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Herbed falafel in rich almond sauce – an Indian twist

Last weekend I went to do some food prop shopping, just wanted to add a piece or two in my growing white collection. Now, dont raise your eyebrow, I know what you are thinking, well..well..I am learning to take some good photo shots and currently being obsessed with food photography. Whether you are an amateur or a pro photographer, shopping for food props is something very difficult to resist, at least for me as I have an undying penchant for crockerys.

chickpeas kofta

Back home in India, over the years, I have collected a vast collections of various kinds of crockerys from glasswares, bone china to terracotta, and some are just heirloom collection handed over to me from my grandparents and some has very interesting stories behind them.  Since last two years I am literally living out of suitcase, every quarter of the year I have to relocate to a different place but that certainly doesnot stop me from blogging and sharing recipes and my travel stories with you. After moving to US, though temporarily, a new hunt for food props begins, and in short time I have almost collected a nice collection of bowls, only thing which bothers me now, is how to ship them to India without paying extra cost to customs !!!

falafel chickpea

The white tray that is being dispalyed on the picture here is the one  that I have recently bought, specially for this recipe. Sounds strange, I know, actually I saw a recipe of falafel in a book, styled in a particular fashion which I tries hard to imitate in these pictures requires a similar kind of tray, and being impulsive, I went to hunt down for this particular prop. 😀

 You can happily labeled me as a food blogger now, actually blogging brings so much changes in your persona, and am currently enjoying it. Ha..

falafel with herbs

This is falafel, the middle eastern chickpea fritters but not your average one. Like my earlier baingan ka bharta, this one too comes with a twist and has been adapted to Indian palate. This is herbed falafel, sounds exotic..eh..with goodness of three different kind of herbs, mint, cilantro and parseley.

herbed falafel

This recipe is partly inspired from a cookbook – step-by-step finger food series , but the comparison ends there. If you love Indian food, then you have to love koftas, with vegetables, paneer or meat, koftas are simply my favourite one, dunked in rich sauce, they are just irresistable. Once the idea starts dancing in my mind, I can not wait further, I added almond paste, ginger paste with garam masala, coated with bread crumbs and deep fried them in hot oil. Deep fried ??? eek..so much oil…beleive me I have tried the baked one too, but it lacks all the crispyness….cant help it. see…

falafel in rich almond sauce

So you can either enjoy these herbed falafel wrapped in pita bread with a dash of hummus over it or dunked them as a kofta in rich ginger-almond sauce, falafels wont mind it and you will never regret your decision. If you did not like the twist, blame your chickpeas or spices, but not me…

falafel in pita

Recipe: Herbed falafel in rich almond sauce

Summary: An Indian twist to a Mediterranean street food- herbed falafel dunked in rich almond sauce

Ingredients

  • Dried chickpeas : 1 cup
  • Bulghur (cooked / steamed ) or fava beans :1/2 cup
  • Cumin seeds : 1 tsp
  • Corainder seeds : 1 tsp
  • Chopped fresh mint : 1 tbsp
  • Chopped fresh cilantro : 1 tbsp
  • Chopped fresh parseley : 1 tbsp
  • Garlic and ginger (chopped) : 2 tsp
  • Garam masala : 1 tsp (if using)
  • Almond paste : 1 tbsp
  • Bread crumbs : 1-2 tbsp
  • Oil for deep frying
  • Hummus for garnishing
  • Pita bread or chips or any lebanese bread to serve with
  • Ginger-Almond sauce:
  • Boiled Onion paste: 2 tbsp
  • Almond-pistachio paste : 1 cup
  • White pepper powder : 2 tsp
  • Hot paprika : 2 tsp (if you like it spicy)
  • Ginger paste : 1 tsp
  • Salt to taste

Instructions

  1. Soak the chickpeas overnight in water, drain and reserve them.
  2. Cook the chickpeas in pressure cooker or slow cook them till they are just tender. Do not overcook them, they should not be mushy.
  3. Toast the cumin and corainder seeds in a dry frying pan over low heat for 2-3 minutes until fragrant.
  4. Cool slightly then finely grind into a powder.
  5. Add to the bowl of chickpeas, then add the fava beans or cooked bulghur, garlic and ginger, parsely, mint and cilantro,almond paste, bread crumbs, salt and garam masala if using to the same bowl.
  6. Transfer to a food processor and puree the mixture.
  7. Using your hands, form the mixture into flat rounds, 3-4 cm in diameter.
  8. Place on a tray, cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  9. You can prepare this mixture one day before too and refrigerate it until use.
  10. Deep fried the falafel at high heat in hot oil until golden and crispy.
  11. To make the sauce:
  12. Heat a tablespoon of oil in a pan and add the boiled onion paste. Saute till the onion becomes translucent, do not brown them.
  13. Add the ginger paste, followed by almond-pistachio paste and saute on low heat for few minutes.
  14. Sprinkle white pepper powder and paprika over it, salt to taste and add 1 cup warm water, simmer them on low heat till the sauce thickens.

Quick notes

Think ahead : you can make the falafel mixture and form the rounds, then refrigerate, covered for 3 days until use.

Preparation time: 40 min + overnight soaking + 30 min refrigeration

Cooking time: 35 min + 10 min (for sauce)

Diet type: Vegetarian

Number of servings (yield): 4

Culinary tradition: Middle Eastern

My rating 5 stars: ★★★★★ 1 review(s)

This post is linked to MM#2 : Ginger-Almond

Coming up next – Valentines special a week full of deliciousness, we have heard cupid has a new address now ….here…

Stay tuned until next

Sukanya

17 Comments

  • Reply
    Harini
    February 8, 2012 at 12:43 pm

    Oh My ..absolutely tempting pictures !

  • Reply
    Raji
    February 8, 2012 at 2:08 pm

    I can understand the craziness about prop collection, I too get carried away most of the times 🙂 And I love falafels..the almond sauce looks superb. Saving this recipe.

  • Reply
    Priya Sreeram
    February 8, 2012 at 9:02 pm

    ooh this is finger-licking good; yup i agree with you prop-collection has become a craze for me too with all n sundry being imagined as tools to aid fine pics !

  • Reply
    Deepa
    February 8, 2012 at 9:18 pm

    Delicious looking falafel. Pics are amazing.

    Deepa
    Hamaree Rasoi

  • Reply
    Rinku Naveen
    February 8, 2012 at 10:49 pm

    Hmm..falafel looks so yumm.. You brought back so many childhood memories. It is one of my fav snack.

    Thanks for dropping by and for those lovely comments. Will keep coming back for more yummy recipes.

  • Reply
    Princy
    February 8, 2012 at 11:24 pm

    nice clicks!

  • Reply
    Nisha
    February 9, 2012 at 1:15 am

    Hehe. Food prop shopping can get really addictive.
    Very nice pictures. And love how you add twists to a recipe or food.
    There’s so much variety on you blog! 🙂

  • Reply
    Soma
    February 9, 2012 at 8:42 am

    Love falafel and I really like it how you have used it as kofta. the sauce sounds awesome. and welcome to the prop addiction world 🙂

  • Reply
    Pradnya
    February 9, 2012 at 11:37 am

    Lovely pictures and beautiful recipe

  • Reply
    Priya
    February 9, 2012 at 2:10 pm

    Falafels have turned out great – I always love a hint of herbs in all my food – so that is welcome addition 🙂 lovely post!

  • Reply
    Hema
    February 10, 2012 at 2:43 am

    Lovely texture. They look great and feel like munching them right now.

  • Reply
    easyfoodsmith
    February 10, 2012 at 11:19 am

    Very creative and delicious post. Well done!

  • Reply
    vaishali sabnani
    February 11, 2012 at 3:51 am

    o..m.g..this looks so damn tempting!!..and I will not laugh at u r buying the white plate:)…actually even I m a little crazy,sometimes just go out of my way to get some props:))))

  • Reply
    priya srinivasan
    February 12, 2012 at 9:13 am

    OMG!!!!! So tempting!!!! dont mind munching as such without any dip!!!!

  • Reply
    Rasya Srinath
    February 14, 2012 at 2:44 am

    First time here through magic mingle..previously, had participated for an event.. i ca so understand the obsession for food photography & love for prop collection.. 🙂 i am entering the phase and still struggling with them.. love ur dish..they are mouth watering & the clicks..awesome!! Prop buying totally worth it..been a very long mess!

  • Reply
    Kaveri
    February 17, 2012 at 11:01 am

    I too bought a similar kind of white tray for capturing my cutlets…I just love that tray…your pics looks great and a wonderful recipe too

  • Reply
    Archana
    February 18, 2012 at 12:17 pm

    Looks absolutely delicious.

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