Falafel and jalapeno hummus

IMG_5755

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:

IMG_5757

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.

 

IMG_5756

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

11265266_881722485208447_6949546175157307392_n

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

11009911_881722521875110_875682471839206632_n

11236148_881722545208441_6770262169844918839_n

11136757_881722565208439_1144150949567344178_n

Tuna ceviche with grapefruit, coriander and lime

11241430_467638893387008_954258233139719832_n

Ceviche is a traditional Peruvian dish that won its popularity worldwide. You will never believe how easy is to get this master peace done at home. We loved it. It`s fresh, spicy and delicious. Don`t be afraid to surprise your guests with this winning starter. I am warning you though- use only fresh fish and the one that is sushi grade. This is very important as such fish has been already frozen to the required temperature and the bacteria are killed. If this step is completed then you are ready to go with the super simple seasoning.

Before I give you the recipe, please note that I didn`t mix the dressing with the fish. I was waiting for the moment before serving. This is because the acid from the fruits will start cooking the fish and the pink color of the tuna meat will change. The rest is easy! Enjoy 🙂

11251846_467638870053677_1970951732996508539_n

 Ingredients:

– 200 g tuna steak

– 1 grapefruit

– 2 limes

– handful coriander

– 1 small red chili

– 1 tsp soy sauce

– 1 tsp sesame oil

– 1 tsp sugar

Preparation:

Mix all the ingredients (keep the fish a side) and cool for 30 mins in the fridge. Cut the tuna steak into fine slices (the thinner the better). Arrange the fish into serving plates and cover with the coriander dressing right before serving.

Spring rolls with peanut and lime dip and Miso soup with lemon grass

IMG_8011

After the Easter feast last Sunday I have decided to prepare a veggie dinner. No meat, no dairy just good amount of veggies, nice fresh dip and warm miso soup. Simple, yet delicious! The key to this recipe is to have everything fresh and even organic if you can find it. The rest is just the flavors of the coriander, lime, ginger and lemon grass.

Ingredients:

For the rolls

– rice paper ( I made 14 spring rolls, but on the photo are 13 since I ate one in a making 😉 )

– 1 big carrot – cut into julienne

– 1 cucumber- cut into julienne

– handful coriander

For the dip:

– 50 g peanuts

– juice from 1 lime

– juice from 1 orange

– a pinch of brown sugar

– 1 tsp sesame oil

– 1 tbsp roasted sesame seeds

– 1 tsp ginger

For the miso soup:

– 1 l boiling water

– 3 tbsp miso paste

– nori seaweed

– 4 stalks lemon grass

– handful snow peas

– handful green beans

– handful baby corn

– 200g udon noodles (cooked)

– 1 tbsp ginger

– 3 tbsp oil (I used canola oil)

– 1 carrot cute into slices

– 100 g  tofu (optional)

– salt if it needs seasoning

Preparation:

Start with preparing your soup. Bring all the ingredients to boil (except the snow peas and noodles). Once it is ready add the peas and noodles- as easy as that!

For the rolls, soak each rice paper sheet for 10-15 seconds in warm water to soften and then roll the fresh cucumber, carrot and coriander. For the peanut dip, mix all the ingredients in a blender and mix well. You might also use a peanut butter, but I prefer to use less additives I can.

IMG_7993

IMG_7997

IMG_7999

Homemade PF Chang`s dynamite shrimps

IMG_0581

This recipe doesn`t need an introduction I assume. We all know PF Chang`s iconic dynamite shrimps. You just can`t get enough from these delicious beauties. I face only one problem with them when I order in the restaurant- the portion is too small! That is why at home I cooked almost 1 kg of shrimps and made sure that there will be enough sauce to toss them in. I`m not gonna lie- it is a time consuming recipe though. But believe me it worth every second. I used small shrimps, but if you want to save some time buy big ones to speed up the cooking. In fact the recipe itself is easy. You need to prepare the batter, fry the shrimps and toss them into the sauce. The ingredients are easy to find and the recipe is waiting for you below:

Ingredients:

     For the batter:

– 1 kg shrimps (if you use frozen let them unfroze first)

– 2 eggs

– salt flakes

– 4 tbsp corn flour

    For the sauce:

– 250 g of your favorite mayo

– 50 g of sweet Thai sauce (use your favorite to control the spiciness)

– 1 tbsp white vinegar (or rice vinegar for less bitter taste)

– add salt if needed

Preparation:

Mix the batter ingredients. Preheat a frying pan with vegetable oil. Dip the shrimps into the batter and fry them until golden color. In a separate bowl mix the sauce ingredients and once the shrimps are cooked mix together and gently stir. Serve sprinkled with green onion or coriander (my choice).

IMG_0579

Tabbouleh with couscous, mint and roasted pine nuts

Image

Tabbouleh is my favorite salad from all.  So many flavors mixed in it. I certainly miss the real ripe tomatoes from Bulgaria, where I can easily go and get as much as I want form my grandma`s garden. But I was lucky enough to find on our market very delicious local tomatoes and the result was almost the same 😉  Traditionally tabbouleh is made of bulgur, tomatoes, cucumbers, finely chopped parsley, mint, onion, and garlic seasoned with olive oil, lemon juice and salt. Although there are various other variations such as using couscous instead of bulgur. And this is how I will present you the recipe today. The preparation is simple as you just need to  chop the ingredients and mix together in a serving bowl. I hope you will try it and enjoy it.

Ingredients:

– 4 tomatoes

– handful of parsley

– handful fresh mint

– one small red onion

– 1/2 cup couscous (or 1 cup if it is already cooked)

– the juice from two lemons

– 50 g roasted pine nuts

– olive oil and salt for seasoning

Image

Image

Eggplant dip with yogurt and parsley

Image

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.

Image

Image