I love falafels - probably the only Mediterranean dish that I eat apart from fried Cauliflower! And Baklava. That's a different story though.
I usually make this at home with a store bought falafel mix. Easiest way to have my craving of falafels satisfied. But, as usual something got into my head and I decided to make it from scratch. Fresh is good, very good but it was too much work and I felt that now that I've conquered my battle with the falafels, I will stick to using store bought ones next time.
I also always have a fascination for roasted red bell pepper hummus and love that flavor over the plain hummus - so as I was already feeling very generous..I decided to also make that. I loved every part of that hummus - there's still some left in my fridge and I find myself eating that with almost everything!
So, enough of my love story with food - let's get started with the recipe.
Soak about 2 cups of garbanzo overnight and pressure cook for a couple of whistles until its soft. I used 3 cups actually and it was a lot - got about 30 falafels. So, if you're cooking for many, use 3 cups.
Chop up some onions, garlic and cilantro. Also keep about 2 tsp of cumin seeds ready.
Move the cooked and completely drained garbanzo to a food processor - make sure there is no water in here. The drier, the better to make balls and fry.
Pulse a few times and grind this to a coarse consistency.
Now add all the chopped up onions, garlic, cilantro and jeera. Add salt to taste. Add 1 tsp of baking powder in here.
Add 1 heaped tsp of coriander powder to the mix.
Add some red chilli flakes to the mix.
Give everything a good whirr - until all combined well. Make sure that no big pieces are left out - scrape down the sides while processing.
There's the mix ready.
Make small balls out of the mix. Flatten them and then fry in hot oil until golden to dark brown. Try one or two first - make sure that they don't dissolve in oil. If it does, then the paste it too thin. Add some flour to the mix, and try again.
All fried and golden falafels!
Now, make a quick salad with your favortie veggies. I added fresh lettuce, shredded carrots, cucumbers, chopped tomatoes, olives and a little bit of red onions to my salad. Some falafels are traditionally served with round cut veggies like cucumbers and beetroots. You can choose any way you like it. I love my salad this way. If you have left over falafels in the end, you can chop them into small pieces, add to this salad and that is a perfect greek falafel salad by itself.
The next step is to make the hummus. Hummus basically is a paste again of garbanzo beans with some tahini (ground sesame seed paste), a little olive oil and lemon juice.
This roasted red bell pepper hummus is also the same but just with the addition of roasted red bell peppers - but the flavor just increases tri fold! Try it sometime and you'll never go back to plain old hummus!
Chop one red bell pepper into long stings. Roast them on top of a griddle. Sprinkle some olive oil on top to help roast the peppers. Roast till you see some sides getting black and charred.
Move the peppers to a food processor. Add some soaked and cooked garbanzo beans to this. Add 2 tbsp of olive oil. Add salt to taste. Add about 2 tsbp of tahini. I did not have plain tahini but had a store bought hummus tahini mixture - so added a little bit of that. Add 1 tsp of chopped garlic to this. Finally add about 1/4 cup of lemon juice for a kick!
Give it all a good whirrr.
And tada...here's the super tasting red bell pepper hummus.
While I was frying the falafels, I roughly cut a couple of pita breads and fried them in hot oil - and made pita chips! Try some pita chips with this hummus. You will want to kiss the people around you - there is so much love!
To assemble the falafels, I used pocket pita bread. You could also use a flat bread and make it like a taco with the fillings. But, I do like the pocket bread.
Apply some of the hummus on the insides of the pocket pita.
Arrange a couple of falafels or three if you like.
Fill all empty spaces in the pocket with the gorgeous salad. You could also actually add salad at the bottom and then top off with the falafels. Its your sandwich - make it any way you like!
Enjoy your pita falafel sandwiches! Now, if only I could watch some belly dancing for entertainment!
Enjoy! Peace out!