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Monday, June 1, 2009

Falafel and homemade pita bread

To my dearest Recipe to Rivalers,
This month's challenge was effing awesome. i'd been meaning to make pita bread from scratch for awhile, as an alternative to sandwich bread and the challenge of falafel gave me just the nudge i needed. further, May was the start of bbq month so i knew i could bring this as my offering to a fete. ON TOP OF THAT? my first attempt was so dang good, i made it again for supper one night last week and it was EVEN BETTER. (can you tell i'll be making this again, and often?)

it's not so much that i don't like middle eastern food, i guess i do, but i've never really sought it out. maybe because when given choices, i usually choose indian, thai, korean, or even mexican food to eat. or maybe it's cus that one time, a boy totally dissed me at a middle eastern restaurant and the leftover taste in my mouth never fully dissolved (may he suffer from heartburn forevermore). any which way, i've since forgiven falafel. as for the pita bread, Nuria became quite the pita maker, she totally took the reigns on that which was fine with me.

what can i say about this month's challenge? easy, but not so much that i wasn't at least challenged with finding spices, using a mini-food processor so everything was done in painstaking batches but easy that holy hell, the directions were straight forward and there was no chance i could eff up. there were no leftover at buu's memorial day bbq and when i brought leftovers to work for a coworker, she gobbled it all up. WIN!

till next month, our warmest regards,
Angry Asian and Nuria


Falafel: Chickpea Patties
Recipe by Madelain Farah, Lebanese Cuisine, Four Walls Eight Windows, 2001

* 1 pound dried chickpeas
* 1 small onion, coarsely chopped
* 2 cloves garlic, crushed
* 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
* 1 teaspoon ground coriander
* 1 teaspoon baking soda
* 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
* 1/4 teaspoon red chile flakes, optional
* Salt and pepper, as needed
* 1/2 cup vegetable oil

Make the Falafel: Soak the chickpeas in cold water in the refrigerator overnight.

Drain the chickpeas and place them with the onion in the bowl of a food processor. Add the rest of the ingredients, except the oil. Mix well. Process the mixture a second time. Form the mixture into walnut-sized balls and deep-fry or pan-fry in hot oil.

***note, i baked mine at 350degrees for about 20 minutes, or till brown. i did flip them once.

i used this recipe for the pita.

pita bread

Nuria also came up with a very simple sauce. we didn't have any yoghurt in the house, just sour cream. she thinned it with some milk, shaved cucumber (and subsequent juice), salt/pepper to taste.

For more gorgeous falafel, hit up the blogroll.


  1. Ciao ! Your felafel look wonderful !! I still haven't cooked them but I can't wait !!

  2. Your whole meal looks great. I also liked this challenge, I made the fries as well.

  3. I am so glad you forgave falafel! We LOVE Middle Eastern food. Forget the guy and love the food!!!!!! Great job on both pita and falafel. I always love to read your posts.

  4. This looks great! I went with the fries, but only because I didn't have time. After seeing some of the meals all of you came up with, I'm bookmarking the falafel to make, and soon.

  5. Mmm, that looks really good. Like, really good. I'm getting hungry just looking at your pictures.

  6. WOW sounds like you have another Hit :) the Pitas are great aren't they? you certainly made me drool.

  7. Your pita bread looks great. I have never made pita before. Everyone keeps saying it's easy, but I have a nagging fear that my pita won't puff. :(

  8. Hope the guys still having heartburn...LOL..I love your style of writing! This baked falafel intrigues me no end, & I'm walking towards the kitchen to soak some chickpeas!

  9. natalia -
    thank you so much, it was such a joy preparing this dish. i intend to make this meal again and often. :)

    sara -
    thanks, i thought of making the fries, i might have to now, after seeing everyone's gorgeous takes on it.

    lori -
    thank you, this challenge was just fantastic. i'm so glad i let my grudge go and did this challenge with such gusto. :)

    madam chow -
    i can't say it enough, this meal was fab, i am already looking forward to making it again.

    christy -
    you should totally make this. it's so easy and healthy. :)

    temperance -
    the pita were great because they can be paired with just about any sandwich item.

    leela -
    we did get a few that didn't puff but even those tasted great. once you get into a rhythm, it's so easy and fast and worth it. give it a try, i promise, you won't be disappointed.

    deeba -
    i'm very glad you like my writing, i do just type out whatever i'm spewing verbally. i'm not much of a fryer and the baking made my life so much easier. i topped each falafel pattie with a drizzle of olive oil, flipped it half way thru and it was just perfect. :)

  10. Homemade pitas almost reduce me to tears with their sheer Right-ness. I had some truly incredible ones in a streetfront cafe-kitchen (the room was both at the same time, quite unnerving) in Rethymno, Crete in 2007.

    I'm laying off the bread at the moment, because I've realized I get a bad reaction to it - makes me feel heavy and woolly-headed. But it must be something to do with the leavening process, because I'm just fine with pitas. Phew. :)

    I'm going to use your falafel recipe at the weekend. Always wanted to make it. Love eating it. Perfect summer fare for the end of a long hot day, with a hearty scrunch of salad on the side.

  11. mike, i feel the SAME WAY about homemade pita. i'm making this meal again this weekend too, with an ocean between us, we can kinda sorta not really share a meal together. :)

  12. mike, i feel the SAME WAY about homemade pita. i'm making this meal again this weekend too, with an ocean between us, we can kinda sorta not really share a meal together. :)