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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Vegetable Cutlets and a Spicy Yummy Wrap/Frankie

Cold chilly breezy evenings. Misty days and long nights. A hot cuppa cradled between your palms. And the aching desire to eat. To crave something savory, spicy and mostly deep-fried! Yes, winters does this to you.

Vegetable Cutlets

Vegetable Cutlets

Tis the time for comfort, warmth, joy, love and food. But amidst such wonderful warm thoughts comes an annoying impression of the husband holding a big placard which yells .. ‘take care of your body, it’s the only place you have to live in!’

Sigh. This so dissolves all the cravings and transfers me back to hard ground. Matching up to his athletic skills or health agendas is not on my to do list – EVER. But we do call it a truce most of the times, we somehow make it work.

Hence one wintery cold beautiful evening, when I fancied some vegetable cutlets, he hid the oil. There! that’s how it works in our house. I crave. He improvises.

Here are some delicious vegetable cutlets or patties made in minimal oil and crunched with some slices of bread and semolina. Enclose these yummy rounds between tortillas, flavor it with green coriander chutney and what you will have is the famous wrap of Mumbai, called “frankie” in your hands.

Spicy yummy Wrap

Spicy yummy Wrap

They both love lime and I for one cannot tolerate the tartness, my teeth turn sour at the mere mention of it. Copious amounts drizzled over the cutlets and a wee bit of rock salt sprinkled, and how they both licked their plates clean! I stuck to what they call the thakela lame version of the dinner.

Taste Enhancer

Taste Enhancer or what?

VEGETABLE CUTLETS

Crisp and Yummy

Crisp and Yummy

Ingredients

  • 2 cups chopped vegetables, like carrot, beans, peas, cauliflower, broccoli and potatoes
  • 2 medium sized onion, minced
  • 1 tsp ginger garlic paste
  • 3-4 green chilies, minced – optional
  • 3 tbsp chopped capsicum
  • 2 tbsp grated beetroot – for the red color
  • 2 tbsp coriander leaves, chopped
  • Dry spices like – 1/2 tsp turmeric powder, 1 tsp coriander powder, 1-2 tsp amchur powder, 1/2 tsp garam masala, 2 tsp red chili powder – all spices can vary according to your tastes.
  • salt
  • oil for pan frying and 1 tsp oil for sautéing.
  • 2 tbsp of semolina – optional
  • 3-4 slices of bread crumbled – optional

Method

Boil the vegetables in minimal water, along with little salt. I used 4 tbsp of water for 2 cups of veggies in a pressure cooker. This way you do not lose the essential vitamins of the greens to water. Once done, mash the veggies with a potato masher to a coarse consistency. keep aside. In a wok, heat oil, saute onions, ginger garlic paste and green chilies till the onions turn pink. Now throw in the capsicum and grated beet. Saute for another 3-4 minutes. Add the mashed boiled vegetables. Throw in all spices/masalas. Saute on high for about 4-5 minutes, stirring and mixing in between. The water if any from the veggies should be dry leaving the mixture to a coarse water free dough. Now add coriander leaves. Mix well. Leave it to cool.

Once the mix has cooled, try shaping them into flat patties. If you have difficulty then add crumbled bread to give the dough some firmness.

Once all the rounds are made, heat a flat griddle, sprinkle oil. In a bowl take 2 tbsp of semolina, coat each cutlet with semolina and roast on the griddle till crisp and golden.

Great with Chutney

Great with Chutney

Note: I did not use semolina as I used very very little water to boil my veggies, hence the mixture was firm enough to shape into cutlets and roast.

Note: You could alternatively, dip them into a mix of flour-water and deep fry/roast.

Note: Those who eat eggs, can dip the rounds into beaten eggs before frying/roasting.

Delicious and healthy

Delicious and healthy

MUMBAI STYLE FRANKIE / VEG CUTLET WRAP

This is a popular cheap version of the high-end wraps and rolls, usually available on the streets of Mumbai. Hawkers sell various versions of this roll, usually/mostly, wrapped in all-purpose flour/maida tortillas.

Served hot and crisp

Served hot and crisp

It is simple, really.

Take a tortilla or chappathi or any flat bread. Smear some green chutney, place 2-3 cutlets in the middle of the tortilla. Top with some julienne onions-peppers and cabbage. I also used some minced green chilies. Sprinkle lime juice and some chaat masala. If you like, some grated cheese for the final touch is also great. Roll it up tightly, and dry saute on a flat griddle or use little oil to roast till crisp.
Serve with extra green chutney, ketch up and some salad on the side.

Classic Veggie Roll

Classic Veggie Roll

Mexican Red Rice and a Burrito

Mexican Red Bean and Corn Rice

Mexican Red Bean and Corn Rice

Mexican Rice is basically white rice simmered in a tangy tomato gravy – I lectured to my rapt mother. It’s a different feeling when you are educating someone who has actually tutored you all their life. The scene was no different from my 6-year-old playing teacher-teacher with me. Well.

‘Ah! Tomato bhaath’, mom said. I took a deep breath, ‘yes, tomato bhaath made a little differently’. Mom likes to relate anything she eats for the first time to something that she is familiar with. She does that a lot! For instance, Mexican chili is nothing but rajma rice with lot of vegetables for her or all our fancy dips are chutneys or Thai green curry is Kerala stew! But my almost 60 year old mum is game to new cuisines with such an infectious zest that she usually leaves you smiling and wondering what else could she come up with. 🙂
Sweet mother of mine!

I used corn and beans in my rice, topped with jalapeno and cheese.. umm yum! Wait, there is more. Layering with guacamole, fresh veggie salsa and loads of rice on soft tortillas – the lunch was a massive crowd pleaser and for once mother found nothing to compare it with. Yay!

Mexican Red Rice Burrito

Mexican Red Rice Burrito

Mexican Red Corn Bean Rice

Simmered in tangy skewed tomatoes

Simmered in tangy skewed tomatoes

Ingredients

  • 1 cup rice, washed and soaked for 30 minutes. I used white, can use brown rice too.
  • 1/2 cup boiled red kidney beans/rajma beans or any beans of your choice.
  • 1/4 cup corn kernels
  • 3-4 tomatoes, washed
  • 1-2 tsp olive oil, or any oil
  • 4-5 pods of garlic, minced
  • 1 medium-sized onion, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp red chili powder/paprika
  • 1 tsp oregano powder
  • 1/2 tsp cumin powder
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Garnish: chopped jalapenos, corinader leaves and grated cheese

Method

In a pot of hot boiling water, make half way incisions on whole tomatoes, drop them in boiling water. After a couple of minutes. Remove the tomatoes, peel the skin, liquidize in a blender to get about a cup of tomato sauce.
Now, in another pot, heat oil. Fry garlic and onions till they turn translucent. Then add corn and beans, along with the soaked rice(no water). Saute the rice, corn and beans for a couple of minutes. Now add tomato sauce, sprinkle cumin powder, salt, pepper, paprika and oregano. Simmer for another minute or so. To this add another 1/2 cup water. Cover and cook till the rice is almost done. If required, add more water. Once done, cover and keep for some time, say 10 minutes. The covering makes the rice fluffy and soft.
Garnish with cheese, chopped jalapenos and coriander leaves.

Melted Cheese, Jalapenos add magic

Melted Cheese, Jalapenos add magic

Mexican Rice Burrito

This burrito is healthy, filling and so tasty! I made it with whole wheat chappathis/Indian flatbread, you could use corn tortillas too.

Corn for a bite, beans for the texture

Corn for a bite, beans for the texture

To make 2 burrito:

Ingredients

  • 2 tortillas, any kind. Corn, Maida/Flour tortillas can be used. I made mine with chappathis.
  • 4-6 tbsp of mexican rice, or as much as you want.
  • 2 tbsp of guacamole
  • 2 tbsp of tomato salsa OR 2 tbsp of freshly thinly sliced veggies like carrots, onions, cabbage, peppers – all mixed with salt and lemon juice.
  • 2 tbsp of jalapenos, minced
  • 2 tbsp grated cheese
  • sprinkling of mexican spice mix – I used a mixture of dried herbs like oregano and some chaat masala. Feel free to add any flavor you like.

Method

On a tortilla, spread 1 tbsp guacamole. Line your salsa or veggies in the center of the tortilla. Place 2 tbsp of mexican rice on the bed of veggie-guacamole. Now, top with jalapenos, cheese and mexican spice mix. Try to make a tight roll. Place a toothpick to hold it in place if required. Serve immediately.

Note: The original recipe called for tomato salsa, I didn’t have any, so I substituted with mixed thinly sliced vegetables.

Note: Mexican Spice Mix is readily available in stores, but since I had none, oregano and chat masala came to my rescue.

Note: Serve the burrito with sour cream by side – divine!

Note: The husband likes things crisp and extra roasted. So I roasted the filled burrito on a hot flat griddle again, with the help of little olive oil. You can serve the burrito as it is too.

Makes a beautiful burrito

Makes a beautiful burrito