Its that time of the year again, when shops, supermarket, and hypermarkets in particular, wear a festive look with colourful posters, banners, and irresistable offers and dispalys of various items and you know ramadan is round the corner and once Ramadan sets it can Eid be far behind.
Here I bring you quick lip smacking Ramadan special recipes and making your Suhoor and Iftars super special.
FALAFEL, where did it come from? Well, the Wiki theory suggests falafel was invented by the Egyptians, some says Israeli’s, where it is the national food of the country. Wherever it may have originated but it has widely conqured almost all the Middle Eastern countries.
- 2 cups dry chickpeas/garbanzo beans ( when I say dry it must dry chickpeas and not canned one, else you will end up making humus)
- 1 medium onion, roughly chopped
- 3-5 cloves garlic (I prefer roasted)
- 1 large bunch chopped parsley
- Freshly squeezed juice of 1/2 lemon
- 11/2 tbsp flour
- Salt according to taste
- 2 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- 1 tsp black pepper powder
- 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (optional)
- 1 cup white sesame white seeds
- 1/2 tsp baking powder (optional)
- Vegetable oil for frying
- Pour the chickpeas into a large bowl and cover them by about 3 inches of cold water. Let them soak overnight. They will double in size as they soak – you will have between 4 and 5 cups of beans after soaking.
- Drain and rinse the garbanzo beans well. Pour them into your food processor along with the chopped onion, garlic cloves, parsley, flour, salt, cumin, ground coriander, black pepper, cayenne pepper, and lemon juice.
- Pulse all ingredients together until a rough, coarse meal forms. Scrape the sides of the processor periodically and push the mixture down the sides. Process till the mixture is somewhere the texture of a course paste. The mixture should be such that it holds together to form a small ping-pong shaped ball or a small patty , and a more paste-like consistency will help with that, but donot over process, else the mixture will turn to humus!
- Once the mixture reaches the desired consistency, pour it out into a bowl and use a fork to stir; this will make the texture more even throughout. Remove any large chickpea chunks that the processor missed.
- Now add in the baking soda ( which is absolutely optional) and the sesame seeds. I like the sesame seeds to be mixed together, because this gives a nice nutty taste with every bite you have, instead of coating it at the last.
- Fill a skillet with vegetable oil to a depth of 1 ½ inches. I prefer to use cooking oil with a high smoke point, like canola. Heat the oil slowly over medium heat. Meanwhile, form falafel mixture into round balls or slider-shaped patties using wet hands or a falafel scoop. I usually use about 2 tbsp of mixture per falafel. You can make them smaller or larger depending on your personal preference. The balls will stick together loosely at first, but will bind nicely once they begin to fry.
- To test, fry just one in the center of the pan, before frying the first batch of falafel. If the oil is at the right temperature, it will take 2-3 minutes per side to brown. If it browns faster than that, your oil is too hot and your falafels will not be fully cooked in the center. Wait till the oil cools down slightly and then try again. Once the oil is in right temperature, fry the falafels in batches of 5-6 at a time till golden brown on both sides.
- Once the falafels are fried, remove them from the oil and keep it on plate with paper towel to drain out the excess oil. Serve the falafels fresh and hot; they are perfect with some pickled salad or a plate of hummus and topped with creamy tahini sauce.
To make a Pita sandwich, you can stuff them into a pita with fresh salad and humus.