Closet Cook:: Dear Old Falafel

Dear Old Falafel

(with a slight health twist)

 

Falafel, simple as it is has managed to become one of the most debated foods in the world. Its great taste and growing popularity in the western world as a highly demanded street food has prompted many countries like Egypt, Palestine and Israel to claim the dish as their own. In fact, some theories even suggest a link with the Indian subcontinent.

Whatever the origin, Falafel along with its condiments of tahini sauce and hummus has slowly evolved to become one of the most celebrated foods all over the world.

The only thing that puts me off falafel however, is the fact that it is traditionally deep-fried. As my culinary skills evolved and my confidence in my cooking skills grew, I decided to try my hand at making some falafels, without the deep-frying. I also had some fresh spinach handy and thought it might do some good to hide some green vegetables in this already healthy preparation.

So this is how you can make a great falafel without the guilt.

What you will need:

1 cup chickpeas, boiled

1 cup yogurt

2 garlic cloves roasted

half a handful sesame seeds, roasted

1 bunch boiled spinach thoroughly washed, without the stems

½ an onion

2 green chilies

1 tsp olive oil

1 tsp cumin powder

Freshly squeezed lime juice of half a lime

Salt to taste

Method:

The first thing you will need to do is make the tahini sauce. The reason I say this is because you will need to add it to the falafel mix to give it the desired consistency.

Tahini sauce:

  1. Cut up 1 garlic clove into smaller pieces. You don’t need to chop them too fine because you will be adding them to the blender/chopper.
  2. You will need the yogurt to be of a watery consistency. In case your yogurt is slightly thick, just add some water and mix well.
  3. Put the garlic pieces, roasted sesame seeds and yogurt in the blender/chopper. Blend well
  4. Then pour out the mixture and add the cumin powder, salt and a teaspoon of lime juice.

And your tahini sauce is ready!

Now moving to the heart of the dish: The Falafel

  1. Chop the onion, green chilies, garlic and spinach into smaller pieces for the blender/chopper
  2. Add the chickpeas and chopped onions, chilies, garlic and spinach to the blender
  3. After a couple of spins, add about 2 tablespoons of the tahini sauce and blend again
  4. This should give the mixture a paste like consistency. In case the mixture is still dry and crumbly, add some more tahini or plain yogurt and blend till you get the required consistency.
  5. Once that is done, add salt and cumin powder and mix well
  6. Then make small balls of the mixture and flatten slightly
  7. Take a pan and spread the oil, this should work perfectly for a non-stick pan
  8. Let the oil heat slightly before placing the falafel balls on the pan
  9. Let them cook on both sides

Your healthier spinach falafel balls are ready !

To make a meal out of it, I like to take a tortilla and spread some of my favorite hummus on it (In case you want to go completely homemade and make your own hummus like me stay tuned), add some salad leaves, place the falafel balls and pour a generous amount of tahini sauce.

Have a great meal!

About Rashi Sanghvi

Rashi is currently pursuing her MBA from Babson College, Boston. She loves trying out new recipes, but most importantly  loves putting a healthier twist on existing recipes and take pride in cooking great tasting food from random ingredients on hand. Living alone has been her teacher. She appreciates natural, healthy and organic food. Rashi wants to set up an enterprise that will change what people eat for the better and what better way to do that than starting at home.

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