Thursday, 3 November 2016

Falafels with Hummus (Middle Eastern Chickpea croquettes with a chickpea dip)

Falafels with Hummus
A vast barren landscape, winds blowing innumerable grains of sand, weary travelers looking for a quick sip only to find an delusional mirage, the ship of the dessert waddling stealthily on and an occasional lone palm tree, that pretty much summed up of what I imagined the Middle East to be in my school days, days that hadn't still seen the world wide web.

Well, The Middle East is a complicated place. It sits in Western Asia, bordered by the Mediterranean Sea. The climate is hot and dry. This region is an ancient one, and people have been living here for thousands of years. Many of the world’s religions began here, including Islam, Christianity and Judaism.

18 separate countries make up this region: Bahrain, Cyprus, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Northern Cyprus, Oman, Palestine, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Turkey, United Arab Emirates and Yemen.

The most widely spoken languages in the Middle East are Arabic, Persian, Turkish, Berber and Kurdish.

Middle Eastern cuisine is made up of the cuisines of the various countries and peoples of the Middle East. The cuisine of the region is diverse while having a degree of homogeneity. It includes Arab, Iranian, Israeli, Kurdish and Turkish cuisine. Some commonly used ingredients include olives and olive oil, pitas, honey, sesame seeds, dates, sumac, chickpeas, mint and parsley.

Falafel is a deep-fried ball or patty made from ground chickpeas, fava beans, or both, commonly served in a pita, which acts as a pocket, or wrapped in a flatbread known as taboon. The falafel balls are topped with salads, pickled vegetables, hot sauce, and drizzled with tahini-based sauces. Falafel balls may also be eaten alone as a snack or served as part of a meze tray (assortment of appetizers).

Falafel is a common dish eaten throughout the Middle East. The fritters are now found around the world as a replacement for meat and as a form of street food.

Hummus is a Levantine and Egyptian food dip or spread made from cooked, mashed chickpeas or other beans, blended with tahini, olive oil, lemon juice, salt and garlic. Today, it is popular throughout the Middle East (including Turkey), North Africa (including Morocco), and in Middle Eastern cuisine around the globe.

On to the recipes for both,
You will need:
2 cups soaked and boiled chickpeas
1 cup sesame seeds
1 cup olive oil
3-4 garlic cloves
2 tsps lemon juice
Salt to taste

For the garnish 
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp paprika powder
1/2 tsp fresh coriander springs
A few boiled chickpeas

You will need:
1 cup soaked chick peas
1/2 cup parsley
1/4 cup coriander leaves
1 medium onion (finely chopped)
3 garlic cloves
3/4 tbsp cumin (jeera)
1/2 tsp baking soda (meetha soda)
Salt to taste
Oil for frying

For the Hummus
- Blend together boiled and strained chickpeas, sesame seeds, olive oil, garlic, salt and lemon juice.

- Place the hummus in a bowl and pour some fine quality of olive oil and place it in refrigerator for an hour.

For the Falafels
- Add chickpeas, parsley, coriander, chopped onions,garlic, cumin seeds, salt and baking soda and grind together in a food processor.

- Mix this mixture well.

- Now heat oil on a medium flame and shape the mixture into balls.

- Fry them in the oil.

Assemble it together and the Falafel & Hummus is ready to be served!


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