Food Fights in the Middle East

June 11, 2010

My little brother is living in Beirut at the moment, working as Middle East editor at The Daily Star, an English speaking newspaper… my brothers blog is here has his articles and lots of interesting news about goings on direct from Beirut! This is him next to a graffited wall in the city… with my name on it!

There have been massive ‘food fights’ going on between Lebanon and Israel about the origin of the famous middle eastern foods hummus and falafel… and with some record breaking…

Photo from France24

An article from the BBC and France24 explains it!

Don’t know if I fancy making that much falafel… but the recipe below for Baked Sweet Potato Falafel is so good I had to share, I make this a lot for lunch boxes and even though it’s vegan it got the Boy’s approval (who is a devoted carnivore!)

Linking to to a recipe, one of the reasons I started this blog was 101cookbooks.com. Based in San Francisco Heidi focuses on all natural healthy cooking and cites recipes from her favourite cookbooks as well as her own… this one is from the Leon cookbook

Baked Sweet Potato Falfel

2 medium sweet potatoes (orange inside), around 700g
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 small cloves of garlic, chopped
1 1/2 teaspoons ground coriander
2 big handfuls of fresh coriander, chopped
Juice of half a lemon
120g chickpea flour (I got mine from the Indian section of my local supermarket)
a splash of olive oil
a sprinkling of sesame seeds
salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to 220C and roast the sweet potatoes whole until just tender – 45 minutes to 1 hour.
Turn off the oven, leave the potatoes to cool, then peel.

Put the sweet potatoes, cumin, garlic, ground and fresh coriander, lemon juice and chickpea flour into a large bowl. Season well, and mash until smooth with no large chunks.
Stick in the fridge to firm up for an hour, or the freezer for 20-30 minutes.
When you take it out, your mix should be sticky rather than really wet. You can add a tablespoon or so more of chickpea flour if necessary.

Reheat the oven to 200C. Using a couple of soup spoons (put a well-heaped spoonful of mix in one spoon and use the concave side of the other to shape the sides) make the mixture into balls put them on an oiled tray. Sprinkle sesame seeds on top and bake in the oven for around 15 minutes, until the bases are golden brown.

Makes about 18 falafel, enough for 4 – 6.

I then made these into wrap with a cabbage and carrot coleslaw

With a mashed avocado with chili and lime juice, a guacamole of sorts

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