Honoring the food of my readers: Israeli falafel and ptitim salad

Falafel. Glorious falafel. Although Egypt can be credited as the origin of this dish, I believe falafel is a true Israeli national dish. I served this with a salad and you can have them in a pita if you are bread kings and queens like my kiddos. These particular falafel really celebrate sesame seeds and are covered in them. I love the flavour that the tahini brings out in the falafel itself.

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Israel is a country with an ancient and varied history. As a Christian, this nation is exceedingly important as the Bible sets out that they are God’s first and chosen people.

Tahini falafel

What you will need:

  • 2 cups dried chickpeas (If you use canned or cooked chickpeas, the falafel balls tend to disintegrate.)
  • 1 cup fresh parsley leaves, stems removed
  • 3/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves, stems removed
  • 1/2 cup fresh dill, thick stems removed
  • 2-3 tbsp tahini
  • 1 tbsp ground black pepper
  • 1 tbsp ground cumin
  • 1 tbsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 cup flour (I prefer gram flour as it is made of chickpeas. Add it gently so that your mix doesn’t get too dry.)
  • Raw sesame seeds
  • Oil for frying

How you can do it:

  1. Soak dried chickpeas overnight. Drain.
  2. Combine all the ingredients, except for the sesame seeds and frying oil, in a food processor.
  3. Form the mixture into about 16 balls, depending on what size you like them.
  4. Roll them in sesame seeds to coat them.
  5. Fry the seeded falafels (about 4 to 6 at a time) for about 4-6 minutes, moving the pan until they are evenly toasted.
  6. Keep the cooked falafel warm in an oven.
  7. Serve when you are ready.

Ptitim salad

What you will need:

  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup Israeli pearl couscous
  • 2 cups water
  • Generous pinch of salt
  • 3 tbsp pine nuts, toasted
  • 2 roasted red peppers, sliced
  • 1 onion, chopped

To dress the salad:

  • 3 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp white vinegar
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 bunch fresh chives, finely chopped
  • 1 bunch fresh parsley, finely chopped

How you can do it:

  1. Heat 2 tbsp olive oil in a pan and then toast off the couscous for about 3 minutes.
  2. Add water and salt and bring to a boil before simmering for 10-15 minutes.
  3. Allow water to absorb and then set aside.
  4. Add nuts, pepper and onion.
  5. Combine dressing ingredients in a lidded container and shake to form vinaigrette.
  6. Dress the salad and toss it to coat in vinaigrette.

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Thank you, Israel, for your delicious flavour combinations.

From mine to yours,

Mumma Alsum

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