Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Yogi Falafel

These three way yoga falafel from my "The Kundalini Yoga Cookbook" may seem like a bit of work but they look fantastic and taste even better. Should I even mention it's good for you?!

Blog's Category: Hors D'oeuvre, International, Vegetarian


My family fell in love with falafel a while ago. My basic, staple recipe for a falafel is here, but today I'd like to talk about Three Way Yogi Falafel recipe that comes from one of my favorite cookbook The Kundalini Yoga Cookbook by Jacqueline Koay and Ek Ong Kar Singh. BTW, this book deserves a dedicated post of its own. I've made several recipes from this book and every time was absolutely happy with a result. Three Way Falafel have not disappointed me as well.

FYI: dry chana dal, used in this recipe, also called chick peas or garbanzo beans, can be found in any health market store but I prefer to buy it in Indian groceries. In the recipe below I used dark chana dal although if you would like colors to be more prominent use a light garbanzo beans. Sometimes, I mix dark and light garbanzo beans.

What is it?

It is dry chana dal, soaked overnight, then ground into a paste. With a three colorful additions - sweet potato for orange, red bell pepper for red and fresh herbs for green - ground chick peas is shaped into cute little patties and shallow-fried until crispy and cooked through.

Taste Description

The base taste is dal's earthy, slightly nutty flavor. On a top of this, each of three types has its own character: orange falafel with a sweet potato is smooth, buttery and pleasantly gentle in its sweetness. Red one has a pungent accent of red bell pepper and extra juiciness acquired from a raw blended pepper. Green falafel comes with a fresh overwhelming aroma of herbs.
Orange and red falafel somewhat spicy as both include hot pepper for extra fun.

How to Serve

As usually with this kind of food, it's great right off the pan. Keep falafel in a fridge up to one week and enjoy warmed up in a toaster-oven as a side to your salad or soup, as a snack or on its own, dipped in your favorite sauce. Or impress your guests with this colorful choice of falafel[s] :) served with a two accompaniments: sour cream and raw tomato sauce as on the pictures below.


Three Way Yogi Falafel Recipe

For about 15 orange falafel:
  • 2 c soaked overnight garbanzo beans (also called chana dal, chick peas)
  • 1 large yam (sweet potato with orange flesh)
  • 1 tbs cumin powder
  • 1 tsp red hot pepper flakes (or other hot pepper to taste)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
For about 15 red falafel:
  • 2 c soaked overnight garbanzo beans (also called chana dal, chick peas)
  • 1 red pepper, seeded and roughly chopped
  • 1 tbs paprika
  • 1 tsp red hot pepper flakes (or other hot pepper to taste)
  • 1/2 tsp salt

For about 15 green falafel:

  • 2 c soaked overnight garbanzo beans (also called chana dal, chick peas)
  • 6 tbs finely chopped fresh herbs (any combination of parsley, cilantro or dill)
  • 1 tbs coriander powder
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 5 finely minced garlic cloves (optional)
  • 1/2 tsp salt

 - Drain all 6 cups of soaked falafel (if making all three types) and process it in a food processor, in batches, until pasty. If you process too coarsely it won't hold its shape nicely so try to process it as much as your machine can do. I do not add additional liquid to facilitate processing because I like my falafel not too mushy but rather nicely textured.
- Divide processed chana dal between three bowls.
- For the red falafel, process fresh red bell pepper in a food processor until pureed nicely. Add pepper puree and remaining ingredients to the bowl with chana dal. Mix well with your hands.
- For the orange falafel, cook yam, unpeeled, in a microwave (add a couple of tablespoons of water) for about 6 minutes or until soft when pierced with a knife. Cool down a little bit, peel, and mash with a potato masher. Add mashed yam and remaining ingredients to the second bowl with chana dal. Mix well with your hands.
- For the green falafel, finely chop or process fresh herbs such as parsley, cilantro, dill or any combination of them. Add herbs and remaining ingredients to the third bowl with chana dal. Mix well with your hands.
- Take small portions of falafel mix (I like to use cookie dough scoop). Pressing together with your hands, shape into small, slightly flattened patties and fry them on a preheated frying pan, on a both sides, in a generous amount of olive oil until golden. Keep skillet on a medium-low heat while doing this - this way they won't burn, will brown up evenly and cook through.
- To make fresh tomato sauce, process 1 large ripe tomato,1 red bell pepper and 4 garlic cloves to a fine puree. Then strain it through a fine sieve to get smooth sauce. Add some salt and pepper to a taste.
- Serve falafel with a tomato sauce and sour cream on a side. Enjoy!

Feel free to add minced garlic to the falafel mixes. Sometimes I do this but more often I want my falafel be flavorful but not assertive and prefer to use garlic in sauces on a side.

This is dark (brown) chana dal. I just happened to have this type at a time. For this recipe, it is better to use light colored chick peas. On a plus side - dark chana dal makes falafel where flesh is specked with a pretty dark texturizing flecks..

Soaked chana dal should be processed into coarse paste up until it starts to hold together. I do not like add water while processing, but if you feel that it doesn't hold shape, add a couple of spoons of water, it will help to process it better.

... yam for an orange falafel... bell pepper for a red falafel..

..and fresh herbs for a green falafel... falafel mix... falafel mix..
..cookie dough scoop does a great job for a measuring evenly sized falafel.. falafel mix..'s hard to make preference between all three types - all of them are great. So different but equally delicious..



1 comment:

  1. This looks amazing! I have a falafel recipe I used to love, but I've been looking for ways to spice it up. Thanks!


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