A nice exception to the rule “Fast food = junk food”
Falafel are a traditional dish of Middle-Eastern countries, which are encountering a great success nowadays all over the world. They are delicious treats, a boom of tasty crunchiness, and represent a healthy vegetarian option to the common and widespread kebab sandwiches. Not convinced yet? Add some extra points for practical reasons: they are quick to eat (wrapped in pita bread) and usually quite cheap!
Let’s now give a look to the nutritional properties of this delicious street-food before learning how easy is to prepare them yourself at home!
Pulses, chickpeas (in our version) and/or fava beans, are the main ingredients of this recipe. Remember they are a good source of vegetal proteins, usually (and unfortunately) lacking in our diet, better if combined with products from cereals (in this case pita bread will make up for it!). From the TCM point of view pulses are considered to be a good toner of the digestive system with a mild diuretic function, being therefore very useful to give Energy and at the same time to fight Dampness. In particular chickpeas for their neutral/ fresh energy and their actions on Spleen/ Stomach but also Liver are perfect in spring time. The spices and herbs used here are overall warm/hot in energy, so in case of Fire you better limit them a bit.
One more thing to be noticed: watch out for people with favism as falafel could sometimes contain fava beans!
Ready? Steady? Go for your falafel and break the rule!
Serves 4 -Easy– Prep time: 50 minutes (plus overnight to soak chickpeas)
You will need:
- 250 g of dry chickpeas;
- 1 and ½ onion;
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley;
- ¼ cup of chopped cilantro;
- 1 or 2 cloves of garlic;
- ¼ tsp of cumin in powder;
- ½ tbsp of backing soda;
- a pinch of black pepper;
- 1 cup of bread crumbs;
- a pinch of cinnamon.
For the sauce:
- 125 g thick yogurt;
- ½ lemon juice;
- 7-8 leaves of fresh mint;
- 2 teaspoons of tahini;
- 1 teaspoon of chilly pepper.
- Soak the chickpeas overnight;
- wash the chickpeas and put them in a food processor together with the onions, garlic, parsley and cilantro;
- add the spices (salt, cumin, black papper, cinammon y backing soda) and mix everything;
- let the mix sit for 30 minutes;
- shape the mix into small balls a bit flat (as big as a ping pong ball);
- If you feel the mix is too watery, add the breadcrumbs;
- heat the sunflower oil, then add the falafel and cook for 5-7 minutes, until brounish;
- in the meanwhile prepare the sauce just mixing together all the required ingredients;
- Serve warm.
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