Falafel with Cucumber Salad

Are you participating in Meatless Monday yet? If not, you should, and start with this dish. Or any of the ones I’ve posted up recently, really. The idea is simple, cut out meat once a week, and this helps to improve our own health as well as the planet’s. It can reduce your risk of preventable conditions such as heart disease, and it also reduces your carbon footprint indirectly. Plus, it’s also cheaper considering the prices of meat have been going up.

Why Monday? Because it’s the start of the week and also the day we are most likely to start new. Therefore, it’s easier to adhere to.

Enough with the preaching, and let’s talk about Falafel. Despite being funky sounding, this is a dish which will lull your most carnivorous partner or friend into eating beans. Hails from the Middle East, they are essentially round chickpea fritters with parsley as the prominent herb. These are no ordinary fritters though, because they are packed with so much flavours and almost meaty tasting due to the texture. It was the first time Frank tried this (there has been a lot of firsts for him actually when it comes to food), and he asked for extras!

These babies are usually served with pita bread and salad. This is a low carb version, so to speak.

Falafel with Cucumber Salad

Ingredients

Falafel (Makes 10 balls) 

1 brown onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 teaspoons ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 can chickpeas, drained, rinsed
1 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
1/3 cup plain flour
1 egg
salt and pepper, to taste

Place chickpeas in a big bowl and mash with fork, then add the rest of the ingredients. (If you have working food processor, just process everything until smooth. Shaped mixture into 3cm diameter balls. Set aside.

Heat oil in a skillet and shallow fry falafel until nicely browned in appearance. Drain excess oil on kitchen paper.

Cucumber salad

1 cucumber, finely diced
2 tomatoes, finely diced
half red onion, finely diced
1/4 cup of chopped coriander
juice of 2 calamansi limes (If using normal lime add half teaspoon of sugar too)
Salt to taste

Mix all the ingredients together and season. Chill in fridge for 15-20mins. (I’d make this before starting with the falafel)

To assemble, spoon some natural yoghurt on the plate and place falafel balls on top. Sprinkle with some extra cayenne pepper. Garnish with extra parsley leaves. Place salad on the side. You can either serve the balls hot or room temperature.

Watch your eating partner swoon, or do it yourself.

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