Dried beans have always put me off – I like the convenience of the can. Open. Drain. Rinse and ready to cook.
But sometimes you are forced out of your lazy habits and for good reason! I bought a bag of dried chickpeas (garbanzo beans) and went through the palava of soaking and pre-cooking them, and there is such a distinct difference in both taste and flavour. I think I may be hooked!
So with half my beans I made humus and the other half I made (or rather ‘am making’ they are in the oven as I write) Falafels. Really Falafels are a type of garbanzo bean burger, but i really hate that name – for me it is so unappetizing .
Here is the recipe that I follow when I make humus. Although as with most of my food, I change the seasoning and spices depending on what my mood is.
1 ½ cups chickpeas (garbanzos)
3 garlic cloves, peeled
2 – 3 tblsp tahini paste (I read that you can use peanut butter instead if you can’t find tahini paste…although i have never tried this)
1 lemon – juiced
Cayenne or hot Hungarian paprika
2 teaspoons olive oil
1. Put all the ingredients into a blender and blend until it becomes a smooth mixture. If you feel that the paste is too thick, you can thin it out either with the water from the canned beans or the water that you cooked the beans in. If you have neither at hand, normal water will do just fine.
2. Give it a taste and season again. I always find that I generally need to add more lemon and salt. However, remember that once you have left the humus to sit, the flavours seem to blend in to each other really well.
3. Serve with a drizzle of olive oil, a few whole chickpeas and some chopped parsley or basal sprinkled on top.
This was the first time I made falafel – and I’m surprised at how easy and how good they tasted. Here is the original recipe of falafel I found on another blog on FoodBuzz http://www.foodbuzz.com/recipes/1660395-falafel-fa-la-la-la-fel, but I did make some amendments to the spices considering what I had at home, and I also baked them, rather than fried them as I wanted to make it an all round healthy meal.
2 cups chickpeas (garbanzo beans)
2 handfuls of fresh coriander
1 small onion
3 garlic cloves
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
2 tablespoons cumin
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 tablespoon curry powder
4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1. Heat your oven to 175
2. In a food processor put in the chickpeas, coriander, onion and garlic and blend until it’s a nice thick paste.
3. Transfer the paste into a bowl, and add the cumin, chili powder, curry powder, flour and salt and combine everything together.
4. Shape the mixtures into patties – I made four ‘burger’ sized patties – then place them on a backing tray.
5. Bake for 20 mins, and then carefully flip the patties and bake for a further 5 – 10 mins
I ate my falafels with a coleslaw that ‘C’ had made over the weekend. The tangy flavours of the slaw as well as the slightly wet consistency really worked well with the falafel. However, if i was going to eat this with a salad, I would definitely make a sauce like the cucumber and yoghurt sauce described in the blog above.