Monday, 29 January 2007
Fast Food Nation - AMENDED!
I'm not going to go on a rant today about our obsession with fast food. We are, simple as that. Fast food is a Western capitalist invention, a long standing legacy of the American dream and one that is putting us all in a bit of mess to this day. A truly ingenious, if naive, invention at that which has quite literally taken over the world. Some are poor and some are very poor. And most aren't too good for us if we eat it often.
Ironically, there is a fast food that was invented by our Eastern friends that is fantastically good for you, and eaten regularly can make you healthier. Sound to good to be true? Read on.
Falafels were originally invented by the Egyptians when they found that boiling and mashing beans with spices, rolling them into balls and cooking them, made for a classy little number that could be eaten in several guises. The word spread fast and soon falafels were being munched upon right across the Arab East, well before a clown with a burger plan got there. Still to this day, falafels are the most popular food in Syria. So stick that in your burger bun Ronald.
This fast food does have some disadvantages. It can cause bad wind and people may not want to engage in a conversation with you for longer than 30 seconds at close quarters. But that is about it for the bad news. Make them as big or small as you see fit, dry fry them or shallow fry them, stuff them in warm pitta breads with lots of salad and a minty garlicky yoghurt. You and your family will be glowing with health and vitality as well as etching yet another simple and healthy recipe into your repertoire. And it takes 5 minutes to make them in a food processor. I love every bit of them and so will you. Is all of this cooking lark getting any easier?
To feed 2 adults and 1 child
1 Tin of chick peas, DRAINED!
2 Cloves of garlic
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 Tbs tahini paste
Half teaspoon chilli powder or cayenne pepper
Juice of one lemon
Fresh mint and coriander
Olive Oil (optional)
For the yoghurt dressing
250ml fresh yoghurt
1 Clove of garlic
1 - In a food processor, put in all of the falafel ingredients and blitz until it forms a ball or well mixed. Leave for at least 30 minutes.
2 - For the dressing, crush the garlic, finely chop the mint and mix into the yoghurt.
3 - Form the falafel into small balls and pat slightly flat. You can either dry fry these in which case you will have to watch them closelly, or heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a non-stick frying pan and fry in batches until crisp on both sides.
4 - Serve stuffed into warm pitta breads with salad leaves, tomatoes, spring onions and a good dollop of yoghurt dressing.