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Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Almond Falafel

This recipe caught my attention in Curtis Stone's Good Food, Good Life because one - I had all the ingredients on hand and two - I never made falafels before. He notes that falafels are traditionally made with uncooked chickpeas that have been soaked overnight, just until they're partially softened. That's how you get the crunchy texture. But by using canned chickpeas and almonds you can achieve a similar crunch and make falafels on the same day.
Almond Falafel
Recipe from Good Food, Good Life
(Makes about 35-40 falafels)

1/2 onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves
1 tablespoon of ground coriander
1 1/2 teaspoons of ground cumin
1 1/2 teaspoons of salt
1/2 teaspoon of cayenne pepper
2/3 cups of fresh parsley leaves
1/2 cup of fresh cilantro leaves
1 cup of raw whole almonds
2 cups of canned chickpeas
1/3 cup of all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons of toasted sesame seeds
1 1/2 teaspoons of baking powder
Canola oil for deep frying

Have everything out and ready, rinsed and cleaned (canned chickpeas, parsley, and cilantro leaves). Even though it took me a long time to make the first time around, now that I've made it once, it really is quick and easy!
Throw the onion, garlic, ground coriander, ground cumin, salt, cayenne pepper, parsley leaves, cilantro leaves, almonds, and chickpeas into your food processor and pulse until everything is combined. Oh my bejebus, this mixture smells so good in the food processor!
Mix in the flour, sesame seeds, and baking powder. Set up your deep frying station, turn the heat on and as you wait for the oil to reach 350°F, form the falafel mixture into balls with your hands (about 1 and 1/2 tablespoon).
Use tongs or a slotted spoon to gently lower the falafels into the oil to deep fry. I was able to fit six in without the temperature dropping. Keep an eye on your thermometer and fry for 3 to 4 minutes.
They're ready when they're golden brown. Take them out and place on paper towel over a cooling rack. Season with salt.
Tahini Sauce
Recipe from Good Food, Good Life
(Makes about 1 1/3 cups)

1 garlic glove
1/2 cup tahini paste
1/4 cup of fresh cilantro leaves
1/4 cup of fresh parsley leaves
1/4 cup of lemon juice
1/2 cup of cold water
Salt and Pepper to taste

Blend everything in a food processor or mixer! That was easy.
Serve with pitas or tortillas, cabbage or lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, and shallots (or if you prefer onions). Make sure you spread in the tahini sauce.
Delicious! I loved pulling the falafel open to see the green colour and heat rise out. Leftovers can be kept in the fridge and warmed up when it's time to eat again. I've only had falafels twice in my life. Once here in Toronto and once in New York City. I think I like these homemade versions better. =)

Best of all, they're really filling and Howard didn't even mind that we were having a meatless dinner!

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