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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

Falafel, Humus Tahini and Lemon Tahini Sauce

The first time I had falafel, I was around eight years old. I remember asking my father what it was, and feeling like I’d much rather have a grilled cheese sandwich. Alas, I was rarely allowed to eat the food that I craved as a child, for which I am eternally grateful today. Luckily for me, I’d come to discover at a young age the benefits of trying new and unfamiliar foods, and falafel became one of my favorites, which I would always ask for on the occasions when my family was going out to eat.

About the Ingredients:

Preparing chickpeas can be rather time consuming, but they don’t require constant attention while they are cooking. The only thing you will need to watch for is that they stay covered in water during the cooking process.

The best vegetables make the best sandwiches, it’s really that simple. Using vine-ripened tomatoes, while somewhat more expensive, is definitely your best bet. Boston lettuce is very soft and smooth, which is what I prefer in my sandwiches. Most major supermarkets have a hydroponic Boston lettuce which is very light in color and very tender, but any lettuce you prefer will work fine.

Pita bread can be toasted in the oven. Wrap each pita in aluminum foil and bake for 5 minutes in an oven at 350°. You can make wraps out of the pita if you wish, but I prefer to cut them in half and stuff the pockets, which is the traditionally how this dish is served.

Falafel

1 Cup Dried Chick Peas1/4 Cup Onions, chopped1/4 Cup Fresh Parsley1 Clove Garlic, chopped1 Tsp. Cumin1/2 Tsp. Coriander1 1/2 Tsp. Kosher Salt1/8 Tsp. Ground Red Pepper2 Tbsp. FlourVegetable Oil, for frying

Pita Bread, halvedLettuce, torn into small piecesTomatoes, slicedCucumber, peeled and sliced

Wash, drain and soak the chickpeas overnight in 4 cups of water. Boil them in the water until very tender, about 2 hours. Drain and place in a food processor or blender with the onions, parsley, garlic, cumin, coriander, salt and red pepper. Process or blend on high speed until you have a thick paste. Remove the paste to a large bowl and mix in the flour. Heat 1/2 inch of oil in a heavy pan over medium heat until it has reached 350°. Form the falafel mixture into balls 1-2 inches in diameter and drop into the oil. Fry, turning occasionally, until the falafel is dark brown on all sides. Drain on paper towels and serve while still hot in pita halves with humus, lettuce, tomato, cucumber and lemon tahini sauce.

Lemon Tahini Sauce

1/4 Cup Sesame Tahini1/4 Cup Water2 Tbsp. Fresh Lemon Juice1/4 Tsp. Kosher Salt

Combine the ingredients in a cup and whisk with a fork until thoroughly mixed. Serve with the falafel sandwiches.

Humus Tahini

1 Cup Dried Chick Peas2 Tbsp. Sesame Tahini2 Cloves Garlic1/4 Cup Fresh Lemon Juice1/2 Cup Olive Oil1/4 Tsp. Cumin1/4 Tsp. Coriander1/8 Tsp. Ground Red PepperKosher Salt

Wash, drain and soak the chickpeas overnight in 4 cups of water. Boil the chickpeas in the water until very tender, about 2 hours. Place the garlic cloves, still in their skins, in a heavy pan and roast over medium heat, turning occasionally, until all sides are browned. Peel the garlic and place into a food processor or blender. Drain the chickpeas and place in a food processor or blender with the remaining ingredients. Process or blend on high speed until you have a smooth paste. Add kosher salt to taste and serve with the falafel sandwiches.