Shital's-Kitchen: February 2013

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Falafel Salad

Another one to go low on calories and carbs without sacrificing yummy taste! Made this delicious salad with baked falafel balls for Saturday night dinner:)

Garbanzo beans, also called chickpeas, chole chana, bengal gram, can be curried or fried to make these crisp fritters.

Falafel balls remind me of dal wada, crisp fried fritters made of variety of beans and peas. Middle eastern food and spices are so similar to what we have in India.

Start with 1/2 cup raw chickpeas or garbanzo beans. This will make 9-10 large falafel balls or 35 small ones. 
Do not use canned or cooked chickpeas for falafel.

Soak them for 5-6 hours.

Garbanzo beans will double in size.

Condiments that give taste and texture to the falafel balls.
Cilantro, onion, garlic, green chilli, cumin and sasame seeds.

In a food processor mix all ingredients well. Add some salt and lime juice.

This is a chopper attachment which will not make my mixture smooth. If you are using a blender, pulse the beans and other ingredients till they are course and not super smooth.

You are ready to make the balls.

I used melon baller to make small balls to bake them.

Brush or spray some oil at the bottom and top of the balls. Bake in 400 F preheated oven for 20-30 minutes or till they turn golden brown.

Falafel balls ready to serve.

To make large ones. Tightly make a ball and deep fry in hot oil till they turn crisp golden brown.

To make hot garlic dipping sauce: Fry 1 tbsp roasted gram (dalia) and dry red chillies in 1 tsp. oil.
Cool and blend with 3-4 cloves garlic, salt and 1/2 cup water to make smooth paste.

Hot Garlic dipping sauce.

To make Tahini dip: Roast 1/2 cup sesame seeds. Blend with 1/4 cup olive oil to make smooth paste.
Add little water at a time and mix well to get a pouring consistency.
Add salt and freshly squeezed lime.

To make yogurt cucumber dip: Grate cucumber (1 cup) and Mix 1 cup plain yogurt (original or low fat). Add salt and roasted cumin powder.

Serve falafel balls over dipping sauces.

In a bowl take a cup of shredded lettuce, add sliced onions, olives, tomatoes dipping sauces, crumbled low fat feta cheese and baked falafel balls.

Enjoy Crisp, Baked Falafel on Bed of Veggies!!


With weather starting to warm up a bit, hydrating oneself is important. As I am trying to go low on carbs, this yogurt drink fulfills my requirement of drinking water and gives me energy in between meals. I also carry a large bottle of this yogurt drink to work to sip between classes.

Chaash is salty yogurt drink from Gujarat (Western state of India). I have heard my family and parents call this yogurt drink as 'Kutchi Beer'. I have no idea where this word comes from but assuming since Kutchi people (belonging to desert part of Gujarat) drink lot of Chaash, we call it our beer :)

Adding a pinch of ground roasted cumin helps in the process of digestion as cumin acts as a natural laxative.

Use regular or low calorie plain yogurt.

Use a hand blender or a whisk to blend well.

Add salt to taste and some cumin powder. (or add some chat masala)

To make cumin powder: Dry Roast 1/2 cup cumin seeds with 1 tbsp ajwain or carrom seeds (optional). When cooled, grind to fine powder.

Blend 1 part of plain yogurt with 3 parts of water.

Refrigerate in a covered pitcher. (Add more water if needed. I did!)

Serve with fresh mint leaves.

A bottle full of chaash to work :)

Chaash, a part of Gujarati meal.

Enjoy Cooling, Refreshing Chaash!!