Welcome aboard!

Indian cuisine is a riot of colours, flavours, and spices. Every state has its own unique culture- ingrained taste bud. And, to many of us staying within familiar tastes is a sacrosanct act. Of course an occasional trip to a speciality restaurant that serves another fare is ok. But, as a matter of routine ...at home...NO!

One of the benefits of being born to parents who dared an interstate marriage (am talking about India of the 70's) was being able to widen a regional taste bud to accept, experiment and, relish eclectic cuisines :-)

I love food! Be it traditional or fusion, cooking is all about turning out fare that is tasty and healthy.I welcome all lovers of good food to come on aboard and share your kitchen adventures.

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Happy cooking!


Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Falafel with garlic labenah dip and salad

Just after our betrothal, my husband got posted to Beirut, Lebanon.So, our first home after marriage was the mediterranean country. The native population speak arabic and french, very few knew English. Born with a very dominant social streak, I cannot survive without friends...but the language was a barrier, initially!

We lived in a serviced apartment which sent in a native lady to clean the place. Within days, we became friends..if that was ever possible between two people with a wide age difference, different backgrounds, and who virtually did not understand a single word the other one spoke! She introduced me to mediterranean cuisine... Where she couldnt explain the ingredients to me...she wrote down the names of items I should buy at the supermarket in Arabic. I just took it to the nearby mart and got the sales assistants to read the slip and get me stuff. At home , my friend demonstarated hummus, falafel, and a few other very yummy recipes. The falafel recipe I give is hers modified a bit with the help of other recipes I found on the internet.

Falafel is made of chick peas,a great source of protein, zinc, and folates.Parsley, which is thrown in a good measure, is a treasure trove of vitamins, C, K, A, potassium and fiber.
Protein content in 100 gms of chickpeas - 10 g (approx)

White chickpeas (kabuli channa) - 1 cup
Chopped onions - 1 cup
Chopped parsley - 150 gms
Chopped cilantro (coriander leaves) - 50 gms
Pepper powder - 10gms
Chopped garlic - 5 gms (about 3 cloves)
Wheat flour - 1/2 cup
Salt to taste
Good quality oil for deep frying

Soak the chickpeas overnight and pressure cook for five whistles. Drain. Mash them up in a food processor. As they granulate, add all the other ingredients except wheat flour. Add the wheat flour last, little by little, and knead with hand into a dough. Shape little lemon sized balls out of the dough and slightly flatten them with palm.
Heat oil in a skillet. Add the balls. Fry till all sides turn a choclatey brown.
For garnish
Finely sliced cucumber - 2
Salt to taste

For Garlic labenah dip
Hung curd - 200 ml
Crushed garlic - 1 clove
Freshly squeezed lemon juice - 20 ml
Salt to taste

To make 'hung curd' place a large pored sieve over a deep vessal. Drape a thin muslin cloth over it. Now pour the yoghurt through this, cover with lid, and leave for 4-5 hours for the water to completely drain out.

Blend all ingredients together to make a smooth dip.

Serve hot falafel with cucumber salad and garlic labenah dip.
PS: Add only sufficient wheat flour to bind the dough. Too much can spoil the taste.


Dahlia said...

good recipes..... added to my favorites.... do visit my website too.... www.simpleindianrecipes.com

Dershana said...

Thank you Dahlia. Do visit again.

Sangeeth said...

dershana..thanks for the entry..as iam in my vacation iam not able to see the mails regularly so i have not acknowleged for many of the entries i recieved....:)

Dershana said...

Thank you sangeeth

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