खेचारि (lutin) wrote in vegancooking,

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(Varanasi) response to xseaxgypsyx's excellcent falafel post

One of my favourite foods is my Aunt Kinga's falafel with special red sauce(tm). People tell me that falafel exists in India, but in the 16 months I've been here, I haven't seen (or tasted) any. When I was fasting last year, I dreamt about my aunt's food all the time, but figured it was a lost cause. This year, I changed my mind.

On the third day of fasting last week, I started dreaming about her red sauce again and started thinking about how to make falafel here. I came up with a plan -- which xseaxgypsyx posted in vegancooking. (Fantastic! I love it when my recipe ideas spontaneously manifest themselves!)

Today I made them. It took...2 and half days of sprouting and soaking beans plus 3 hours in the kitchen today. I would do it again, happily, but next time would (1): make the chutney with more coconut and coconut oil, (2): wait for my dad to come home with olive oil for the veggies, and (3) find some brown bread alternative to these white flour pizza crusts (maybe it's possible! all of the tourists are coming to town, so fancy food is starting to appear!). While cooking, I was worried that I had used too much oil -- especially post-fast -- but it was ok; the "worst" was the chutney which managed to be too rich somehow. (Maybe the sesame/coconut oil mix?)

Anyway, food! My sandwich is on the left (mmm....extra red sauce); my dad's arty sandwich is on the right.

Also, apologies for all of the space between text and photos. I couldn't manage to delete it.

My sandiwch! Dad's.

1. Falafels, exactly how I made them. (Recipe idea confirmed by xseaxgypsyx, btw thank you
for posting when you did! I swear, the idea came into my head and then poof! your post appeared.)

Falafel Patties.  

-- soak enough dry chickpeas and black-eyed peas. I soaked too much; now we get homemade hummous tomorrow, ohnos!
-- sprout some mung dhal

In my blender, Round 1.
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • juice from 1 lemon
  • black salt
  • olive oil
  • giant fist of coriander (Indian cilantro/parsley)
  • the fresh dill I found in the pantry (...)
In my blender, Rounds 2-5.
  • green onion (I used only 1 green onion for the whole falafel batch)
  • 2 hands' worth chickpeas, etc.
  • some mung dhal sprouts
In a mixing bowl.
  • all the goo from the 5 blender rounds
  • masala: cumin, turmeric, marjoram, and the 2 subzi masalas we had
In a frying pan, with mustard oil: after stirring the goos and masala together, I took handfuls of the falafel batter and squished it into patties in my frying pan. Each side took around 5 minutes to cook. The first set were "thick" like xseax's, but something about my heat, oil, or pan didn't agree with them, so my patties ended up around 5mm thick, very pretty green and brown with many tasty crunchy bits.

2. My Aunt's not-so-secret Red Falafel Sauce
n.b. A normal person would cook diced tomatoes down until a nice marinara-style sauce had formed, but because my dad and I are cooking on hot pans whose heat we can't adjust, I blended the tomatoes first. This was a fantastic idea because now (1) we have my aunt's red sauce and (2) I know I can make my grandma's spaghetti sauce! (Yes!) Also, if you blend them first, you save on the electricity/gas needed to cook them down "properly."

My aunt's fantastic red falafel sauce.  

In my blender:
  • 2c tomatoes
  • 4 cloves garlic
On my stove:
  • 1 onion, sauteed with cumin seeds and black salt in mustard oil (n.b. olive oil is better; the mustard oil gave it a funny taste until the very end)
  • the blended goo (it was salmon pink!! after a few minutes cooking, it turned red)
  • 1t brown sugar
  • 3T coriander, finely chopped

3. Coconut Coriander Chutney

Coconut and Coriander chutney. Bonus sesame oil.  

In my blender:
  • half of one coconut, chopped into bits
  • if I had been smart, the coconut water (but I drank it instead)
  • coconut oil
  • sesame oil, because 1t coconut oil wasn't enough and we didn't have more
  • two huge fistfuls of coriander

4. The Veggies
My dad and I are usually risque enough to eat salads in India, but we got sick off of yesterday's, so I cooked our veggies today. The only thing we ate raw was cucumber, because we'd grown it ourselves.

On my stove:
  • mustard oil, cumin seeds, 1 large onion and black salt
  • button mushrooms (!! omgz we found a shop in Banaras with mushrooms !!)
  • brinjal = baby eggplant, cut the long way
  • at the very end, a bunch of fresh spinach, wet with water

5. Assembled as above, which was nice.

6. I don't really like tahini, but my aunt and other people do...

...and I hear that a regular tahini sauce with some green stuff (mint, parsley, etc.) thrown in is nice and that tahini made with black sesame seeds is "exciting!".
Tags: condiments-chutneys, condiments-sauces, ethnic food-middle eastern, ethnic food-middle eastern-falafel
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