Fritters

Fritters

By
Greg Malouf, Lucy Malouf
Contains
5 recipes
Published by
Hardie Grant Books
ISBN
9781742708423
Photographer
Alan Benson

Little fried rissoles and dumplings are enormously popular all over the Middle East and one of the best loved – falafel (or ta’amia) – has now reached iconic status in countries around the globe. However, this rise to fame has not been without controversy. Indeed, there are entire books and academic tracts devoted to the falafel! Both Egypt and Israel claim it as their national dish while in the West it’s associated most strongly with Lebanese take-away shops. And it’s not just their history that’s contentious; the ingredients themselves are also part of a hot discussion. Egyptians favour large dried broad beans, Israelies, chickpeas, while in Lebanon and Syria they hedge their bets and use a combination of the two. Some recipes recommend using yeast as a rising agent, but most use bicarbonate of soda. As for texture, this varies from smooth and paste-like, to fairly coarse. But, what nearly all recipes agree on, is that falafel should be chock-full of green, herby goodness: a mixture of coriander (predominantly) and flat-leaf parsley. Once cooked, falafel are either dipped into tahini sauce, or stuffed into warm pita with plenty of salad, tahini and a good squeeze of lemon juice. Instead of repeating our traditional falafel recipe here (it featured in our first book, Arabesque), we’ve taken a few liberties and offer up a recipe for hazelnut falafel, which has proved very popular with Greg’s dining customers over the years.

But this section is about more than just falafel. There are recipes for several of our favourite fried vegetables, including another Lebanese classic (the dish by which all Lebanese housewives are judged): the famous torpedo-shaped kibbeh. Kibbeh are usually made from spiced ground meat encased in a crunchy bulgur wheat shell, however vegetable versions are served during religious festivals when people cut down their meat consumption. We often make kibbeh with mashed potato but for something a bit different and for a splash of colour, try it, as here, with mashed pumpkin.

Hot and crunchy on the outside and soft and melting on the inside – what’s not to love about fritters! Serve them as part of a mezze or with a cold glass of beer before your meal.

Recipes in this Chapter

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