Falafel and jalapeno hummus

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In the Middle East we love falafel and hummus! I mean- what is not to love?! There are so many recipe out there, that one can get easily confused what exactly is an authentic falafel. But instead of arguing what is authentic and what isn`t you can just enjoy this recipe! To me this is as closer as you can get to the restaurant falafel in Dubai. To make it even more exciting I made this jalapeno hummus that is too good to be true.

I made two versions of the falafel- one baked for my toddler and another one fried for us. Without a doubt the fried is much better and crispier.

NOTE: Before I go to the recipe I want to point few things that I crucial  for the success of the falafals. First and foremost do not attempt of making this with canned chickpeas. It just won`t work and chances are you will get flat and mushy pancakes instead. Trust me I tried it before and that`s what I got. Instead of the canned use dry chickpeas instead. And here is the moment that put me off, because the dry one need to soak in water overnight. Thanks to a quick internet research I found an easy way to skip that and cut your time to only 1 hour. How I made it. check the notes below:

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INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 cups soaked chickpeas ( do not try this recipe with canned one)
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1 cup fresh coriander, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • salt and pepper to taste

PREPARATION: 

  1. Soak your chickpeas in water overnight. If you are inpatient like me then just put the chickpeas into a a pot or dutch oven, cover with 4 cm water and boil for 5 minutes. Keep it covered for another 50-60 minutes. It is now ready to use!
  2. In a food processor, combine the soaked and drained chickpeas, onion, parsley, coriander, garlic, cumin, cinnamon, salt and pepper. Process until smooth.
  3. Using your hands, scoop out about 2 tablespoons of the mixture at a time. Shape the falafel into small patties.
  4. Place each falafel in hot oil and fry until golden.

 

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For the hummus I have to admit my blender let me down a bit and I just couldn`t reach the extra smoothness of hummus as we know it. However the taste was just perfect even with the little chunks in it 🙂

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 cups soaked chickpeas or canned if you want (then use about 2 cans)
  • 1 bunch parsley
  • 2 jalapenos stems removed
  • 2 lemons juiced
  • 2-4  tbsp olive oil
  • 1 garlic cloves
  • 6 tbsp tahini
  • salt to taste
  • 1/2 cup water to blend easily (this is optional and may vary!)
PREPARATION:
  1. In a food processor , blend all of the coriander, jalapeno, garlic, olive oil, tahini and lemon juice to a puree. Add the  salt and the chickpeas   and continue to blend until this is a smooth paste .
  2. If it gets too thick add water to thin. Season to taste.

Roasted red pepper hummus

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In the light of my Ramadan recipes I can`t skip the all time favorite hummus. This time with a healthy twist. Adding roasted pepper gives the hummus smokey flavor and makes it a  great starter. The key for good hummus is to have fresh ingredients. Hummus must have smooth texture and zesty notes. I made mine for no time and ate it with flat bread and green salad.

Hummus is healthy and vegan as well!

Tip: Don`t skip the generous amount of good quality olive oil to top your hummus as this gives extra flavor and it`s great to dip your bread in.

Ingredients:

– 1 can chickpea

– 2 red pepper

– 2 clove garlic

– 2 tbsp tahini

– juice from 2 lemons

– olive oil

– salt

– cumin (to taste)

Preparation:

1. Roast the pepper and remove the skin. Cut into big chunks

2. Mix all the ingredients and blend together until smooth.

3. Serve the hummus with extra olive oil

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Easy cauliflower mash

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In addition to my previous post here it is the recipe for this super easy cauliflower mash. Instead of the standard recipe with cheese, I used this lighter and more healthy version (totally made on spot in my kitchen).

You can even go vegan if you substitute some of the ingredients. See how:

Ingredients:

– 1 big cauliflower

– 300 ml milk (for vegan version use a can of coconut cream)

– 100 g butter (skip if you go for the vegan option)

– 2 tbsp yogurt

– salt and pepper

Preparation:

Boil water and add salt. Cut the cauliflower into big chunks and boil for no more than 10 minutes. Drain the water and add the rest of the ingredients. Mash well using fork or food process.

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Eggplant dip with yogurt and parsley

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This recipe is inspired by the traditional Lebanese dip- baba ganoush. However I made my own version of it by replacing the tahina with full cream yogurt. I wanted to have a simple and light dip, but also to taste the smoky flavor of the baked eggplants. Since I live in an apartment I was brave enough to bake them on my gas stove. I picked a big eggplants and I baked them for about half an hour. Yes, my house was a bit smoky but we have a god air con and the problem was solved easily.

Ingredients:

– 1 kg eggplants

– 1 cup of fresh full cream yogurt

– 1 handful of parsley

– 1 glove garlic

– salt

– olive oil

– pinch of black pepper

Preparation:

Baked the eggplants and leave them for a while so you can peel them easily after. Chop the parsley and the garlic and mix with the rest of the ingredients. Peel the eggplants and cut them into small peaces. Add to the parsley mix and leave the dip to cool in the fridge for a while. Serve as a starter or like a dip for fresh baked bread.

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Chutney

In order to make this dish, I would say that I have read hundreds of recipes. I wanted to get the idea of how chutney really taste. When I first tried chutney in one Indian restaurant I have to admit that I was not impressed. It was too bitter and sour for me. The next one that I tried in a different restaurant was the right one, sweet and sour with a bit of a spicy note. The recipe for my chutney is spicy, sweet and gingery. This is how I like it and I hope you will too.

Ingredients:

– 3 regular size tomatoes

– 2 small onions

– 2 red apple

– 3 cloves garlic

– 2 chili peppers

– 200 g sugar

– 1 teaspoon salt

– 150 ml white vinegar

– black pepper

– 1 inch ginger

– a pinch of cayenne pepper

Preparation:

Chop all the veggies and the apple and let them soften in a preheated casserole for 3-4 minutes. Add the dry ingredients and boil for another 10-15 minutes. At last add the vinegar and boil for 10 more minutes. Pour the hot chutney at the blender and blend just to make the mixture more smooth. Bring it back to the cooker and boil for another 5-7 minutes. You can serve it hot, but when you try it cold the next day you will love it even more.

Hummus

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My next recipe was one of my favorite mom recipes.  Back in Bulgaria you can find hummus only at the big supermarkets, so I was more than curious to learn how to make it myself. Try it on a toasted bread and fresh squeezed lemon.

Ingredients:

– 1 can chickpea

– 2-3 tablespoons of the liquid from the can

– half of whole (up to your taste) squeezed lemon

– 2 tbsp tahini

– 1 clove of garlic

–  salt to season

– 1/2 cup olive oil  and extra for drizzle

Preparation:

Drain chickpeas from the liquid in the can, and set the liquid aside. Combine remaining ingredients in blender or food processor. Add the liquid from chickpeas. Blend for 3-5 minutes on low level until thoroughly mixed and smooth. Place in serving bowl, and create a shallow well in the center of the hummus. Add a small amount (1-2 tablespoons) of olive oil in the well. Make it spicy with a pinch of cayenne pepper on the top.

Light green salad

If you are fan of the fresh and green iceberg salad you would love the below recipe. It is simple and perfect for a light dinner or as a side dish with BBQ. The salad dressing is one of my favorite as it is a mix of sweet and sour taste. I hope you will enjoy it.

Ingredients:

-One medium size iceberg salad

-Two medium size tomatoes

– Shredded emental cheese

For the dressing:

– Olive oil

-Apple vinegar

– 1 table spoon of brown sugar (I used Moscavado)

– salt

-1 table spoon of mustard

-1 table spoon mayonnaise (optional)

Preparation:

Cut the salad and the tomato into a big bowl. Mix all the ingredients for the dressing in a separate bowl and add to the salad leafs. Use the emental cheese as a topping.