When we were in
Pita Bread (Adapted from Arabic Bites)
You will need:
3 cups All Purpose Flour
1 ½ cups whole wheat flour
1 tbsp Active Dry yeast
1 tbsp honey
2 ½ cups warm water
2 tsp salt
2 tbsp Olive oil
Preheat oven to 550 F.Combine yeast, honey and ½ cup warm water in a bowl. Cover and let sit for 10 minutes until frothy.
Place all purpose flour, wheat flour, yeast mixture, remaining water (2 cups)salt and olive oil in the bowl of a food processor and blend till it forms a ball. Remove and roll into a smooth ball. Divide the dough into 12 evenly sized balls. Cover with a moist cloth and let sit in a warm place for an hour till it doubles in size.
Roll each ball into a round, it should be even all over and not very thick.Place two at a time on a baking sheet and bake for 1 minute each side, till its puffy and light brown. Repeat with all the rounds. Serve warm with hummus and falafel.
I had once tried a boxed Hummus mix to satisfy a 'hummus' craving and my, that was such a disaster. It tasted like chalk and was a big disappointment. Since then no more box mixes for me!
This time I decided to make it at home to go along with the Pita, and no regrets :)
You will need:
1 16 oz can of chickpeas
1/4 cup liquid from can of chickpeas
3-5 tablespoons lemon juice (depending on taste)
1 1/2 tablespoons Tahini (recipe below)
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons olive oil
Drain chickpeas and set aside liquid from can. Combine remaining ingredients in blender or food processor. Add ¼ cup of liquid from chickpeas. Blend for 3-5 minutes on low until thoroughly mixed and smooth.
Transfer to a serving bowl, sprinkle paprika on top and serve immediately with fresh, warm pita bread.
Hummus can be refrigerated for up to 3 days and can be kept in the freezer for up to one month. Add a little olive oil if it appears to be too dry.
Tahini is a Middle Eastern pantry essential. It is the foundation for many Middle Eastern recipes like Hummus and Baba Ghanoush.
Tahini can be easily made at home. It is called Tahini or Tahina, depending on the region.
You will need: (Makes - 4 cups)
5 cups sesame seeds
1 ½ cups olive oil or vegetable oil
Preheat oven to 350 F.Spread sesame seeds on a baking sheet and toast them for 5-10 minutes, shaking the seeds frequently with a spatula. Do not allow to brown. Cool for 20 minutes.
Place toasted sesame seeds in the bowl of a food processor and blend. While it’s running stream in olive oil till you get a thick sauce which has pouring consistency.
Tahini should be stored in the refrigerator in a tightly closed container. It will keep for up to 3 months.
For this one I used a tried and tested recipe and absolutely had no doubts about the outcome. This one is from Bee and Jai of Jugalbandi. They’ve in turn adapted the recipe from Baking Bites, but I simply loved their precise instructions and possible situations while cooking.
I followed the recipe for most part except for a few changes. I used canned chickpeas instead of dried/soaked. In spite of adding bread crumbs to the mixture as suggested, the ball wouldn’t hold on frying. So I rolled the balls in a very thin mixture of corn flour and water. By thin I mean very thin, with hardly any taste of corn flour. I then rolled the balls again in bread crumbs, so they stood well on the balls while frying. The end result was perfect as their picture. As you know now, I deep fried the falafel so I’m skipping their notes on baking the falafel. But do read it here.
Here’s their recipe for the benefit of my non- blogging readers.
You will need:
2 cups dried chickpeas, soaked 18-24 hours (or 2 cups canned chickpeas)
1 tsp baking powder
1 onion, chopped (about 1 cup)
4 garlic cloves, smashed
2 tsps cumin powder
2 tsps coriander powder
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
2 handfuls fresh parsley
1 handful fresh cilantro
salt and pepper
Breadcrumbs/flour for binding
Soak the dried chickpeas for 18-24 hours. Rinse, drain and dry them on a towel. Drain and rinse chickpeas if using canned.
Grind it to a fine, but not smooth paste with all the other ingredients except the breadcrumbs/flour. If it is too loose, add breadcrumbs/flour. It should hold its shape in your hand. Check the seasonings.
Refrigerate it for a while if you can. It helps to blend the flavours and make the mixture less wet.
Make 22-24 balls. Deep fry in hot oil on low to medium heat until golden brown on the outside. Do not overheat oil which will lead to quick browning on the outside before the insides are cooked.
Serve with Hummus and Pita bread. You can stuff pita bread with falafel, lettuce, tomatoes, tahini, salt and pepper and serve.
I had planned to make a Salad alongside, but to my bad luck was out of cucumbers on that day so skipped it.
This is one meal I know I will be making over and over, and I won’t miss Fadis as much from now on!