Yotam Ottelenghi’s falafel with flatbread and Yogurt-Molasses_Tahini Dressing

Today is a triple recipe kind of day! And honestly, what’s not to love?
All three recipes are from either Plenty or Jerusalem, both cookbooks by Yotam Ottelenggi and Sami Tamimi that I am smitten with. Not only is the food great, it’s the kind of cookbook that I like sitting in bed reading. Just reading. The recipes come with stories and

while Plenty is a vegetarian cookbook, Jerusalem features food for both meat eaters and vegetarians alike. Today’s recipes however are vegetarian.
I’ll be the first to admit it.

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One bad falafel experience and you’re scarred for life. I ate a really really bad falafel a few years back and I hated it. It was gummy and excessively oily and just plain terrible. Needless to say, I didn’t eat a falafel again for the next few years.
That changed yesterday. I was flipping through the cookbooks( although the only flipping I should be doing is with textbooks :/) and I saw the recipe for falafels. Then, something hit. I felt like making falafel. So I got up and reached downstairs and soaked a cup if chickpeas. It was 11:30 at night.
The next day, I made falafels.
The verdict? Yotam Ottenlenghi, you nailed this. Perfect,perfect, perfect.
I paired it with a yogurt-tahini sauce out of Jerusalem and whole wheat yogurt flatbreads from Plenty. No one missed the meat.
We’ll be seeing a lot more Ottelenghi on this blog for sure!

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FALAFEL WITH WHOLE WHEAT YOGURT FLATBREAD WITH YOGURT-TAHINI SAUCE

FOR THE FALAFEL:
1 1/4 cups / 250 g dried chickpeas
½ medium onion, finely chopped (½ cup / 80 g in total)
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 tbsp finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
2 tbsp finely chopped cilantro
¼ tsp cayenne pepper
½ tsp ground cumin
½ tsp ground coriander
¼ tsp ground cardamom
½ tsp baking powder
3 tbsp water
1½ tbsp all-purpose flour
about 3 cups / 750 ml sunflower oil, for deep-frying
1/2 tsp sesame seeds, for coating
salt
Place the chickpeas in a large bowl and cover with cold water at least twice their volume. Set aside to soak overnight. I boiled them but there’s not need to. Infact, avoid boiling them all together as that’s what the book suggests.
The next day, drain the chickpeas well and combine them with the onion, garlic, parsley, and cilantro. Now in a food processor, pulse together the chickpeas and the herbs till broken down but not mushy or pasty, and holds itself together in a ball. Next, add the spices, baking powder, ¾ teaspoon salt, flour, and water. Mix well by hand until smooth and uniform. Cover the mixture and leave it in the fridge for at least 1 hour, or overnight for making it the next day.
Fill a deep, heavy-bottomed medium saucepan with oil( I used regular vegetable oil).
With wet hands, press 1 tablespoon of the mixture in the palm of your hand to form a patty and form a walnut shaped ball.
Sprinkle the balls evenly with sesame seeds and deep-fry them in batches for 4 minutes, until well browned and cooked all the way to the inside, so make sure they get enough time in the oil. Drain and serve with the flatbread and sauce.

FOR THE FLATBREAD:
1 cup + 2 tsp whole wheat flour
3/4 cup yogurt (plain)
1/2 tsp salt
A bunch chopped flat leaf parsley
1 tbsp or so of water if needed
4 tbsp olive oil for cooking the flatbread

Combine the dry ingredients in a bowl. Add the yogurt and whisk till a smooth dough forms. Chill for an hour or till ready to use.
Break the dough into 6 parts. On a well floured surface, roll out 6 long pieces of dough. They should be thin enough that you can see through them a bit. Over medium heat, place a grill pan to warm up. Drizzle over olive oil and cook the flatbreads till well charred on both sides . Don’t flip them more than once.
Serve hot.

FOR THE SAUCE:
“¾ cup / 180 g light tahini paste ( I used regular tahini, 1/2 cup instead of 3/4)
2 cloves garlic, crushed
¼ cup / 15 g flat-leaf parsley, chopped
¼ cup / 15 g chopped mint, plus extra to finish
⅔ cup / 150 g Greek yogurt
¼ cup / 60ml freshly squeezed lemon juice, plus grated zest of 1 lemon ( I left this out)
1 tsp pomegranate molasses, ( I used blackstrap)

Whisk together all the ingredients to make the sauce.

To serve:
Top the warm flatbreads with falafel, drives tomatoes and cucumbers and drizzle on the sauce. Garnish with mint leaves. Eat!

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