Monday, March 15, 2010

Felafel with Quinoa

Making your own felafel is not so hard, but you do need to think about it a day ahead.
This recipe is an adaptation of a standard felafel recipe with quinoa (keenwa) replacing the cracked wheat.
What is quinoa?
Go to wikepedia-
In my own words:
A South American grain that has a lot of uses. Gluten free. Apparently has a coating of a substance call saponin, which needs to be rubbed off in cold water. Very easy to use, and a great substitute for cracked wheat.

Bush Cooks:
I was once given a plastic bag full of felafel mixture by a Lebanese neighbour as a thank you present, and told to keep it in the freezer and cook as requried. I've done this when living out bush, and parceled up the mixture into meal size portions. It can be an easy meal, and much healthier than fast food. One other tip - if you don't have parsley, use celery leaves. In fact, I would almost recommend celery leaves over parsley.

FELAFEL RECIPE (Adapted from The Complete Mediterranean Cookbook, by Tess Mallos)
225 gm dried chickpeas (organic preferably)
cold water
1/3 cup quinoa
2-3 cloves garlic
1 onion
2 spring onions
1/2 cup either flat leaf parsley, fresh coriander, or celery leaves (you can be generous with this amount)
1 teaspoon coriander, dry roasted and finely ground
1 teaspoon cummin, dry roasted and finely ground
lemon or lime juice to taste (start with a tablespoon and adjust to your taste)
salt (start with 1.5 teaspoon salt, and adjust to your taste)
freshly ground pepper
1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

oil or ghee for deep frying (I prefer ghee)

  1. Rinse chickpeas and take out damaged or black ones.
  2. Put in large bowl, cover with cold water and place in refrigerator. Soak for 24 hours.
  3. Rinse the quinoa under running water and let soak. After around a half hour, rub the quinoa to get rid of the saponin and rinse in fine strainer. Let drain for 10 minutes.
  4. Drain chickpeas and place all ingredients (except oil/ghee) in a food processor and grind until you have a coarse paste. Taste and adjust the lemon juice and salt to your taste.
  5. Cover and let stand for a half hour.
  6. Wet your hands and make small balls or patties, about a dessert spoon each.
  7. Heat the oil or ghee, and when hot drop in the felafel patties. Move around with a wooden spoon and keep cooking until brown. Remove and drain on paper.
  8. Continue with the rest of the mixture. Freeze what you don't deep fry.

To Serve
Serve with freshly baked Turkish bread, carrot and beans cooked with tomato, a green salad and a dip (yoghurt, carrot, babaganoush or beetroot.)