coarsely grind the beans. Spoon out the mixture into a bowl. Add the flour and mix well. The flour will help bind the mixture together. Add a bit more flour if needed.
Heat oil in deep frying pan. With an ice cream scoop, scoop out the falafel mixture into your hands. Roll between your palms to make a ball. Gently press to flatten it a little bit. Drop into hot oil. Do the same with the rest of the mixture and fry 6-8 balls together at a time. Fry until golden brown. Take out and drain on absorbent paper.
To make the yogurt sauce, combine everything together and blend well to a smooth sauce.
To server: Arrange the falafel balls on a plate. Pour the yogurt sauce on the falafel to cover them. Sprinkle cayenne pepper on top. Garnish with cilantro.

Note: You can substitute the fava beans with equal amount of chickpeas to make chickpeas falafel. You can also use half fava beans, and half chickpeas if you like.

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