The food fever has caught on. Baklava and hummus was always a rage, and as people are turning more global, the wonder delights of any new cuisine follows. Lebanese is my latest viral.
After my tryst with baking pita, next on the list was Falafels. The baked version. I’ve made them before but a baked one was to be my experiment. I waited for a Sunday.
A rainy dull gloomy beautiful sunday which wrecked the cable connection, home bound the inmates and re-ignited the love for board games. They removed a new one, in spite of me yelling not to. But the rapid commencement of outwitting each other at word formations, though mainly with my help, was contagious. Along with grinding chickpeas, rolling dough and chopping vegetables, my mind raced to form words! The joy of letters. Inexplicable.
Falafels are small round deep fried bullets made from highly spiced chickpeas. But if you want to ditch the oil, we bake or roast them on a griddle and it works just fine. A wrap with these spicy bullets, a bit of hummus, some tzatziki and grilled veggies makes any meal complete. A bit of planning is required, the chickpea need to be soaked for 6-7 hours and you need hung curd to make tzatziki. So yes, please plan and initiate.
To make 6 wraps:
- 18/20 Falafel bullets or discs or patties, recipe below.
- 6 flour tortillas
- 6 heaped big spoons of hummus – one spoon each for every wrap
- 6 heaped big spoons of tzatziki – one spoon each for every wrap
- torn lettuce leaves
- 6 tbsp of grilled vegetables, I used mushrooms, zucchini, coloured peppers and onions.
- A bit of vinegary onions for each wrap
- Sprinkle of lime juice
- Sprinkle of chaat masala – optional
Take each tortilla, spread one heaped tbsp of hummus on it. Place torn lettuce leaves covering half the tortilla. Now place 3 or 4 falafel discs in a straight line in the middle of the tortilla. Drop spoonful of tzatziki on the cutlets. Place grilled vegetables and pickled onions. Sprinkle lime juice and chaat masala. Cover both sides. Grill on a flat griddle/tawa if desired or serve as it is with more hummus and tzatziki by the side!
FALAFELS – BAKED
- 2 cup chickpeas, soaked overnight or for 6/7 hours
- 1 red onion
- 5 cloves of garlic
- 3 green chillies
- a tiny piece of ginger
- 1 tsp ground roasted cumin powder
- 1/2 tsp peppercorns
- juice of 1/2 a lime
- 4 tbsp washed coriander leaves
- 2 tbsp mint leaves
- 1 tsp sesame seeds
- salt to taste
- 4 tbsp flour or maida
- 1 tsp baking powder
- Oil for greasing
Put all ingredients in the mixer, except flour/maida, baking powder and sesame seeds. Coarsely grind everything till everything is mashed yet not very smooth. Do not add any water. This is very important because you don’t want your splitting cutlets.
Once done, remove. Mix in the flour, baking powder and sesame seeds. Shape small balls of the mixture, flatten them slightly to form discs. Place them in a box or on a tray. Refrigerate for 2/3 hours. This step is crucial if you want firm well shaped falafels. Especially if you are deep frying them.
Once well chilled. Pre heat your oven to 175C for 10 minutes. Grease a baking tray well with oil. Take each falafel discs, slightly coat them with oil and place evenly on the tray. Bake for 8-10 minutes then flip and bake the other side for another 5-7 minutes.
If you do not want to bake or deep fry, then you can roast them on a non stick pan with a bit of oil till the sides turn golden and crisp. This works beautifully but uses a bit of more oil than baking.
Remove and use as required.
Note: Deep frying produces the best results. They are crunchy out and soft inside. But baking works well too, so please don’t forget the baking powder. It helps the cutlets with soft insides.
Note: Original recipe did not add any green chillies or mint. I used them generously because we love the flavour of mint and heat from the chilies. You can avoid them if you like.
I am not so neat with shapes and sizes… all my cutlets varied in diameter :D Mother would have been horrified ;)
GRILLED VEGETABLES, FLOUR TORTILLAS AND VINEGAR ONIONS
For the Veggies - Julienne all the vegetables. I used zucchini, mushrooms, coloured peppers and onions. In a tsp of olive oil, sauté them till 3/4th done. Season with salt, pepper and red chill flakes.
For the Pickled Onions – soak sliced onions in 1/2 cup of vinegar, juice of 1/2 a lime and some salt. Keep aside for an hour. The colour of the onions and solution changes to pink.
For the Flour Tortillas – Take half and half wheat and all-purpose/maida four. Season with a bit of salt. Knead using half n half milk and luke warm water. Knead well. Keep aside covered for at least 30 minutes. Then grab portions of dough, roll into thin flat rounds, roast both sides on a hot griddle. You can make them before hand and use as required.
As you must have noticed, I put more pictures here than in any of my posts. Well. Thats because I took so many!! And then, spent almost half a day editing them. So they had to be used. don’t they?
A few more won’t hurt, I presume. :)
She is one big sucker for dips and spreads. Every bite was relished with more hummus and more tzatziki. It also rendered the scrabble board quite messy and her clothes.. oh! they are best not discussed. So, beware.. this humongous wrap is not so easy to hold and a lot more messy and delicious to eat :)