"Are you going to do —"
"Oh my god you should totally do —"
"I had this great idea for —"
Waffled falafel is everyone's favorite idea.
I can't take credit for it. Kathy from Stresscake (she of the waffled aloo parantha) was the first to suggest it to me — but she had a leg up because she knew about the blog before it started. Everyone else wasn't far behind.
And I've heard from people whose relationship with waffled falafel goes way back.
The falafel I waffled came from a mix. There aren't very many things I'm content to make from a box. But falafel is one of them.
I served the waffled falafel with hummus and a small salad of tomato, cucumber and parsley.
Preparing the falafel came first. I added water to the mix, then let it sit for 30 minutes to fully hydrate.
After that, I sliced up the tomatoes, peeled and cut the cucumber, and chopped up the parsley.
Then came the hummus.
I almost hate to tell you this, because for some of you it will mean that you can never make adequate hummus the easy way.
You will insist on making great hummus the hard way.
What's the hard way?
You have to remove the outer skins from the cooked chickpeas.
There is a difficult hard way and then there are two easy hard ways.
The difficult hard way is to take the chickpeas one by one in your fingers, slip off the skin, toss the skin aside and reserve the skinless chickpea.
There are two easy hard ways.
If you are using canned chickpeas, fill a large bowl with water, dump the chickpeas into the bowl, and rub them gently to pop off as many skins as you can. It's somewhat haphazard, but as you go, you'll find that the skins float to the top, where they can be skimmed off, and you'll find fewer and fewer chickpeas with the skins still on. It's not necessary to get every last one off. It will take about 3 or 4 minutes to get 95% of them off, and another few minutes to go after the last 5%. I usually stop after the first 3 or 4 minutes.
If you are cooking your own chickpeas, "shock" them with cold water at the end of cooking. This should loosen the skins, though you may have to help some off, as above.
(If you have a food mill — I do, but I am in several respects atypical — it can be used to remove the skins.)
Either way, why are you doing this?
Not because some idiot on the Internet told you to. Or not just because, at any rate.
Removing the skins from chickpeas is the secret to incomparably smooth hummus.
I make hummus in my food processor. (If you ever have to choose between a food processor and a stand mixer — whether out of counter space or budget constraints — go with the food processor.)
It's crucial to first process the chickpeas without any additional ingredients, until they're ground as fine as possible. Only then do you add the lemon juice, olive oil, tahini (or peanut butter in a pinch), optional garlic, and seasoning, as called for in the recipe of your choice. (I eyeball everything and add cumin, but here's a recipe from Gourmet.)
While you're finishing up the hummus, waffle the falafel. It takes about 8 minutes.
I threw the pita bread in the waffle iron, too. It was ready in about 30 seconds.
Warmed pita bread filled with waffled falafel, topped with dollops of perfectly creamy hummus and served with tomatoes, cucumbers and parsley.
I am glad so many people suggested waffled falafel.