Comme je le dis toujours, je préfère préparer assez de soupe pour plus qu’un repas, d’abord parce que la soupe tient bien dans le frigidaire pour une semaine, et aussi parce que quand je rentre chez moi épuisée et sans le désir de cuisinier, ça me va très bien d’avoir une soupe maison que je peux facilement réchauffer sur le poêle.
A manger avec du pain, un peu de crème fraîche, des pignons de pin, ou des fines herbes comme la menthe ou le basilic. Bonne dégustation!
My appreciation for falafel certainly changed after I tried some in Paris at l’As du Fallafel, a.k.a. the purveyor of tiny balls of heaven wrapped neatly in a pita. It’s a well-known establishment in this city, and one that at least in my humble opinion merits all of the high praise it receives. A no-nonsense, hustle-and-bustle kind of joint that has tourists and residents alike enamored.
I have never seen l’As du Fallafel empty; at any time of day, be it 11 AM, 4 PM, or midnight, there is always someone devouring the enormous pitas. And I am not exaggerating, the pita’s are enormous!
This pita pictured here is the Falafel Special, the cheapest and most popular one on the menu (6 euros). It’s a hefty meal, stuffed with all sorts of treasures like red and white cabbage, fried eggplant, tomatoes, pickles, cucumbers, spicy red sauce, a thick and creamy tsatziki sauce enveloping everything like a wonderful and edible blanket; and of course, tiny fried balls of spiced chickpeas, all wrapped in one of the thickest pitas I’ve ever seen.
Needless to say I think there’s an undefinable and intensely satisfying taste that comes with falafel, and I actually have been making a healthier version for the past couple of years which I’ve adapted from a Moosewood recipe and is a great alternative to this deep-fried original. The good news for anyone who would like to do the same: it is extremely easy to make. Essentially, you combine all of the ingredients together in a food processor, form them into little balls, and fry them lightly in a skillet. Sounds good to me!
When I made this at home, I ate it with sliced cucumbers, tomatoes, pickles, and sundried tomatoes, and I served it with harissa (a spicy red sauce) and a quick home-made tahini sauce (1/2 cup tahini, 1 tsp. lemon juice, pinch salt, and 1 tbsp chopped parsley mixed together). I think it would go wonderfully as well with some hummus or thick yogurt-dill suace. However you eat it, I am confident you’ll enjoy the rich chickpea flavor!
Falafel – serves 1-2
1 7-oz. can chickpeas
1/2 onion, minced (you can wrap the other half in foil and save it for another day)
1 garlic clove, minced
3 tbsp chopped parsley
2 pinches cumin
1 small pinch cayenne pepper
1 pinch salt
1 teaspoon turmeric
3 tbsp flour
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1. Pour everything (except the flour and vegetable oil) into a bowl or food processor, and mash or process until everything is combined together and pasty.
2. Add flour and mix until combined – the paste should be able to form easily into little balls at this point – if not, add more flour by the tablespoon-full.
3. Form into 4 balls of about 1 1/2-inch diameter
4. Heat oil in a large skillet until it’s smoking hot; add falafel balls, flatten slightly with a spatula, and cook until golden, about 10 minutes on each side.
Bon week-end a tous!