Falafel, Pita and Yogurt-Tahini Dips: Something fried, something baked, and something cool

Srilatha Middle Eastern/Greek Leave a Comment

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Falafel, Pita and Yogurt-Tahini Dips: Something fried, something baked, and something cool
It was the summer of '91. I was fat with my first child. A couple of our friends from our former Indian company were visiting us in Indiana, and the 4 of us decided to go see another couple who worked with us in India, who then lived in St Louis. It was a roughly 300 mile drive, and it was hot, and I felt like a house with a furnace in it, but boy, was it fun! Our friends took us to the airshow in St Louis. It was there that I first had this strange dish. It was masala vadai, but not, wrapped in nan, but of course it wasn't nan, filled with raita, and what the bloody hell, it was not raita! It was falafel, in spongy soft pita bread, surrounded by gooey labneh/tzatziki! I would have never thought of masal vadai, raita, and naan in the same breath, let alone put it all together in a plate. And yet, it tasted amazing. And today, I made all of them at home for my mahjong group. The pita bread turned out a bit too chewy and tough, so I will post that recipe after I have perfected it and am happy with the results. But following is the recipe for the falafel, and the two dips - tahini dip, and the yogurt sauce which I've heard called labneh or tzatziki sauce. Here goes...this lunch was a big hit with my mahjong girls!
Prep Time 15 minutes plus soaking time
Cook Time 30 minutes
Passive Time 6-8 hours
Servings
falafels
Ingredients
For Yogurt Sauce (Labneh/Tzatziki)
For Tahini Sauce
Prep Time 15 minutes plus soaking time
Cook Time 30 minutes
Passive Time 6-8 hours
Servings
falafels
Ingredients
For Yogurt Sauce (Labneh/Tzatziki)
For Tahini Sauce
Instructions
  1. The night before you want to make it, soak the chick peas in plenty of water
  2. After they've soaked for at least 8 hours, drain the water from the chick peas
  3. Roughly chop the onions, chilies, and the cilantro/mint;
  4. First, coarsely grind the chick peas; then add all of the ingredients for the falafel except the oil for frying, and make a coarse paste, without adding any water; the moisture from the onions, and the salt is sufficient
  5. Make a coarse paste and taste for salt and adjust if needed
  6. Divide the batter into balls the size of small limes
  7. Heat oil in a pan; when hot, fry a few of the falafels at a time, until they're golden all around. Fry on medium heat
  8. Drain on a paper towel and transfer to a serving platter
Making The Sauces
  1. For the tzatziki, peel and chop the cucumber finely, and add to the yogurt; mix in the herbs (cilantro/mint), salt, lemon juice; refrigerate until ready to use
  2. For the tahini sauce, simply add all ingredients together and mix well
Assembling The Pita
  1. Gather the falafels, sauces, and any salad you're using - I used cucumbers and cherry tomatoes seasoned with a bit of salt
  2. Open a pita pocket, fill with a falafel, a few tsps of the sauces, and the salad stuff
  3. Enjoy a healthy, satisfying meal! Crispy, chewy soft, and cool all in a single bite!
Recipe Notes

Click here for Recipe Source

I made the pita bread from this source as well, but they turned out very very chewy and tough to chew. Even though they looked and did everything right, puffed up great. I am not sure what I did wrong, but will not share that recipe until I perfect the perfect pita!

This was a very satisfying lunch! I'd do it again!

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