I am totally fascinated by anything Middle-Eastern — the countries, their histories, their dialect, their music, their spice markets and of course, their food. I don’t know how and from where this love for the Middle-East originated. My University friends would however urge that it dates back to those immensely captivating lectures on the Arab-Israeli conflict we were dished out back during my Masters. Secretly, I also agree with them. 🙂
I have been hooked to Middle-Eastern cuisine ever since Antar da (my brother in law) introduced me to it (read about this life-saving hummus he taught me). I have always wanted to make falafels at home (super simple they are, really!) but the deep-fried factor always kept me at arm’s length from churning out these crunchy beauties at home. Yeah, yeah, I know I use gallons of butter, flour and chocolate while baking, but deep-fried stuff is something that gives me cold feet. The moment I see or hear half a kadhai of oil sizzling away, I feel I’ve put on 2 kilos to say the least!
But when Kolkata Food Bloggers decided to run an event on “Game Night Bites” on the eve of the semis and final of FIFA 2014, I found the perfect opportunity to fry these little darlings up. Now Falafel is traditionally made with chickpeas and fava beans but obviously I forgot to soak them in water overnight and was left scratching my head in the morning. I could make anything else as a game-time snack, but the idea of falafels had got the better of me by then. So in stepped peas and my Green Peas Mini Falafels were born. It’s so easy all of you should make it at least once. Trust me, you’ll love the burst of mushy peas oozing out from within the crunchy coating. You can dip it in your favourite yoghurt relish or even mint mayonnaise to enjoy it to the hilt. Alternatively, spread some salted yoghurt on a pita/tortilla, line a few falafels, make a wrap and wolf it down. Or just pop these into your mouth while cheering for your favourite team.
One request however: Don’t call these Matar ke Pakode or Koraishuti-r Bora. Please!
Recipe adapted from Kitchen Secrets and Snippets (with some changed measurements)
Makes 40-45 small falafels and around 22-25 medium-sized ones
Green peas: 2 cups, (boiled or frozen)
Onions, finely chopped: 1 1/4
Garlic paste: 2 tsp
Red chilli flakes : 1 tsp
Dried mint: 3/4 tsp
Coriander powder : 1 tsp
Cumin powder: 1 tsp
Olive oil: 2 tbsp
Salt: to taste
Pepper: 1/2 tsp
Lime juice: half a lime
Besan flour: 5-6 tsp (or as much required for binding)
Oil: to deep fry
1. Add the peas, onions, garlic, chilli flakes, dried mint, coriander and cumin powder, salt, pepper, lime juice and olive oil in a mixer and blend it till mashed but not smooth.
2.Take the mixture in a bowl, add besan gradually until the mixture is somewhat firm.
3. Heat a pan or kadhai with oil for deep-frying. Drop a little bit of dough to test the temperature.
4. Put 5-6 falafels into the oil and cook thoroughly on both sides until they turn golden brown.
5. Drain the falafels using a kitchen tissue and serve hot with your favourite yoghurt dip.
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