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Old 02-05-2007, 12:38 PM   #31
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Just had a long discussion on hummus on another board and the amazing revelation that for the very best hummus you need to de-skin the garbanzos. And for falafel, the chickpeas are soaked but not cooked. I think hummus and falafel are very different things.


Here is a recipe by a woman in Athens who is one terrific cook
Falafel With Taratoor Sauce Recipe | Recipezaar

And her hummus recipe although she doesn't mention the garbanzo skinning!
Hummus Recipe | Recipezaar
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Old 02-05-2007, 01:19 PM   #32
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Candocook, just some wee bit more information. Falafel is actually a sandwich which is filled with fried fritters (traditionally made of dry fava beans and in some places with chickpeas) along with some type of dressing (Hummus) and fillings (your choice, you can be creative, it may not be traditional but hey it has to suit your taste buds right).

A lot of Indian and Middle eastern fritters use raw beans (soak them overnight and then drain the water and grind it add some salt, seasonings and fresh herbs and even a finely chopped jalapeno to it and you are ready to fry them).

In Indian cooking we call that vadas. They can be made with Moong beans, Urad or white beans and any other beans you can think of.

In case of hummus yes skinned garbanzo would be great but it's too much work even after soaking them overnight so I skip it. Just another tip that I have learned is that if you make your chickpeas at home (don't buy the canned stuff) and soak them overnight a lot of the skin will come off of them that you can rinse off and pick out. Although to get it perfectly skinned (all of them is a stretch for me - LOL )
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Old 02-05-2007, 05:12 PM   #33
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Yes, that was the gist of the discussion--a LOT of trouble!! But apparently if you did do it, there was a silkiness to the hummus. And the soaking tip was offered too.
And there is little doubt that hummus would be good on/with falafel. I thought "falafel" IS the fried fritter, put in a pita bread and then dressed with what you want. Yes? No? Thanks. Want to be correct/informed. ;o)
I just took an Indian cooking class at Johnson&Wales and am all excited about the possibilities!! When we left the class that day my mouth was absolutely singing with the fresh flavors we had created!!
You should start a thread about your cuisine (at least that is how I read your post). ;o)
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Old 02-05-2007, 07:41 PM   #34
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Yakuta - I'm pretty sure that "falafel" are the fritters, rather than the more common "Vegetarian wrap" which has pita bread and falafel and salad inside . I may be wrong, but falafel is always served here on a plate, without the pita bread.

As for skinning the garbanzo/chick peas - well, after soaking you can rub them between your palms to skin them, if you really want to. Personally, I like my hummus with a bit of texture to it. SMOOOOOOth hummus just doesn't seem right to me.

As for Indian "fritters" - well if anyone cares to talk about them, I could carry on for hours! I make a south Indian version of Vadas with split green peas, and serve them with a Tamarind/mint chutney. I've also used Mung beans, split Urid dal, pink lentils, green lentils - and they're all far too delicious to describe without soundbites!!
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Old 02-06-2007, 09:33 AM   #35
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I agree with Clive that hummus tastes much better without de-skinning the chickpeas. Besides, it adds fibre to your diet.

As for falafel which is made from fava beans or chickpeas, I do believe it is either eaten as a snack/mezze or served wrapped in pita bread.

The vadai or vadas prepared by Indians in the Far East are either with mung beans, lentils etc or spiced batter topped with fresh shrimps and served with green chillies.
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Old 02-06-2007, 09:51 AM   #36
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I initally thought that falafel were the fritters but when I was in Egypt it was always served with pita. I went to a few authentic middle eastern joints along with our Egyptian driver and asked him about falafel, he said it's always served with pita and it's a vegetarian sandwich just like shwarma which is it's meat sandwich equivalent.

I guess it's a hugely debated topic in terms of whether it's the fritter or the entire sandwich. My understanding is based on my experience in Egypt but again the entire middle east has a version of it and a story to tell about it's origin.

Clive, I am impressed by your knowledge of Indian cooking. I salute you because you know so much about every possible Indian dish (even the ones that some would consider exotic) and you are not afraid to try them.
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Old 02-06-2007, 07:03 PM   #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yakuta
I initally thought that falafel were the fritters but when I was in Egypt it was always served with pita. I went to a few authentic middle eastern joints along with our Egyptian driver and asked him about falafel, he said it's always served with pita and it's a vegetarian sandwich just like shwarma which is it's meat sandwich equivalent.

I guess it's a hugely debated topic in terms of whether it's the fritter or the entire sandwich.
I don't think it really matters, providing it tastes good!!
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