Falafel is not a hushpuppy!
After 12 hours on a plane and a 3 hour layover and then another flight to Tel Aviv we made it to your hotel in Israel. What a trip that was and were we ever exhausted.
For months now I have been watching different YouTube videos on the places we would be touring in Israel and have been really excited about the places we are going to be visiting.
I was pretty anxious about the kinds of food we would be eating. Was it all going to be the same — hummus, falafel, tahini, kanafeh, baba ganoush and kebabs (of course) just to name a few. We like everything so I didn’t think I would not be turning my nose up at anything except maybe the falafel. Ya know I do have this thing about chickpeas!
The food ended up not being my favorite part of the trip. But that was ok because I knew this trip was not “all about the food”.
I have never eaten falafel before (until the night I made this). My kids all have and always tell me how they like it, especially the son and d-I-l in Chicago. I had to ask his advice on what to serve mine with when I made it. I really wanted to try it before I went so I could come my version to the real thing.
So a couple of nights before we left, our friends Peggy and Gordon (also on the trip) came over and we had a mini cocktail party with just the four of us. We had the falafel I made with the Tzatziki Sauce (cucumber), little lamb chops that she made, and I also made my Domaine Chandon spread and some little stuffed pepadew peppers (with Laughing Cow cheese). I really wanted to just try the falafel before eating my virgin falafel ball/sandwich/whatever there. We also had a bottle of champagne to toast our trip and a bottle of Israeli wine.
So the falafel wasn’t what I expected and I can’t say I liked it. I was thinking it was going to taste light and fluffy like my hushpuppies — they did not. BUT, I’ll see if I change my opinion after eating an authentic falafel. I have to omit the falafel I had in Israel was very good and very light. I think I put too much flour in mine and didn’t use the chickpea flour called for (I have since adjusted this recipe.).
BLAST FROM THE PAST: I love making things I’ve had while on vacation. This Fougasse (leaf shaped) bread is a recipe I made before going to France. And guess what? We saw it at every market we went to while visiting there.
Soak beans overnight.
Put everything in a food processor.
Pulse until you have tiny pieces of the chickpeas. Refrigerate for a couple of hours.
Form into balls and fry in oil for 3-4 minutes per side. Drain on paper towels or wire rack.
The cucumber sauce.
Fresh out of the fryer, these were delicious.
All that extra stuff in the above plate I stuffed into pieces of pita and topped with the falafel and sauce.
Recipe from dinnerthendessert.com I wanted to make this before our trip to Israel and then try several there to compare.
- 2 cups dry chickpeas
- 1 bunch green onions white and green parts
- 1/2 cup fresh parsley, cilantro or mint leaves, chopped or combination of all three
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 1 1/2 Tbsp. chickpea flour more if needed
- 2 tsp. Kosher salt
- 2 tsp. cumin
- 1 tsp. ground coriander
- 1 pinch cardamom
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- Vegetable oil for frying
- Add the garbanzo beans into a large bowl and soak in water overnight (the water should be a couple inches higher than the beans, so the beans plump up).
- Rinse the beans and add them to a food processor with chopped onion, minced garlic, parsley, flour, salt, cumin, ground coriander, black pepper, cayenne pepper, and cardamom.
- Process the ingredients together until it looks like a coarse paste, like a super chunky peanut butter.
Be sparing with how long your process it, the chickpeas should still be visible in small chunks. Try to form a tablespoon of mixture into a ball. If it doesn't form well, put back in processor for a few more spins.
Put the mixture into a bowl and refrigerate for about 30 minutes
Make the paste into small balls about one heaping tablespoon, rolling them in your hand. (In Israel they used a small gadget kind of like a ice cream scoop and scooped directly into the hot oil.)
- If your falafel batter is too loose to stay in a ball you can add a few more tablespoons of flour.
Heat the oil on medium heat and cook for 2-3 minutes on each side. Drain on paper towel-lined plate and season to tase with salt.
Serve immediately with pita, hummus and tomatoes for a great falafel sandwich.
To make a little chickpea flour put a few tablespoons of the dried chickpeas (before you soak them) in a food processor and process until you have a fine flour. This will be much cheaper than buying a bag of chickpea flour.
- 2 c. plain Greek yogurt
- 2 Tbsp. olive oil
- 1 c. diced cucumber seeds removed
- 2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
- zest of one lemon
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 2 Tbsp. fresh dill or 1-2 tsp. dried dill
- salt and pepper to taste
In a small bowl, combine the yogurt, cucumber, lemon juice, garlic and dill. Stir until combined. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Refrigerate until serving time.