Using cooked or tinned chickpeas, falafels are very easy to make.
Who can resist a good falafel? Wonderful for snacks, meals, in wraps or topping salads, they are wonderfully tasty, textural and healthy. Whip them up using chickpeas you have previously cooked and frozen, for an easy supper.
Home made falafel are a huge cut above store-bought ones, or even those from some restaurants that must purchase them in bulk and keep them frozen for a long time. One has to wonder why, they are so easy to make, whereas many pre-prepared ones taste like cardboard. Who hasn’t had a wrap or roll with cardboard-tasting falafel stuffed into them for a “vegetarian option” when it would have been more flavoursome to leave them out?
Worry no more, we have your back. These are fantastic. Crispy crunchy on the outside and soft and fluffy on the inside. You can grind the chickpeas coarsely or more finely, which ever is your preference. But they must be ground enough to hold together as fritters.
You might like to also try hummus, which goes well with falafel. Chickpeas make a whole range of dishes. Try Chickpea Fingers, for example (it uses chickpea flour). Or Chickpea “Tabblouleh”. Chickpeas can be baked, or made into a spread, or smashed and made into a salad. They are really healthy – have a look at this article.
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The Middle East has a variety of flavours and dishes that are amazing and under-explored in other countries. And yoghurt, one of my favourite food stuffs, features strongly there as it does in India. The recipes using yoghurt are often simple – take a vegetable, some yoghurt, garlic, dried mint and some spices, mix and serve.
Traditionally it is used as a pre-dinner snack or appetiser, generally served with pita bread., but you can use any flat bread. We get a great Afghan flatbread cooked fresh on the tandoor from our local shop, and it is amazing.
You can use the Green Peppers in Yoghurt as you might use a salad. If you use thick, drained yoghurt they can be used as a dip or spread, or it can be used as a sauce or dressing.
If you are looking for other Middle Eastern dishes, try Fragrant Eggplant with a Garlic-Yoghurt Sauce, Cucumber and Yoghurt Mezze, and Chickpea “Tabbouleh”. All of our Middle Eastern dishes are here.
Capsicum recipes you might like to explore include Grilled Peppers and Eggplant Salad, Roasted Red Pepper Salad, and Baked Peppers with Cherry Tomatoes. All of our Capsicum dishes are here. All of our Salads are here.
Our Dips are here if you are after dips and sauces. Or simply take some time to explore our Mid Summer dishes.
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A taste of the Middle East
This is a wonderfully simple dip, spread, dressing or sauce, quick to make, healthy and delicious to eat while watching the share prices.
This time in other years I was making a Cucumber Olan Curry, Salt and Pepper Lotus Seeds, Marinated Zucchini, Dal Makhani Nilgiri, Green Mung Dal Soup, Lentil Dumplings in a Spicy Gravy, and Overnight Breakfast Oats.
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Imagine a piece of bread dipped in lovely golden olive oil, then into a bowl of ground nuts, spices, lentils and seeds.
Imagine a piece of bread dipped in lovely golden olive oil. Then, dripping still, is dipped in a bowl of ground nuts, spices, lentils and seeds. The wonderful aromas. The extraordinary flavours. Popped right into your mouth. Over a cup of coffee. For breakfast.
This mix is Middle Eastern in origin, where it is served at breakfast with bread. One takes a piece of bread, dips it first into a bowl of very good olive oil and then into the mix and then eaten.
Dukkah is a real textural treat, blended from nuts such as pistachio, hazelnut or almond with spices such as cumin, toasted sesame and coriander seeds.
In Australia it is quite popular to serve with drinks before a meal. But it is perfect at any time. Breakfast, lunch, dinner. As a salad topping. Sprinkled over roast or steamed vegetables. Sprinkled over soups. Covering bread dipped in olive oil. Divine. For vegetarians it adds a little protein via the sesame seeds and chick peas.
By contrast, Za’atar is a herbaceous mix of thyme and oregano, sometimes marjoram, that is grounded by toasted sesame seeds and lifted by sumac. It’s brilliant sprinkled over homemade hummus, mixed with olive oil for a paste that you can slather over Lebanese bread and used in baked vegetables and salads.
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