Saturday, April 17, 2010

Falafel with Yogurt Mint Sauce

Work has been slowly accumulating over this past week. This quarter has been quite fun and interesting, which is something rare to hear from me because usually, I would not show up to any lectures because lectures are boring and I can't learn unless I have a problem presented in front of me.

Now onto business... To continue with my vegetarian diet, I treated myself to falafel with yogurt sauce. A little story about my experiences with falafel.

I have never heard of falafel until I came to UCLA. I saw a couple restaurants that served this fried mystery. The first eatery I came upon was Falafel King on Broxton Ave. I, of course, was swayed by the name. "This must be a good place because it claims to be the king of falafels xD." I ordered. I waited. I got served. First bite ... it was quite delicious! From that moment, I have decided that falafels are my new favorite food item with pho, korean bbq, and gua bao. To my surprise, I had no clue the entire meal I had was vegetarian, and at the time, I was quite disappointed that it contained no meat.

The no meat is no longer a disappointment for my vegetarian self today. I would consider this to be as delicious as country fried steak or a hamburger. Falafels are even high in proteins due to chickpeas, which is a plus for getting enough proteins in my diet. The recipe and techniques to produce a falafel is quite simple.

Falafel with Yogurt Mint Sauce

1 can Chickpeas
1 small Yellow onion
1 medium Potato (about 1/2 cup chopped)
2 tbs Flour
2 tsp Baking powder
3 cloves Garlic
1/3 cup Parsley
2 tsp Cumin powder
2 tsp Cardamon powder
2 tsp Paprika
1 tsp Salt
1 tsp White pepper

Preparations of deliciousness
1. Place chickpeas, parsley, garlic, onion, and potatoes in the food processor (make sure to chop all the ingredients before hand so that the food processor can handle it)
Note: I had chopped mine : (. Took about 10 minutes. Yay! Knife skills!

2. Mix in all the spices, salt, pepper, flour, and baking powder.
3. Let the mixture sit for 2 hours or more

1. Fill deep fryer or pot with oil
2. Form small patties with a tablespoon
3. When the oil is hot, throw in the falafel and cook until brown on all sides (not burnt! and should take about 5-7 minutes)
4. Serve with sauce (below) in pita bread, toast, or salad.

Optional Pairings
1. Tomatoes
2. Cucumbers
3. Hummus.
4. Pita chips

Yogurt Mint Sauce
1 cup Greek yogurt
1/3 cup Mint leaves
1/2 lime
Zest of whole lime
Salt and pepper

1. Finely chop mint leaves
2. Squeeze lime juice into the yogurt
3. Add all the ingredients together, salt and pepper to taste!

Enjoy! Time to plan the next vegetarian meal

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