Most of the sisters enjoy having falafels whenever they are put on the menu, but we have one sister who absolutely loves them. Just mention the word…her eyes light up, her face beams, and she’s ready to reach for the garbanzos to whip some up! “How did you acquire such a passion for them?” I asked. This was her reply:
“Picture,” she said “a dusty winding street in the heart of Jerusalem that leads to an intriguing shop. The walls are covered with hand-woven rugs, and the atmosphere is alive and warm with people sitting all around on the floor on cushions sipping mugs of tea and eating falafels. Here it was that I first fell in love with them.”
Well, you may not be able to go all the way to the Holy Land to become acquainted with this food, but you may learn to love it yourself by trying out this simple recipe right here at home as so many of us have!
- Blend together egg, onion, cumin, salt and pepper and fresh parsley.
- In a separate bowl, coarsely mash the cooked garbanzo beans, leaving some whole.
- Add egg mixture to garbanzo beans. Stir in ½ cup panko crumbs, and chill for 10 minutes.
- Remove garbanzo beans from the refrigerator and form into a ball, using about 1 tablespoon per ball. Roll in remaining panko crumbs.
- Fill a deep sided skillet with 1 inch of oil, and heat over a medium-high heat.
- Gently drop the falafel balls into the oil and fry until golden, turning occasionally for about 6 minutes. Remove falafel balls from oil and set on a paper towel to drain.
- Serve in a pita pocket with shredded cabbage or lettuce and a savory dressing, top a garden salad, or just eat it plain alongside vegetables, and enjoy!
It is so amazing to me how the humble little garbanzo bean has grown in popularity over recent years and so firmly established itself in our American diet. Because it is so rich in protein and fat free it is a healthy source of nourishment. Recent tests have now verified that adding garbanzos to one’s diet reduces, in many people, craving for other less wholesome foods. These little chickpeas, as some people prefer to call them, are a fantastic snack roasted in a little olive oil and sprinkled with onion salt or other favorite seasonings.
But our favorite way of having them at the convent is in the form of homemade hummus with pita pockets – when sisters see this on the lunch menu a cheer sounds throughout. Everyone goes away from the meal happy- including the kitchen crew because it is such an easy meal to prepare to eat and to clean up.
Basic Plain Homemade Hummusv
- Puree in food processor to desired taste and consistency.