The thing I love the most… falafel.

It was 10 years ago in Amsterdam when I first had a falafel. I saw this dish for the first time in my life and I had no idea what was it. I couldn’t believe that one can prepare something so delicious and vegan at the same time. I was just becoming a vegan and I fell in love with falafel. I already mentioned falafels on my blog and I’ll surely come back to this topic again.

Today, I’m not going to present only the recipe for falafels, but I would like to show you how prepare a whole falafel set, by which I mean pita breads or couscous, hummus or tahina dip (or both), fresh vegetables and different salads, for example tabouleh, and of course my favorite pickled cucumber :).

Some time ago my friend Maddy invited my for a dinner of champions. This is my reply :).

Lets start with falafels:

Ingredients:

  • 200g chickpeas
  • few tbsp of water
  • 1 flat tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp salt
  • pepper
  • 1 onion
  • 1/2 bunch parsley
  • vegetable oil for frying

Put chickpeas into pot, pour water and leave the pot for 12h. Next, drain the beans and mix using a blender until smooth (you can add few spoons of water). Add spices, baking powder, salt to taste, finely chopped onion and chopped parsley. Mix everything and form small balls (approx. 4cm diameter). Fry until they become golden.

Because for some people falafel alone can seem a bit dry, I usually dowse falafels with loads of tahina sauce, my favourite among all dips and sauces.

Ingredients:

  • 3 tbsp tahina
  • 1/2 lemon
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • salt
  • warm water

Put tahina in a tall container, add lemon juice, finely chopped garlic, salt to taste and approx. 1/2 cup of warm water. Blend everything for one minute. If the sauce is to thick you can add more water. It should be rather thin so that you can easily dowse falafels.

I used Maddy’s recipe for pita breads, which you can find on her webpage (link above, unfortunately only in Polish). I present the recipe also here having in mind all those lazy people who are too lazy to click on the link and search for the recipe :).

Ingredients:

  • 15 dag fresh yeast
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 3 cup plain flour
  • 1tsp salt
  • 2-3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp thyme

Mix yeast with sugar in a bowl, add 1/2 cup warm water, mix again, cover the bowl with a cloth and leave in a warm place for 10 minutes. Next, add rest of the water, olive oil and mix. Add flour, salt and thyme and knead the dough (take your time, yeast-cake likes being pampered). Next grease the bowl, put the dough inside and also spread some vegetable oil on top, again cover with cloth and leave in a warm place for around 1,5h.

Put the yeast-cake on pastry board dredged with flour, knead for around 2 minutes. Divide it into pieces of size of a small potato, roll each piece into a 1cm high bread. Bake for 6-8 minutes i 240 degrees.

As I mentioned previously, falafels taste best served with fresh vegetables and salads. This time I prepared a young cabbage salad with radish. Here’s the recipe:

Ingredients:

  • small young cabbage
  • 4-5 tbsp water
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2-3 young carrots
  • radish bunch
  • 4-5 tbsp vegetable oil
  • salt, pepper

Chop the cabbage, put into bowl, add water, sugar, oil, chopped garlic and 1 tbsp of salt. Mix everything thoroughly using your hands. Put a plate on top and leave for at least one hour. Add grated carrots, finely chopped radish and mix again. You can also add some pepper to taste.

Finally, a recipe for an incredibly refreshing and tasty salad – tabouleh. I’m sure that this salad won’t suit everybody, the taste is really original and characteristic, but once you like it it’s hard to resist.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup bulgur
  • 1 cucumber
  • 2 tomatoes
  • bunch of fresh mint
  • 1/2 bunch parsley
  • 1/2 bunch spring onions
  • 1/2 lemon
  • 1/2 tsp ground coriander (fresh is also ok)
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • salt, pepper

Put bulgur into a bowl, pour hot water to cover it 1cm above, leave covered for for 15 minutes. Pour hot water on tomatoes, peel them. Also, peel cucumber. Slice vegetables into cubes. Mix together bulgur, vegetables, chopped mint, chopped parsley and chopped spring onion. Add lemon juice, coriander, pepper and salt to taste. Add also olive oil and mix everything.

The salad taste best when it’s a bit cooled.

I think I should warn you that if you want to prepare the whole set, you need to be prepared for spending half of the day in the kitchen. I know, it’s insane, but it’s really worth it, at least from time to time, especially when you see your guests too tempted to resist to take another plateful. It’s really worth it!

I should have wrote recipes in different order. So if you really want to make all the dishes from above you can start with the cabbage salad, next prepare tabouleh. In the meantime prepare pita bread dough. Next tahina sauce and falafels. You can wait with frying falafels until you put pita breads into oven.

Well, that’s it. A perfect falafel set. The question is is there anybody who will follow me?

Enjoy your meal!

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