Saturday, 9 January 2016

Welcome to my first "pulse" inspired recipe post!

This one involves chickpeas...aka garbanzo beans.

I enjoy chickpeas from their dried form and from a can (Our Compliments makes a salt-free version, which I enjoy best).

The technical definition of a pulse is dried seed....and so I am supposed to say I am only gonna use the dried version.

I admit...I love the convenience of the canned version.

If you decide to use dried chickpeas...you have to rehydrate and then cook them.  The best way to rehydrate them is to let them soak in a pot or bowl of water (to cover) overnight.

Then you cook the poop out of them...

Hmm....maybe there is a more delicate way to do it....don't take my word for it...look at this lovely worded version by the Wimpy Vegetarian (love that name!) Click here!

Either way, you get your chickpeas, is fine in my books.  If you prepare from the dried version, you will probably end up with more than you need...and you can freeze or refrigerate the rest, for another day!  Nothing wrong with that, right?

I can't remember the first time I tried falafel...but I do remember that it tasted amazing...

I came across a recipe in House & Home yeaaarss ago...and clipped it out and have been using it for a long time.

The recipe is fairly versatile...the key pieces that you really need besides the chickpeas themselves are garlic, cumin (in my opinion), some sort of green herb (people use parsley, cilantro, mint...or some combination), a binder (flour usually) and a levener (baking powder).

There are certainly a lot of recipes out there...changes and tweaks to be had...

But here's mine!

Falafel (adapted from House & Home)

2 cups of chickpeas
1 small onion, chopped finely
2 minced garlic cloves
1/3 cup of chopped Parsley
a handful of chopped cilantro
1/2 - 1/4 tsp salt (depends how salty you are feeling that day)
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp baking powder
3 tbsp of AP flour
Fresh black pepper.

Again, here is where a blender or food processor comes in handy. Whiz all the ingredients up together, or mash cooked chickpeas with a food masher, in a large bowl (you will just have to finely chop all the other ingredients and incorporate. It makes for a more chunky falafel..but still super tasty).

I let this chill for a half hour in the fridge to let the flour suck up some moisture. Then use a small ice cream scoop to portion the "dough".

Today..since it's a Saturday...we shallow fried ours in my heavy bottomed dutch oven (canola or vegetable oil). The oil should be hot enough to sizzle when you drip a small amount of the batter in the pot. If frying, roll the portions in a bit more flour before dropping in, a few at a time. Flatten a bit to make little patties. Cook until golden brown and rest on paper towel in a warm oven until ready.

This cat plate with high edges is perfect for dredging!

You could also deep fry, or shape and then bake on parchment paper/cookie sheet! If you bake, you just have bake on one side until browned (about 10-15 mins) and then flip for even browning for another 10-15 mins.

Emma loves them with sour cream...me too!

Falafels are awesome by themselves or in a pita with tzatiki, sour cream or yogurt, lettuce tomato, cucumber, onions...whatevs!

Hope you take the plunge and try it :)


On another, sadder note...my thoughts have been consumed all afternoon, by a local, young girl, that made an adult decision. My heart truly broke, to hear of such sadness and pain...imaging her sadness and pain. Thoughts are with her family and friends, as well as, her. 


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