Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Falafel a la Abu-Jaber

(Catching up: I wrote this on January 1.)

So my soaking chick peas never got used yesterday...and today felt like falafel...

I followed the falafel recipe in Language of Baklava by Diana Abu-Jaber, which has made me crave all foods mentioned in the book. Grind the chick peas with cumin, coriander, cayenne, oregano, baking powder, salt and pepper. Fry. Eat and enjoy.

Okay, not quite so simple. I had to learn to reaaaallly mush the chick pea stuff together. My first one simply fell apart in the oil...then I cooked a few, got cocky and had another one fall apart...but they were worth the effort of frying, something I do so rarely. I used to have a favorite, Mamoun's Falafel in NYC.

Hey, Mamoun, there's a new girl in town. Me.

I now love homemade falafel. This is definitely going on my list as an indulgent treat...hmm. Maybe falafel is my new New Year's Day treat...for good luck. My good luck.

I also loved the yogurt sauce I improvised. Regular, plain Greek-style yogurt (regular as in not no-fat, not low-fat) mixed with some chopped parsley, chopped mint, salt, pepper, a sprinkle of cumin, coriander and cardamom...It might not be authentic (it has to be close), but it was perfect. There was something completely decadent about the rich yogurt. I have another container of it..wonder what I should do with it...I think I could make this and just eat it on its own...

Improvised Yogurt Sauce

1 cup plain, Greek-style yogurt
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 cup chopped parsley
2 tablespoons chopped mint
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
1/8 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/4 cup chopped cucumber (peeled and seeded)

Mix all ingredients together. Eat as is or with freshly fried falafel.

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