I am sure each of us has some recipes that never turn out right; well at least I do have a few. To start with I can never make good kebabs using lentils. Have tried and wasted enough and now given up. I have also never made right textured caramel… End up thinking “did I get the right amber color” and most times it’s overdone, turns hard and sometimes even burnt! Another recipe for which I have not quite got the right formula is the Falafels.There is something fundamentally wrong I’ve been doing.Tried different recipes, different techniques…but somehow never have got the hang of it. Baking them is fine, but then they definitely don’t turn out as tasty as the fried ones. As much as I would love to make them, the perfect Falafel remains a mystery to me!
Every time I come across the word “Falafel” my eyes lit up….tell myself at least this time….Umm…err no, forget it!. I came across the Falafel Stuffed Eggplant recipe in Joanne’s blog who had adapted it from Cooking Light, I had bookmarked it immediately. It was baked, so I had no second thoughts. The recipe was loaded with flavors and I was damn sure it would be great.
FALAFEL – STUFFED EGGPLANT WITH TAHINI AND TOMATO RELISH
3 tablespoons warm water
2 tablespoons tahini (roasted sesame seed paste)
4 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon honey
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 garlic clove, minced
2 eggplants (about 12 ounces each)
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
1/4 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup fresh breadcrumbs
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1 tablespoon tahini (roasted sesame seed paste)
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
2 large eggs
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 (15-ounce) can no-salt-added chickpeas (garbanzo beans), rinsed and drained
1 cup chopped seeded tomato
1/2 cup chopped seeded peeled cucumber
1/2 cup vertically sliced red onion ( I used white onions)
1/2 cup coarsely chopped cilantro
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
To prepare sauce, combine first 6 ingredients in a small bowl, and stir with a whisk. Set aside.
Preheat oven to 475°.To prepare eggplant, slice the eggplants in half lengthwise; score cut sides with a crosshatch pattern. Place the eggplant halves, cut sides down, on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Bake at 475° for 7 minutes or until slightly tender and browned. Remove from oven; carefully scoop out pulp, leaving a 3/4-inch shell. Reserve pulp for another use. Season cut sides with 1/4 teaspoon salt.
Combine remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, onion, and next 11 ingredients (through chickpeas) in a food processor; process until smooth. Spoon 1/2 cup chickpea mixture into each eggplant shell.( I completely covered the eggplant, you may choose to just use it in the centre) Bake at 475° for 25 minutes or until eggplant halves are tender and chickpea mixture is lightly browned. To prepare relish, combine the tomato and remaining ingredients in a bowl; stir to combine. Place 1 eggplant half on each of 4 plates. Top each half with 1/4 cup relish and 1 1/2 tablespoons sauce.
The Baked Falafel was overloaded with yummy flavors ie., ground cumin, garlic and cilantro. The eggplant was so soft and tasted great with the falafel.
Surprisingly my favorite was the sauce, just plain simple ingredients whisked to a perfect topping. Do not omit the sauce it’s something you would really enjoy, trust me:).If you love Falafels…am sure you would love this one too.