We got a request from a visitor from Toronto for Falafel and Tabouleh recipes. Here they are :
A falafel sandwich is the king of all vegetarian sandwiches and the most favorable. For a long time it was the meal of the poor, not anymore. Its popularity expanded form its origins in the Middle East, to all continents.
The falafel balls, although deep fried, remain among the top healthy food around, first because it cooks without absorbing oil like other fried vegetables do, and second because it is rich in protein, fiber, carbohydrates, iron...... While a falafel sandwich like ours is a full and filling meal, it counts for less than 500 calories.
In some countries, such as Egypt, falafels are prepared with fava beans. In others, garbanzo also known as chickpeas are used. We, in favor of both, use both beans in our recipe.
1 cup dry garbanzo
1 cup dry cracked small fava beans
1 small yellow onion
½ bunch fresh green parsley
2 to 3 cloves garlic
1 teaspoon each table salt, cumin, crushed pepper
2 tablespoon flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
A dash of baking soda
Soak both beans together in water overnight, changing the water at least twice. They should be ready in the morning. Drain completely then blend in a food processor with the onion, parsley and spices, to a fine texture but not too smooth ( keep the mix little grainy). When ready to fry, add the flour, and the baking powder and soda. ( The powders make the fried falafels fluffy and more importantly, they keep the golden falafel's color from turning dark ).
Mold in small balls and deep fry in 350 degrees vegetable oil.
Makes 35 to 40 one oz falafel balls.
From the heart of Lebanon, from Zahleh in the Bekaa Valley comes the tabouleh. This is, in our opinion, one of the healthiest and most delicious salads that exist. There are many variations of its recipe. Some added cheese, others added cucumbers and olives. All these recipes could be good, but they should have any other name but tabouleh.
We have seen a recipe that goes like this : 2 cups crushed wheat, 2 tablespoons parsley, 2 table spoons tomatoes, etc..... Just imagine a Caesar salad that goes like this : 2 leaves of romaine lettuce, 2 cups of croutons, 2 slices of tomatoes, etc.... Tabouleh and Caesar salads main ingredients are vegetables; crushed wheat and croutons are supplements that enhance the flavor.
Here is an original recipe :
2 bunches of fresh green parsley
3 medium size (size 8*8) tomatoes
2 tablespoons fine (#1) crushed wheat ( bulgar )
1 green onion
½ teaspoon table salt
1 teaspoon of dried mint
Pinch of black pepper
½ cup lemon juice ( preferably fresh)
2 tablespoons olive oil
Hand chop the parsley ( machines will squeeze the juice out ) and the onions. Dice the tomatoes into little squares. Add all ingredients and toss gently (do not wash the bulgar). Add more lemon and salt to your liking.
Serves 6 people.
We have received the first request for Houmos recipe. We have emailed the recipe to the requester and here it is for the rest of you to enjoy.
Houmos like many other dishes can be prepared in different ways and tastes. Some like it garlicky, others prefer more sour taste or mixed with extra tahineh. Even the texture may vary. It could be very smooth and fine (close to the sour cream texture) less smooth and even grainy. At the end, it's the chef's choice and taste. We like the following recipe, that we use in our restaurant.
1 teaspoon fine crushed garlic
1 teaspoon table salt
½ cup lemon juice
½ cup tahineh ( sesame paste that you can find at Middle Eastern grocery shops - try different brands )
¼ to ½ cup of water ( check the thickness )
2 16oz cans of well rinsed garbanzo beans ( you can go the old fashion way soaking dry garbanzo overnight )
Blend all ingredients together until you reach the desired texture. Serve at room temperature or cold with olive oil and some paprika. It could be refrigerated for a few days and lasts little longer if covered by olive oil.
Serves 6 to 8 people..
Feta Cheese Salad
Greece is famous for it's Feta cheese among many other things. Feta's texture and sour taste made it perfect for a delicious salad. But what is a good salad if the dressing is not quite right.. Here's our simple but yet refreshing dressing.
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
1/3 cup salad or olive oil
3 table spoons of balsamic vinegar
one dash each of salt, black pepper and dry mint.
Serves 10 to 15.
Since feta is salty, go easy on salt.
You may want to try to add other dried herbs or even a clove of garlic.
This is our recipe for Chicken Stroganoff. The lady who requested this recipe claims in her email that " It is absolutely the best I've had" . We hope that you will agree with her.
3 diced yellow onions
2 lbs chicken cubes( boneless skinless white chicken. We use chicken tenders)
1 teaspoons table salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
1 dash of worcester sauce
1 dash of nutmeg
½ cup vegetable oil
2 lbs sliced mushrooms
2 lbs sour cream
1 pack Stroganoff powder ( at any supermarket)
Sauté all ingredients except the last three ( mushrooms, sour cream and stroganoff powder) until chicken is cooked. Add the mushrooms and stir for 5 minutes.
Mix the sour cream with the Stroganoff powder then add over the mix and stir. Keep on very low fire until it starts to boil.
Serve with noodles or white rice.
Serves 6 to 8 people.