Friday, 10 June 2016

Falafel #sikandalouscuisine

FALAFEL #sikandalouscuisine

Falafel, Israeli's favorite street food, which is most often served stuffed into pita bread with chopped tomatoes, onion pickled turnips , harissa hot sauce etc and a drizzle of tahini based sauces is a delicious snack and so akin to the flavors we are used to . It's simple to make just one golden rule - you don't ever boil chickpeas , only soak overnight .

2 Cups Chickpeas- Soak overnight in salted water - next morning they would have doubled. Drain and set aside ( un boiled ) while you get cracking on the other ingredients:

1 Onion- Roughly cut .
10 Cloves Garlic.
2 Teaspoons Coarsely Crushed Freshly Roasted Coriander Seeds.
1 Heaped Teaspoon Freshly Roasted and Crushed Cumin / Jeera.
2-3 Minced Green Chilies - Or more.
2 Teaspoons Crushed Black Pepper.
1 Tablespoon Flour.
4-5 Tablespoons Chopped Parsley .
2 Tablespoons Chopped Coriander Greens.
1 Tablespoon Tahina ( my twist )

In a food processor pulse chickpeas 2-3 times then add in all ingredients to make a coarse wet sand like consistency which should hold firmly as a ball. Deep fry one to check on flavors etc , and then fry these in batches to a golden brown. Serve as a finger food with hummus , or as mentioned in the introduction stuffed into pita bread with chopped tomatoes, onion pickled turnips , harissa hot sauce etc and a drizzle of tahini based sauces .

Recipe 2:
ISRAELI COUSCOUS TABOULI i #sikandalouscuisin

Tabouli/ Tabbouleh - Famous Mediterranean/Middle Eastern salad is a simple composition of finely chopped vegetables , Bulgur Wheat , loads of Parsley , Lemon Juice and Olive Oil . The “star ” ingredient in Tabouli is not bulgur wheat but is Parsley - very finely chopped parsley–lots of it .Parsley holds together the dressing and vegetables , and this dish tastes best a day later.

Modern times have ushered in some changes - often bulgur wheat is replaced with quinoa or even couscous which is what I have used here. This post is inspired by a recipe from a blog called The Mediterranean Dish .

½ Cup Couscous.
1 Cucumber- Very finely chopped.
4 Firm Tomatoes - Remove seeds and very finely chopped.
1 Cup Parsley -Very Firmly Chopped.
3-4 Green Onions - Very Firmly Chopped.
2 Tablespoons Mint Leaves - Very Finely Chopped.
3-4 Tablespoon Lemon Juice - To taste adjust.
3 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Soak Couscous in double the mount of boiling water to which salt and oil have been added - 1 teaspoon each . Mix , cover and set aside for 30 minutes. Never boil it . When ready , fluff it with a fork.

Place chopped vegetables/herbs in a bowl and add couscous.Mix gently after adding salt and lemon juice . Cover with cling wrap and refrigerate for an hour or till ready to serve.

Couscous shouldn't be more that 25-30 % in quantity to all the vegetables .Parsley should dominate this dish . Serv chilled - it's delicious !

Recipe 3:
ZAHAV'S ( ISREALI VERSION ) HUMMUS #sikandalouscuisine

A very different hummus recipe - here water , not olive oil is blended in. The end results are delicious I assure you as you make a wonderful tahini sauce to create this beautiful .

This recipe comes from Zahav, renowned Israeli Chef Michael Solomonov’s Israeli restaurant in Philadelphia, which is known for its silky and wonderfully rich hummus. Garlic and lemon play small roles here; the indisputable co-stars are the freshly cooked chickpeas and the nutty tahini.

1 Cup Chickpeas - Soak overnight , wash and boil til done.The recipe uses baking soda which I didn't. While chickpea are cooking get working on the rest - you want to use warm chickpea as per recipe.

Lemon Juice - About 1/3 cup or more to taste.
4 Cloves Garlic - I used 6.
Salt to taste
1 Cup Tahini - I used 2/3d Cup.
½ Teaspoon Ground Cumin - I used 1 teaspoon.
Paprika, for serving
Olive oil, for serving
Chopped Fresh Parsley, for serving

Make the tahini sauce- In a blender, combine the lemon juice, garlic and salt. Let mixture sit 10 minutes. Add tahini, and cumin, and blend until a thick paste forms. Add 1/3 to 2/3 cup ice water while blender is running, a little at a time, until sauce is smooth. You’re looking for a perfectly smooth, creamy sauce.

Add the warm, drained chickpeas to blender with tahini mixture. Blend until perfectly smooth and not at all grainy ( I left it with a hint of grainy ), stopping to scrape down sides of bowl occasionally. This blending may take upward of about 2 minutes; just keep going until the mixture is ultra creamy and fluffy, adding a little water if you need it to make the contents of the blender move. Taste for seasonings, adding more salt, lemon juice and/or cumin as needed.

To serve, spread the hummus on a plate, dust with paprika, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with parsley.
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