Posts Tagged ‘middle eastern food’

I am introduced to many cuisines after coming to US, one of which is mediterranean cuisine. Middle Eastern cuisine is known for its versatility, interesting ingredients and flavorful spices which is so much like Indian cuisine.The spices, the veggies, the flavors reminds me that I am having something Indian. Also, mediterranean cuisine is considered to be one of the healthiest cuisine.

Falafel is a fritters made from coarsely ground chick peas and this is usually served in pita bread as sandwich with some veggies and sauce. Falafel can also be served as a snack. Falafel pita sandwich is also considered to be street food of middle eastern countries and is a national dish of Israel.You can make falafel by baking if you counting on calories but I think it tastes great when its fried…:-)

Falafel and Pita Sandwich

Falafel and Pita Sandwich

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup dried chickpeas, soaked overnight
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 small onion, coarsely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds, toasted and ground
  • 1 teaspoon coriander powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 red bell pepper, coarsely chopped
  • 1 green chilli, devined and chopped
  • 1 cup fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 dried bread crumbs
  • salt to taste
  • Vegetable oil, for frying
  • 4 pita bread
  • Shredded lettuce,
  • sliced tomatoes, sliced seedless cucumbers ,thinly sliced red onion

For yogurt sauce

  • 1 cup yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds, toasted and ground
  • 1/2 teaspoon coriander powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon red chilli powder
  • salt to taste
  • fresh coriander leaves, chopped

In a small bowl combine yogurt, coriander leaves, salt, pepper, cumin powder and red chilli powder. Chill for at least 30 minutes.

Method:

  • Soak the chick peas overnight and the next morning drain the same and rinse throughly.
  • Cook the chickpeas with 1/2 teaspoon of turmeric powder in pressure cooker for about 6-7 minutes or until its slightly tender. Cool and drain the same.
  • Put the cooked chickpeas in a food processor and pulse to coarsely grind, stopping to scrape the sides . Also, there shouldn’t be any whole chickpeas remaining.
  • Transfer the chickpeas in a large mixing bowl, add baking powder, chopped onion, crushed garlic cloves, grounded cumin powder, coriander powder, red pepper flakes, chopped red bell pepper, green chillies, coriander leaves, lemon juice and salt to taste. Mix everything together. Add bread crumbs to the mixture so it holds together and can be shaped in desired forms. You can add more or less bread crumbs as needed.
  • Heat oil for deep-frying in heavy bottom skillet.
  • Roll the falafel mixture into small size balls, use an ice cream scoop to get them exactly in same sizes.
  • Carefully drop a few at a time into the hot oil, making sure they don’t stick to the bottom. Fry until the chickpeas fritters are a dark brown on all sides, turning as needed. Drain on a platter lined with paper towels.
  • Warm pita bread on both the sides, cut the same into halves to make pockets and put 3 fried falafel into each. Drizzle with the yogurt sauce and layer with lettuce, tomatoes, onions and cucumbers. Serve immediately.
Falafel and Pita Sandwich

Falafel and Pita Sandwich

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