Saturday, June 28, 2014

Falafel with Tahini Sauce

Today, I am sharing a Middle Eastern snack, Falafel....Falafel is made with dried chickpeas or fava beans,sometimes combination of both,which is combined with spices and deep fried in oil..You can bake in oven too,if you prefer healthier alternative...Being born and brought up in UAE, Shawarma and Falafel are my favourite dishes...When I eat falafel many years ago, at first bite I feel love with this snack..We use to have it often..After marriage, I moved to dubai and there is a Lebanese restaurant nearby..I am very excited...I had falafel there, it tastes more delicious than I ate before. They served with tahini sauce along with vegetable pickles ( finger shaped vegetables kept in vinegar and salt for 2 days or more)...Tahini sauce is drizzled inside in Shawarma too.. I didn't know that I can make these at home,until I came to the recipe at this site here....I happy that this recipe has got the exact taste the one I ate in Lebanese Restaurant...You can make this recipe for iftar too..Its a deep fried snack..You can make it occasionally..For healthier alternative,you can shallow fry or bake it..Do try it and impress your family...

Recipe adapted from here

  • Dried Chick peas (White) - 150 gm
  • Coriander seeds - 1 tsp 
  • Cumin seeds - 1 tsp
  • Small onion, roughly chopped - 1
  • Garlic,roughly chopped - 3 to 4 large cloves
  • Green chillies, chopped - 2 no.s
  • Chopped coriander leaves - 1 1/2 tbsp
  • Chopped flat leaf parsley - 2 tbsp
  • Chopped mint leaves - 1 tbsp
  • Baking soda - 1/2 tsp
  • Rice flour/all purpose flour - 1 tsp
  • Salt - to taste
  • White sesame seeds - 1 1/2 tsp
  • Vegetable oil - for frying

  • Soak chickpeas in a bowl of water overnight..Next day, wash the chickpeas and drain in the colander..Keep aside..
  • In a grinder, add coriander seeds and cumin seeds and powder it..
  • In that add 'roughly chopped small onion' till 'chopped mint leaves' and grind at one stroke, coarsely..Do not grind into fine paste..Transfer these into large bowl..
  • In a same grinder, grind chickpeas coarsely like paripp vada ( dal vada),i.e its texture must be grainy...Don't grind into fine paste..
  • Transfer grinded chickpeas into the same bowl  along with onion and herb mixture...Combine thoroughly...
  • Add salt,baking soda,sesame seeds and rice powder and mix thoroughly..
  • Cover the bowl with cling film and refrigerate for l hour or take it outside at the time of frying..
  • Divide it into equal sized balls and flatten slighly with your palm..Don't make it too thin..It should be thick..
  • Heat a deep pan, add vegetable oil , when it becomes hot, add falafel and cook at medium flame till both sides are brown in colour..Do not fry at high flame, as outside will get burn and it remains uncooked inside..Always fry at medium heat..
  • Drain it in kitchen paper towel and serve warm with tahini sauce or you can eat falafel directly without sauce too..
  • Serving with tahini sauce is optional, if you want the recipe, here is recipe given below..

Tahini Sauce ( Roasted white sesame sauce)

The word ' tahina' means white sesame in Arabic...So tahini sauce is made with tahina paste ( roasted white sesame paste) which is combined with other ingredients which is diluted with little water..Tahina paste is available in almost all the supermarkets in Middle East...If tahina paste is not available in your locality, you can make it at home...Recipe of tahina paste is mentioned in 'Notes' section..I used ready made tahina paste while making this sauce..I didn't try to make tahina paste at home..I saw this recipe of tahina paste somewhere on Internet, I think..Do try to make it, if you need it...

  • Tahina paste ( white sesame paste) - 4 tbsp ** ( see notes)
  • Thick yogurt - 3 to 4 tbsp
  • Lemon juice - 1 1/2 tsp
  • Garlic paste - 1 tsp
  • Olive oil - 1 tsp
  • Salt -to taste
  • Water - 4 tbsp ( depends how thin or thick consistency of sauce you want)
  • Pepper pdr - to sprinkle ( optional)

  • Shake the can of tahini paste...This is done so that the oil which is settled on top,will combine everything together..
  • Add tahini paste and yogurt in a bowl and mix well..
  • Then combine rest of the ingredients except water and pepper pdr and mix well..
  • Finally add water little by little according to your consistency and mix well..
  • Taste and adjust salt you wish..
  • Sprinkle it with little pepper pdr on top ( optional)

  • To make Tahina paste:  Roast white sesame seeds in a pan till light brown..When it cools down, add roasted sesame seeds in a grinder and grind into fine powder..Add olive oil little by little and make into smooth paste...Transfer these into clean can with lid and refrigerate..You can use it when desired..
  • You can refrigerate left over tahini sauce and can drizzle it on home made shawarma or use it as sandwich spread too..You can have it with grilled meat too...
  • While making falafel, always use fresh dried chickpeas and soak in water overnight..Don't use canned chickpeas, otherwise it will not get grainy texture while grinding...