Holidays and falafel.


(Em português)

I've been meaning to post this falafel recipe for so long that I have associated it with quite a few subjects think of the post's text.
For the time being, I figured I could not associate it with anything other than holidays and vacation.
One of the subjects I thought of before had to do with a situation that really annoys me.
Then I thought "Well, how silly. I won't go talking about something annoying at a time like this".
The best thing about vacation is precisely to slow down of everything that has became worn out (or which has worn us out) through the routine - regardless of how long we have to rest, be it a long time or just a couple days.
Even if the pause is short, we have this advantage of counting time in cycles; living day by day, year by year, so that we constantly have endings and new beginnings.
When one span is over, everything that is unnecessary stays behind, we don't have to keep it through the next day, the next year.
Ain't that sweet? All we have to do is remember to leave things behind.

Taking advantage of this gorgeous Summer, let's spend time with family, walk in flip flops all day, cook listening to good music, fight for a place in the hammock,  and try to reduce the pile of books awaiting to be read.

Now, falafel. In case someone in the crow doesn't now it, I'll present you:
It's a savory fritter made out of chickpeas, onions, fresh coriander, pepper and a few other optional seasonings, it's traditional from Arabian cuisine.
The recipe I got came from cooksnaps.
Falafel is good both for crazy workdays as well as for days when all you want to do is enjoy leisure without giving up a tasty lunch.
They are soft inside, crunchy outside, quite well seasoned.They are great served with a huge raw salad and/or some hommus (chickpea paste), some dry curd, babaganuj (toasted eggplant paste).
I also thought it would go nicely with some lentils stew.

1 cup (aprox 150g) dry chickpeas, uncooked
1 1/2 tablespoon all purpose flour
1 small diced onion
1 clove of garlic
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper (or to taste. This is a hot pepper)
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon ground cumin seeds
1/2 teaspoon coriander powder
3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley or fresh coriander leaves
1/2 teaspoon salt
Optional: a pinch cardamom powder
Oil to fry, enough to cover about 2,5cm in the bottom of s medium pan. (I have used canola. The original recipe recommends grape seed oil).
(Cup measure: 240ml).

Well, it all starts washing the chickpeas in running water, and putting it to soak in fresh water. When I cooked it, I left soaking overnight, but I suppose 6 hours would be enough.
After the soak, I drained the chickpeas very well,  roughly chopped the garlic, onion and fresh coriander, and mixed all the ingredients in a bowl - except for the frying oil, of course.
* when I took the picture below, I used oregano instead of the coriander, because that's what I had at hand. Coriander is the nice option, though.

I processed the ingredients in small batches using my trustworthy blender, till it reached a rough meal texture (if you prefer, use a food processor. Just take care not to achieve a paste/ smooth texture).

I left the dough resting covered in the fridge for about an hour, so that the fritter would hold their shape nicely when frying. If you don't have the time, that's not a problem.
The dough should be firm enough to be shaped into ball with your hands, but it should not be compact.
If they don't hold the shape, try adding a bit more flour, little by little.
After shaping 8 slightly flat balls, I let the dough rest again in the fridge. Again, if that's not possible, don't worry.

I put 2cm oil in the pan and heated it over medium-high fire until tiny bubbles started to show up. I threw in a bit of raw dough, if it starts to fry immediately, temperature is good.
Pardom my lack of precision, I am a leading zero in terms of frying.
Ok. So I put a lonely falafel in the pan, to make sure it would come out all right. Maybe it will seem like falling apart at first, but then it will hold the shape after a few seconds in the heat.
If it do come apart, it might need to be processed finer or to incorporate a little more flour.
Since I had no trouble at all, I went on. When the falafel's first side turned brown I flipped it in the pan and let the other side brown up. Look, each side should take 2 to 3 minutes to fry. If it's quicker, lower the heat, otherwise they will remain raw in the center.
If it take much longer than that, lower the heat a little, or else they will absorb oil and become heavy.

As I took the falafels out of the pan, I put them in a dish lined with paper towel to absorb excess oil. I kept a pan lid on top of them to maintain temperature and served as soon as all of the fritters were done.

This amount yields enough to serve two or three people, depending on what are the accompaniments.
Can also be served as a snack.

If anyone needs a gentle push to get in the vacation mood, in this link there is a playlist I put together and felt like sharing.
I intend to bring new in 2014, lets hope it all gets done quickly.
Meanwhile, enjoy holiday season with your loved ones, I'll enjoy it in here.
Xoxo, see you soon!

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