Sunday, August 3, 2008

Falafels - Middle Eastern Fast Food

I always enjoy a good falafels and it is really disappointing when you get one that is dry and overcooked. If you are not familiar with falafels - they are a made from garbanzo beans primarily with spices added and the mixture is fried.

For an instant dinner, I purchased falafel mix from an organic food store called Rainbow Grocery. With the mix, I merely had to add the requisite amount of water, whisk it up and form my falafels. Since they only take a few minutes on each side, I left them to dry while I made a side salad to compliment them.

I chopped 1 fresh tomato, 1/2 yellow bell pepper and two scallions. I tossed this in 2 teaspoons of olive oil and 1 teaspoon of balsamic vinegar with a bit of salt and pepper. Another short cut for this meal is that I purchased some tzatziki sauce, which is actually a Greek side/dip made with yogurt, cucumber and garlic or dill.

After setting up the salad and putting everything out on the table, I heated the oil in a skillet to fry the falafels. I cooked them about 2 minutes per side and then served everything up quickly. If I had planned a bit better, I would have had some pita bread on hand but they were very tasty even without the bread.

If you ever want to make falafels from scratch rather than a mix, I have listed a recipe I found online below;

1 cup dried chickpeas or 16 oz. can of chickpeas or garbanzo beans.
1 large onion, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, chopped
3 tablespoons of fresh parsley, chopped
1 teaspoon coriander
1 teaspoon cumin
2 tablespoons flour

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