23 February 2008

Ricardo's Falafel with Tarator Bi Tahina Sauce

Spring is coming quickly with every ray of sunshine... but not quite fast enough for my liking. I can still see snow up in the mountains but here in the valley all is green, wet and muddy.

With spring comes change, or want of change ,and our food reflects that need. We crave healthy and lighter dishes with the change of seasons. Perhaps we even crave something that is different or "outside the box". Now... falafels are one my favourites, so, are not exactly new or "outside the box", but, when I came across this particular version from Ricardo Lerrivee, a French Canadian, the flavours and presentation appealed to me. Usually I squish as many flavourful little vegetarian falafels into a pita as possible with all the fixings. Come to think of it these would have been delicious in a pita as well with the "tarator sauce" Ricardo served these up with rice and fattoush. Check out my favourite falafel recipes from previous posts Falafels with Feta Cheese Sauce and My Favourite Falafels . These falafels were delicious. I had my doubts about the sauce at first with the finger test, but it marries very well with the falafels. They compliment each other very well.
Tonight why don't I rent the movie Falafel by director and writer Michel Kammoun and get together with some friends..if it's available of course. I am getting together with some friends but the movie will have to wait for another day. Here is a review from Jason Buchanan....

" Director and writer Michel Kammoun affords us a rare glimpse of modern Lebanon in this confident and stylishly provocative post-civil war drama. Young and idealistic Toufic (Elie Mitri) tries to seize every day of his existence, intent on experiencing each moment in full. The story follows his journey through one Summer evening in Beirut. His evening begins in a barbershop and moves onto visits with friends and family, intermittently happening upon strangers with advice about how he should live his life. He goes to a friend’s party in hopes that he can woo the divine Yasmin (Miss Lebanon 2005 - Gabrielle Bou Rached) but once there, an altercation with a shady but well-connected neighbour forces Toufic to decide what is truly important in life. Kammoun’s first feature is at the same time self-assured as well as challenging; a subtle socio-political examination of life in modern-day Lebanon. Set fifteen years after the civil war, the stylish backdrops of chic parties and trendy nightclubs mingle with a looming sense that Beirut is still a dangerous place to live. For the young adults of the city, life is now about fighting for change or being oppressed by the weight of past conflicts. Falafel maintains a sense of humour throughout, giving the film a fresh mood as it deals with a theme often expressed in a far more melancholic fashion. With a strong cast and great soundtrack, it is apparent to see why this film won Best Film at Namur 2006 and official selection at Tribeca and Cannes 2007. "

The original music by Toufic Farrouleh also won a Golden Bayard for Best Music at Festival International du Film Francophone de Namur in 2006. Falafel

**Falafel with Tarator Bi Tahina Sauce**

250 ml (1 cup) dried chickpeas
125 ml (1/2 cup) fine bulgur
60 ml (1/4 cup) all-purpose, unbleached flour
10 ml (2 tsp) baking powder
10 ml (2 tsp) salt
Vegetable oil for deep-frying
1 x onion, coarsely chopped
8 cloves garlic
Juice of one lemon
60 ml (1/4 cup) curly-leaf parsley
60 ml (1/4 cup) cilantro
10 ml (2 tsp) ground coriander
5 ml (1 tsp) ground cumin
5 ml (1 tsp) ground cinnamon
2 1/2 ml (1/2 tsp) cayenne or I used paprika

Tarator Bi Tahina Sauce

Juice of one lemon
30 ml (2 T) tahini (sesame paste)
1 clove garlic, chopped
15 ml (1 T) Dijon mustard
5 ml (1 tsp) toasted sesame oil
1 egg yolk
180 ml (3/4 cup) vegetable oil
Water, about 45 ml (1 T)
Salt and pepper

For the Falafel : Place the chickpeas in a large bowl. Cover with cold water. Soak overnight at room temperature. Drain well. Place the chickpeas in a large pot. Cover with water. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Drain well. Let cool.

In a bowl, combine the bulgur, flour, baking power and salt. Set aside.

Heat the oil, setting the fryer to high.

In a food processor, finely chop the onion, garlic, parsley and cilantro with the lemon juice. Add the chickpeas and spices and process until puréed. Add the bulgur mixture and pulse until a smooth dough forms.
For each falafel, shape 30 ml (2 tablespoons) of dough into a ball with your hands or two spoons.
Fry the falafel in batches of 6 to 8 until golden brown, about 5 minutes.

Tarator Bi Tahina Sauce

In a bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, tahini, garlic, mustard, sesame oil and egg yolk. While whisking constantly, add the vegetable oil in a thin stream, alternating with the water. Season with salt and pepper.

Makes 22, serves 4 - 6
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  1. This is a great dish Val. Love the falafel with that tahini sauce. Good movie choice too.

  2. Nothing is more wholesome or satisfying than falafel.

  3. Falafels are just simply delicious. And a movie titled falafel, I'll have to look into that!

  4. This looks so tasty and good. I want to make it now.

  5. Val your falafels look so very wholesome and tempting - drool!!

    Rosie x

  6. I found you thru a link on recipegirl and I am so glad I did! I love falafel's but have never made them myself. This recipe sounds pretty close to what I consider "authentic". We had a professor who was from Jordan at our school and his wife would make these - and I just craved them! Thanks for the recipe, I can't wait to try!

  7. Thanks guys for all your lovely comments. I really enjoyed this version of falafels Honey B. I had never made them with the additon of fine bulgur before. They are really excellent. Thanks so much for visiting :D

  8. Val, Ricardo has grown on me too! I'm saving this falafel dish to try out during Lent.

    I love testing myself with trying new veggie dishes, like this one.

  9. i fricking love falafel.

    i've just been thinking about what to make for lunch today (i know, it's still morning here, but i'm always thinking about what to make for lunch), and i have all the falafel ingredients in the house. huzzah!

  10. Valli-these look incredible and have been wanting to try making them myself. I can't wait!

  11. I have to make falafel for my parents sometime. Both of them always say "falafel is just plain awful" whenever they see it. This stems from a bad experience about 30 years ago that they have never recovered from...

  12. I love falafel but finding surprisingly few good ones here. You would think I'd just make some myself but I haven't yet. Thanks for a little kick up the backside to remind me to do things myself. :)

  13. I have been wanting to try making falafels for a while now. These look and sounds pretty tasty. The tahini sauce sounds good as well. I wonder if you could bake them instead?

  14. Thanks once again guys. This is a very good version of falafel Brilynn. Get your parents to give it another try. I'm sure you could bake them Kevin. If you tru it let me know...in fact I have a few left uncooked I should try it myself :D

  15. I love felafels,especially when they are all crispy and crunchy. These look so good.

  16. I love falafels but have never tried making them at home... I'm hungry now! :)

  17. I love falafel and don't make it as often as I should. I've made both a fried and baked version. I like your addition of bulgar here. Delicious!

  18. I had a roommate once that would make falafel, and I loved it. Haven't had it since, though, so I should try this out!

  19. Yum! I'm going to have to try making falafel.
    It's fried which means one thing: It will be delicious.


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