Last night, my husband wanted some falafel for dinner. I know that it is a traditional Middle Eastern food but I always like to try something new. My husband was very supportive that I am going to make it into an Indian dish, as am living with a Punjabi family. I decided to take the opportunity to make into a Punjabi dish. I was so glad that I did because it came out wonderfully.
Makes 16 pieces
16 mini pita breads (I used Flax, Oat Bran & Whole Wheat pita bread)
2 cans (Aprox.4 cups) chickpea
3 cloves garlic, peeled, crushed
1½ tablespoons tahini
1½ teaspoons salt
¾ teaspoon cayenne pepper/extra hot chili powder
1½ teaspoons ground coriander
1½ teaspoons turmeric
3 tablespoons finely chopped cilantro
½ teaspoons cumin seed
Canola/vegetable/corn oil for deep-frying
½ of 1 medium-sized Iceberg lettuce, thinly shredded
4 mini Persian cucumbers or any cucumbers of your choice, sliced 18 pieces
3 cups plain yogurt
1 cup grated mini cucumber, squeezed out juice
Salt and ground black pepper
2 teaspoons Premix Raita Spice (Available from the Indian grocery store)
Place all the above ingredients in a deep serving bowl. Stir until well mixed. Set in the refrigerator to chill until use.
Drain the chickpeas in a colander and rinse under running cold water. Then pour chickpeas into a food processor and add crushed garlic, tahini, salt, cayenne pepper/extra hot chili powder, ground cumin, ground coriander, turmeric and chopped cilantro. Cover and pulse the ingredients until finely chopped but not pureed. Transfer the covered processor bowl into the refrigerator to chill for 40 minutes.
Meanwhile, heat a frying pan/fryer with canola/vegetable/corn oil over medium-heat. Grease a cookie/baking pan with little oil. Set aside.
Then divide the chickpea mixture into 16 evenly balls with your lightly wet and gently pat each one down to look like a thick disk. Set each disk on greased cookie/baking pan. Once all are done and oil is heated up, gently drop each thick disk onto the heated oil and fry for 3-4 minutes or lightly golden brown. Drain the falafel onto a platter lined with kitchen paper towel. Break the falafel in large pieces and set aside.
Warm the mini pita breads and then cut into halved. Fill each with some shredded lettuce, add some falafel pieces, slides a slice of cucumber next to the falafel. Top with some yogurt sauce (Raita Sauce). See picture.