Sonntag, 23. Februar 2014

Falafel - vegan chick pea fritters with couscous salad

Last weekend husband visited the netherlands. After his return I asked him what he had for lunch. He told me he bought a falafel bread in a small snack which tasted very nasty. He was really looking for it and was was very disappointed because he had no falafel since a long time. I promised I would soon make him some. This weekend I did it.

Falafel is a famous street snack from the lebanon. Easy to make, cheap and healthy.

I soaked 1 1/2 cup dried chick peas and 3/4 cup dried soy beans in lots of water over night. Removed the water and soaked the peas and beans until late afternoon (after soaking: all in all 1 liter peas and beans). I washed the peas and beans in water and removed the translucent skins. Afterwards I let them sit in a fine mashed strainer. Meanwhile I chopped an onion and 3 garlic gloves.
I pureed the beans and chick peas in smaller amounts with an blender together with the onion and garlic until coarsly smooth. I added 3 tablespoons chopped herbs (parsley, chives), a good amount salt, 1 tablespoon harissa, a good pinch ground cumin and mixed the paste.
For the couscous salad I soaked a cup instant couscous in a cup hot, slightly salted water, after 5 minutes the water was soaked up. I diced the vegetables (1 zucchini, 1 carrot, 2 red bellpeppers, 1 trimmed spring onion) into small cubes and stir-fried the vegetables in 2 tablespoons olive oil for 2 minutes.  Mixed the vegetables  and oil to the couscous, added lemon juice (1/2 lemon) and orange-cinnamon-balsamic vinegar, 1 handful chopped parsley, a sprinkle dried mint, a pinch cumin, sweet paprika.

For the tahini sauce I mixed 4 tablespoons sesame paste with the juice of 1/2 lemon and some vegetable broth (enough broth to make a thick sauce), added 1 teaspoon harissa, 1 mashed garlicglove and salt to taste and a few drops dark roasted sesame oil.

For falafel:
I formed walnut sized balls - there is no need to add some binding ingredients, they will keep together just fine. Some recipes call for baking powder or baking soda. I don't use any for falafel.

In a wok I heated up 500 ml oil. I deep-fried the falafel in batches (7 balls each batch) until golden brown, turning them once in a while. The falafel are very crunchy outside and firmly soft in the inside.


Hiroyuki hat gesagt…

Sounds tasty! I don't know why, but chick peas are not very popular in Japan. I did some googling and found they are not very expensive. Maybe I should buy some and incorporate it into my daily cooking.

Sissi hat gesagt…

Your falafels look delicious and very original because of the soy beans (I know some beans are used in certain countries but soy beans are definitely an original touch). I have posted the only recipe I use some time ago and it's with 100% chick peas. Falafels are one of the rare vegetarian dishes I could have very often, but they can be disappointing in some places indeed...
Hiroyuki: chick peas (soaked and cooked) are delicious in a tomato sauce.

Fräulein Trude hat gesagt…

Sissi: they often add those big beans to the chickpeas. That may be the common way but it does not taste that good. It is very important to remove the skins - they also add some bitterness. I think soy beans add some sweetness and have a very nice nutty flavor. I just decided to use them on a whim - actually I never read about falafel recipe using soy beans but beans are beans and peas are peas.
Hiroyuki: chickpeas are also very good freshly cooked (not too soft with a little crunch left) as a salad, mixed with canned tuna, spring onions and a good vinegared-olive oil based dressing. I quite often puree canned chickpeas with lots of fresh lemon juice, an dash olive oil and a little bit sesame paste and roasted sesame oil, ground cumin and chili and just enough water to make a creamy dip. Great with mexican nacho crisps or simply bread. Onion and/or garlic can be added.