Baked Falafel Wraps

Falafels in a wrap!

Falafels in a wrap!

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.

Loaded with grilled veggies and hummus and tzatziki sauce

Loaded with grilled veggies and hummus and tzatziki sauce

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.

FALAFEL WRAP

Lotsa layering

Lotsa layering

To make 6 wraps:

Ingredients

  • 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

Method

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!

Ready to fold

Ready to fold

FALAFELS – BAKED

Chickpea Cutlets

Chickpea Cutlets

Ingredients

  • 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

Method

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.

Lots of flavours!

Lots of flavours!

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.

Healthy snack option

Healthy snack option

I am not so neat with shapes and sizes… all my cutlets varied in diameter 😀 Mother would have been horrified 😉

Not so perfect in size :)

Not so perfect in size 🙂

GRILLED VEGETABLES, FLOUR TORTILLAS AND VINEGAR ONIONS

The add-ons don't stop!

The add-ons don’t stop!

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.

Grilled veggies and pickled onions

Grilled veggies and pickled onions

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. 🙂

Protein rich Chickpea makes one delicious cutlet

Protein rich Chickpea makes one delicious cutlet

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 🙂

One satisfying meal, this.

One satisfying meal, this.

My entry to Angie’s Friday Fiesta #27. A must see for many more gorgeous mouth watering entries!

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In Season – Fresh Whole Red Chilies for Hummus and a Creamy dip

“Live each season as it passes; breathe the air, drink the drink, taste the fruit, and resign yourself to the influences of each.”

In Season

In Season

‘Go seasonal’, I can almost hear her saying this. Her words ring every time I’m in a market. My grandmum always bought produce which was in season and available in plenty. She never went looking for stuff that was ‘there when it should not be’.

For one they are grown naturally, not adulterated or processed. Hence they are more nutritious, less expensive and of course simply yummy!

Now, winters being my most favorite season, comes armed with a host of gifts. Fresh colorful fruits and vegetables hound the market. The wares sit gleaming, uninhibited and inviting in all their natural glory. I usually go mental in times like these. Making it a point to try most of the produce finds me visiting the farmers market every other day.

So on that note, I introduce to you fresh red whole chilies or peppers. They are pretty to look and not very hot at all. You can do so much with them! Like make poppers or dips or pickle them or add them in your rice, make hot sauce..

I treated them like red bell peppers, threw some into my fried rice, once simply sautéed in oil and spiced it with turmeric, salt and coriander powder(yummy!), made some roasted pepper hummus and a creamy corn red chili dip.
Wanted to make poppers but found no takers for it, slit red peppers, stuffed with a creamy potato filling, topped with some cheese and baked till golden – sounds ethereal right?! Um.. not to guys back home. Well, I stuck to dips and other usual stuff. We’ll save the poppers for some other time.

Roasted Red chili Hummus

Roasted Red chili Hummus

Creamy Corn Chili Dip

Creamy Corn Chili Dip

ROASTED RED CHILIE/PEPPER HUMMUS

Roasted Red Pepper Hummus

Roasted Red Pepper Hummus

To make a cup of hummus:

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup chickpeas, wash and soak in water overnight
  • Sesame seeds – 2 tbsp
  • Olive oil – 2 tbsps
  • Fresh whole red chilies – 2
  • Lemon juice – 1 tbsp
  • Garlic -2, roast in a tsp of olive oil and lightly crush
  • Cayenne pepper – 1/2 tsp – to be used only if the fresh red chilies are very mild.
  • Roasted cumin powder – 1/4 tsp
  • Yoghurt/curd – 2 tbsp
  • Salt to taste

Method

Pressure cook chick peas along with the water until soft. Drain the chick peas and keep aside. Reserve the water also.
Dry roast sesame seeds on low flame for 2-3 mts and turn off flame.
Place a skewer into each of the red chilie peppers and roast over low flame till the skin is charred or blackened. Peel. Place the peeled roasted peppers in a bowl and keep aside.

Heat a small pan, add 2 tsps olive oil and roast garlic for a mt till light brown. Turn off heat and cool.

In a mixer grinder, add drained chickpeas, roasted red chilies, garlic, sesame seeds, olive oil, yoghurt and grind to a fine paste. Add lemon juice, cumin powder, cayenne pepper or chili powder and salt and grind again till well blended. It should be a smooth and creamy paste.

Remove to a serving bowl. Drizzle some olive oil on top with a sprinkle of red chili flakes and serve with pita bread, crackers or sliced vegetables like carrot or cucumber.

Best with some crackers

Best with some crackers

We snacked on it with some dry crackers and bread. Yummy!

Healthy snacking

Healthy snacking

CREAMY CORN CHILIE DIP

Creamy Corn Chili Dip

Creamy Corn Chili Dip

Ingredients

  • 2 red chilie peppers, minced or chopped
  • 1 cup corn kernels
  • 2 pods of garlic, minced – I used fresh green garlic with stems
  • 1 tiny piece of ginger, minced
  • 1 small onion, minced
  • 1 small green bell pepper, minced – I just threw this in for some color contrast 😉
  • 1 tsp italian seasoning
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • 3 tbsp cheese, grated – optional
  • salt to taste
  • red chili flakes – optional

Method

Heat oil, saute garlic, ginger, and onions till they turn translucent. Throw in green bell pepper, corn and red chili peppers. Fry well for a minute. Sprinkle flour. let it coat evenly, quickly add milk and keep stirring till the milk thickens into a creamy sauce covering the veggies. Add seasoning and salt. If using cheese, mix it in now. Give it a final mix. The consistency is that of a semi thick dip, like mayonnaise.

Cool. Serve it with crackers or toasted bread or with some pita. Try it in sandwiches or wraps. Yummy. Certified.

Best with some bread

Best with some bread

So she is highly opinionated, fearless, immensely emotional(read: cry baby), scathingly critical but yet very very lovable. Amassing amma’s prized concoctions and her million dollar tips and tricks has always been on my never ending to-do list.

If God had intended us to follow recipes, He wouldn’t have given us grandmothers.

~Linda Henley

Beet-Walnut Pesto, Pink Penne Pesto Pasta and a Sandwich

Roasted Beet Garlic Pesto - no cheese

Roasted Beet Garlic Pesto – no cheese

I don’t know what’s wrong with me. I’ve been told to make my posts shorter and put one recipes at a time. But I still end up combining 2-3 dishes and presenting it to you. Ah! Pains of a stubborn unlearning mind.

Pink Penne in Pesto Sauce

Pink Penne in Pesto Sauce

I do have a reason for my repetitive obdurate intentional attempts of long posts – One recipe and its versatility. Like, the guacamole post showed that apart from the dip you could make a sandwich too or the garlic roasted potatoes make for a very good and filling wrap. Hence my loooong posts.

Fair enough? I know, NO. 😉 Well, I hope this post is one of the last few of the combined recipes posts!

Roasted Beets and Garlic

Roasted Beets and Garlic

Roasted Beets along with garlic, just rubbed with a little salt and olive oil makes a very very yummy eat!
I popped one in my mouth, and the flavor was fresh, juicy and succulent. I think, this, on its own is one great way to eat the root.
But – I saved the roasted way for another day, as now I craved for some gorgeous pasta.

Simple Flavourful

Simple Flavourful

This bookmarked recipe of mine was waiting to be tried and tested. With my little daughter in school, husband traveling and my sudden pasta yearnings, the day seemed perfect to experiment.
I slightly tweaked the recipe according to the ingredients available at hand and of course my mood.

Multipurpose Dip

Multipurpose Dip

Beet Walnut Pesto

To make a cup of pesto –

Ingredients

  • 2 medium sized beets, washed, peeled and sliced
  • 4-5 cloves of garlic
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 8-10 walnut pieces, less than a handful
  • Juice of 1/2 a lime – varies according to taste
  • salt to taste
  • 2 tbsp parmesan cheese – optional (I did not use any as I did not have at hand, still the pesto was yumm)

Method

Rub a little olive oil and salt on the sliced beets along with the garlic. Spread on a baking tray and bake at 175 C for 15 minutes or so, till all the juices are released and beets are soft. Alternatively, you could saute them in a frying pan with little olive oil.

Once cool, put the roasted veggies in a mixer, add parmesan, walnuts, lime juice and salt. Grind to a semi smooth paste. Use water if required. Add olive oil. Mix well. Use as required.

The verdict:

The color stuns you, the nutty taste lingers for long and the health quotient gives you enough reason to digg in for more. So with the pink pesto, some corn and fresh basil, I made magic with my Penne.

Basil and Corn  add to the magic

Basil and Corn add to the magic

Pink Penne Pasta

Ingredients

  • 1 cup penne pasta or nay type of pasta – boiled al dente
  • 1/4 cup corn kernels
  • a little butter or olive oil
  • 2 tsp plain flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2-3 tbsp beet pesto
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • red chili flakes and oregano as per your taste
  • 2 tbsp fresh basil leaves, chopped

Method

In a pan, heat oil or butter, saute corn. Once done, add flour to it. Let it coat the kernels. Mix in milk and keep stirring till the milk thickens. Now add salt, pepper, oregano, red chili flakes and pesto. Mix well. Stir in the penne. Then garnish with chopped basil leaves. Enjoy it hot!

How easy was that?

Note: Feel Free to add any veggies of your choice – broccoli, carrots, mushrooms, onions and pepper… list is endless.

Pesto n Grilled Veggie Sandwich

Pesto n Grilled Veggie Sandwich

Pesto Grilled Veggie Sandwich

I sautéed some thinly sliced veggies like onions, peppers, carrots and mushrooms, along with salt and pepper powder. Generously applied beet pesto to 2 slices of bread, placed the sautéed veggies and a slice of cheese on one pesto smeared bread. Covered it with the other bread. Grill with little olive oil or butter. Done!
Best Enjoyed with ketch up and hot sauce.

Nutty texture

Nutty texture

Ideas to add beet pesto to your food –

1. Pasta
2. Sandwiches
3. Wraps with cheese and veggies
4. As a dip with crudities or toasted bread or corn chips
5. on crostinis and on canapes.

If you can think of any other way, do drop a line.