One of my bestest friends just booked a ticket to come and visit me for a few days at the beginning of February!!! In preparation for her visit...from Israel...I thought that I would try my hand at a staple of Middle Eastern cuisine...Falafel!
Falafel are gorgeous little deep fried balls of chickpeas combined with herbs and spices...served hot in a warm pita with yummy yummy salad toppings. Depending on where you go and where the falafel-style hails from the toppings vary...but in general the taste of the falafel balls themselves are pretty uniform.
I've had falafel in a few different cities...mostly in the Jewish quarter and sometimes in the Middle Eastern hub of larger cities, hands down the BEST falafel I have had was in the Marias in Paris at a place called L'As du Fallafel...but I have never been to the Middle East so I am sure that there are rivals somewhere...although I have it on very good authority that Lee's dad actually makes the BEST falafel...
So yesterday afternoon I embarked on my own Falafel making adventure...something that is not too hard if you have a food processer...which I don't....but my trusty Handblender did the trick with a little coaxing! The mixture is so easy (you can also buy it premade as a floury mix in supermarkets....just add water)...you just blend up chickpeas and parseley and garlic and some spices and baking powder (for oomph).
Traditionally these little jewels are deep fried, but I have yet to buy any oil this week and well....there is always that health kick thing looming in the back of my mind...so I thought...Hey! those Onion Bhajis were awesome baked earlier this week...why not these falafel??