We made an entire meal using recipes from the book. I went with a meal that I know I love but have never been able to make myself, or at least not well. The meal?
Falafel with Pita, yogurt sauce, and Sudanese beans (Falafel with Khubiz Arabi, Laban, and Fūl)
I haven’t tried making pita before, although I do really well with making yeast breads so I wasn’t too concerned about this recipe. It was really easy and the pita turned out very well. The only modification I made is to the size of the individual pita breads. The recipe from the book has you rolling out 6 inch breads. I find that they don’t form nice pockets unless they are rolled out to 8 inch breads instead of 6. Once I figured this out the breads were perfect. I have to warn you though, the recipe makes 12 rounds of pita, meaning 24 half pitas (a normal sandwich amount). That’s a lot of pita! I gave half of the remaining pitas to my mom and ate on the rest for lunches the rest of the week.
The falafel was absolutely amazing. The recipe was very easy and only needed one modification, which really wasn’t much of a modification at all. I have learned over the years that to make a smooth, creamy paste with chickpeas you have to remove the skin off of them first, that includes canned chickpeas (garbanzo beans) as well. I cannot tell you how many times I have made a hummus that was entirely too grainy. It is easy to remove the skins by gently squeezing the outside until it pops off. It can be a long and tedious process is you have a lot to do, so make sure to plan accordingly. We have also converted one of our cast iron Dutch ovens into a deep fryer (after investing in a fry cutter to make our own french fries, it was well worth it too), which made cooking the falafels really fun and easy.
As a side dish to the falafel I made Fūl (Sudanese beans). These are delicious and creamy, and I highly recommend them. The one thing I did that made this dish imperfect was not take the time to read the fancy feta cheese I bought, and instead of getting the more mild GOAT feta we in America are more used to, I bought sheep feta. I do not recommend this unless you know you like sheep’s milk cheeses. This is definitely an acquired taste, although one that my seven year old picky eater has decided is one of her favorite foods now. Go figure.
The yogurt sauce was really good too, although I think I am going to add some lemon juice and garlic to it the next time I make it. I was basically yogurt with ground spices mixed in.
With this meal I have made an additional 4 recipes! All in all this meal was delicious and definitely going into our meal rotation.