Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Falafel And Hummus

About chickpeas--Use dried ones for falafel and save canned ones for hummus!
Food truck is the trademark of philadelphia. Here, for less than 5 bucks, you can get amazingly good food from all over the world. I used to frequent a middle-eastern truck called "Magic carpet"--their falafel is the best I'v ever had! Keen to reproduce the same flavor, I bought some canned chickpeas (only 69 cents/can!) and started to wait for my impulse to cook.
Finally, on a lazy Friday night, I managed to make a mushy baked version of falafel. Word of caution--DO buy dried chickpeas and soak them, or you will end up like me!

The taste is the same though..


  • 1 cup dried chickpeas
  • 1/2 large onion, roughly chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2-1 teaspoon dried hot red pepper
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 4-6 tablespoons flour
  • Soybean or vegetable oil for frying
  • Chopped tomato for garnishDiced onion for garnish
  • Diced green bell pepper for garnish
  • Tahina sauce
  • Pita bread


1. Put the chickpeas in a large bowl and add enough cold water to cover them by at least 2 inches. Let soak overnight, then drain. Or use canned chickpeas, drained.
2.Place the drained, uncooked chickpeas and the onions in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Add the parsley, cilantro, salt, hot pepper, garlic, and cumin. Process until blended but not pureed.
3.Sprinkle in the baking powder and 4 tablespoons of the flour, and pulse. You want to add enough bulgur or flour so that the dough forms a small ball and no longer sticks to your hands. Turn into a bowl and refrigerate, covered, for several hours.
4.Form the chickpea mixture into balls about the size of walnuts, or use a falafel scoop, available in Middle-Eastern markets.
5.Heat 3 inches of oil to 375 degrees in a deep pot or wok and fry 1 ball to test. If it falls apart, add a little flour. Then fry about 6 balls at once for a few minutes on each side, or until golden brown. Drain on paper towels. Stuff half a pita with falafel balls, chopped tomatoes, onion, green pepper, and pickled turnips. Drizzle with tahina thinned with water.
NOTE: Egyptians omit the cilantro and substitute fava beans for the chickpeas.
To garnish your falafel in true Israeli style, try adding one or several of the following condiments: harissa hot sauce, pickled turnip , mango amba (pickle), or sauerkraut.
I don't want to make mushy falafel again, but I still have a can of chickpeas...Em..how about hummus?

I was lying on my bed last night, reading susan spicer's crescent city cooking (It makes my mind peaceful.^_^) , when her hummus recipe caught my eye. It has garlic confit? Gotta try it!

For garlic confit


  • 2 heads of garlic
  • 1 cup of olive oil
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 sprigs of thyme or rosemary

Bring the mixture to a boil, and simmer until all the water has evaporized. The garlic would turn golden like the following picture.

For hummus:


  • 1/4 cups garlic confit
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 2 cans of chickpeas or white beans
  • 1/2 cups of tahina
  • 1/4 teaspoon red chili flakes
  • 1/4 cups of water
  • 1 tablespoon sherry wine vinegar
  • 2-4 tablespoon of lemon juice
  • 1/4 cups of olive oil+1-2 tablespoon garlic confit olive oil

Blend all the ingredient together, and you will get this amazingly tasty hummus! It's quite addictive.:)

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