As you may imagine, the streets of Amman, and I guess that’s valid for every else city throughout the Middle East, are flooded with falafel stands. There is no need to prepare them at home, because in Amman you pay for 20 pieces around 0.50 JOD/~0.60 €. Traditionally they are prepared with chickpeas served in a sandwich or on side with hummus – mostly eaten for breakfast. But instead of chickpeas I wanted try red lentils. There is also no need to deep fry them; to create a more heathy meal you can bake them without losing much of the taste.
The following Lentil Falafel goes perfectly with some fresh salad like cucumber or a crispy romaine lettuce, but there are of course plenty of ways to use them differently.
What´s your favourite way to eat Falafel?
INGREDIENTS for 4 servings
- 200 g red lentils
- A handful fresh parsley, chopped
- A handful fresh cilantro, chopped
- 5 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 small green chilies, chopped
- 1/2 tsp. baking soda
- 1-3 tablespoons flour
- Olive oil
- Salt & pepper
- 1 head romaine lettuce
- 1 big cucumber
- Crème fraiche
- 10 pieces cherry tomatoes
- Passion fruit vinegar
- Sunflower Oil
- 1 lemon
- Cook the red lentil until they are very soft 10-15 minutes. Drain (make sure there is not too much water left) and let them cool down.
- Put parsley, cilantro, garlic, green chilies, a sprinkle lemon juice and the cooked lentils in a bowl. Blend the mixture until almost smooth. Make sure do not over-blend.
- Taste the mixture and season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Start by adding 1 tbsp. flour at a time. If the mixture is still too liquid add one more – don’t add more than 3 tbsp. flour – the dough might be get to dry.
- Refrigerate mixture for 15-20 minutes.
- Meanwhile wash and dry the romaine lettuce and cut into stripes season with passion fruit vinegar and olive oil to taste. Grate cucumbers, drain the water as good as possible, and mix them with some crème fraiche, salt and pepper to taste.
- Start preparing the falafel by using a tablespoon measure. Roll the mixture with your hand into a ball. Repeat with the rest of the mixture.
- Take a pan and heat up some sunflower oil – make sure the oil is hot before adding the falafel balls. Cook from all sides until they’re getting golden brown. (Preparation in oven: Place the falafel ball on non-sticky backing paper and let them bake for 15-20 minutes/175°C circulation air.)
Serving tip: Place the romaine lettuce and the cucumber salad together with the Falafel on a plate. Serve it with fresh lemon.
Cheers with sunbeams.