Our mouth starts watering immediately when we hear or think of the food we like. Being an Indian food lover, my mouth starts watering automatically as I hear some person talking about falafel, panipuri, chholey bhatoore, the Hyderabadi biryani, the mandi or the shawarma.
People have their own tastes and likes. My favorite is Indian cuisine. And while mentioning the above food varieties my mouth had already started watering giving me a sense of smell as though they were just before me to have.
We see various cuisines from various geographical locations available just a lane away from our places. The liking for foods of various kinds by people has drastically changed over the years. The reasons may be various.
The transfer of western food culture along with their fashion, the trades with China, the movement of Arabian students for their education to India, the improvement of the living standard or many other reasons which go unnoticed have all contributed to the vast food market in India.
In addition to the Indian cuisine or as an alternative I always opt for Arabian cuisine. Arabian cuisine is well liked by many all over the world and one such Arabian dish is the Falafel. This ‘Falafel’ has been in trending dishes in America the recent week. It has been liked and loved by Arabians in all parts of the world.
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Falafel is an Arabian dish which originated in Egypt also known as taʿamiya meaning a small round thing or a peppercorn. Falafel is a deep-fried ball or a flat or doughnut-shaped patty which is made from ground chickpeas, fava beans, or both.
Preparation of Falafel recipe
The commonly added ingredients of the dough are herbs, spices, and onion relatives. This Middle Eastern dish is also commonly eaten throughout Western Asia. Now the fritters are found around the world as part of vegetarian cuisine and as a form of street food.
Falafel balls are commonly served in a pita, which acts as a pocket or wrapped in a flatbread, also known in western Arab countries as taboon. It also frequently refers to a wrapped sandwich prepared with falafel balls laid over a bed of salad or pickled vegetables and drizzled with hot sauce or a tahini sauce.
Falafel balls may also be eaten alone as a snack or served as part of an assortment of appetizers known as a meze. It is made from fava beans or chickpeas. The use of chickpeas is predominant in most Middle Eastern countries, such as Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Palestine, and Syria.
This version is the most popular in the West. In Egypt, fava beans, chickpeas, or often a combination of the two may be used. When chickpeas are used, they are not cooked prior to use (cooking the chickpeas will cause the falafel to fall apart, requiring adding some flour to use as a binder).
Instead, they are soaked (sometimes with baking soda) overnight and then ground together with various ingredients such as parsley, scallions, and garlic. For added flavor we use spices such as cumin and coriander are often added to the beans.
The dried fava beans are soaked in water and then stone ground with leek, parsley, green coriander, cumin, and dry coriander. The mixture is shaped into balls or patties. This can be done by hand or with a tool called an aleb falafel (falafel mold). The mixture is usually deeply fried, or it can be oven baked.
When not served alone, falafel is often served with flat or unleavened bread, such as wrapped within lafa or stuffed in a hollow pita. Tomatoes, lettuce, cucumbers, and other garnishes, such as pickles can be added. It is commonly accompanied by tahini.
Falafel is typically ball-shaped but is sometimes made in many other shapes, particularly doughnut-shaped. The inside part of it may be green in color (from green herbs such as parsley or green onion).
Falafel made with chickpeas is high in protein, complex carbohydrates, and fiber. Some of the key nutrients are calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, zinc, copper, manganese, vitamin C, thiamine, pantothenic acid, vitamin B, and folate. Photochemical include beta-carotene. Falafel is high in soluble fiber, which has been shown to be effective in lowering blood cholesterol.
Chickpeas are low in fat and contain no cholesterol, but a considerable amount of fat is absorbed during the frying process. It can also be baked to reduce the high-fat content associated with frying.
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The current record for largest falafel ball, 74.75 kg (164.4 lb), was set on 28 July 2012 in Amman, Jordan by the Landmark hotel. Using a standard recipe, 10 chefs prepared the 130 cm diameter falafel ball.
The record for the largest serving of falafel, 5,173 kg (11,404 lb 8 oz), was set by Chef Ramzi Choueiri and the students of Al-Kafaat University (Lebanon) in Beirut on 9 May 2010.
No matter how many dishes we try, we always tend to be inquisitive in trying new food and develop a liking for various cuisines sometimes even ignoring the health as there is only one life.
But it’s always better to be knowing and fit keep trying on various dishes and adventures. The diversity of food can be a major bridge between nations and cultures as we say unity in diversity is the strength.
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