Peter and I catch a few shows on the food network from time to time. Lately, Peter enjoys watching Guy Fieri's Diners and Drive Ins where Guy goes from dive to dive showing all of the great eats around the country. On Saturday, we saw Guy's own show called Guy's Big Bite, where we watched him make Tempura Stuffed Avocados. I commit formally to trying them soon. Especially since Peter brought home boxed tempura batter the other day. I guess that is my cue....they looked incredible though.
Today, Peter was watching Diners and Drive ins, and one place was making Falafels! What are those? Wikipedia will tell you.
Falafel ( Arabic: فَلافِِل falaafil (help·info), also known in Egypt and Sudan as ta'meya (طعمية), is a fried ball or patty made from spiced fava beans and/or chickpeas. It has become a popular form of fast food in the Levant and in the Mashriq (Arab East), where it is also served as a mezze (snack or tapas). The word "falafel" is the plural of the Arabic word فِِلِِفِِل (filfil), meaning pepper.
Falafel is usually served as a sandwich wrapped in pita bread, and outside the Middle East, the term "falafel" commonly refers to this sandwich—falafel in a pita is typical street food or fast food. Along with the falafel balls, which may be crushed onto the bread or added whole, topping variations are usually included. Falafel balls may also be eaten alone as a snack or served as part of a mezze. During Ramadan they are sometimes eaten as part of an iftar, the meal which breaks the daily fast after sunset.
Anyway, I had my first falafel in Israel many years ago. I would eat them from street vendors, and practically died of food poisoning from one of them, but I still love them. I am not sure if it is the Tzatziki sauce, or the chickpeas and seasonings, but they taste so fresh and yummy!!! Peter suggested that I make them for dinner. Not our typical dinner fare.... but I have to admit, sometimes I get excited about a challenge in the kitchen.
I tried a recipe from Martha.. Really, for most recipes, I trust her most, and I will search her website for a recipe first. I was right, it was fab. However, I did not measure my liquids very closely and regretted it later when my falafel patties would not firm up... However, they were still incredible! Try them when you are feeling VERY adventuresome, but don't skip the Tzatziki sauce! Links are to the right!