Every new post on 156, Hungerlane has a story behind it that helps us create and conceptualize of what we talk about here. New cuisines or dishes that we tried somewhere. Some we liked a lot, some a little (Foodies really can’t dislike food :)), some enough to inspire us and try it for ourselves. Tried, over and over again until we felt ready for it to be posted here! So with this recipe, we wish to give our Italian menu a break… Introducing a middle eastern platter, often quoted as Lebanese platter served in multi-cuisine restaurants- Falafel with Hummus served with warm Pita bread. We are also including the recipe for Green Tahini sauce that we really loved and couldn’t help sharing!
Seriously, I don’t remember where did I first have Hummus with Pita or Falafel! If I really rack my brains, earliest I can recall having it in the weekend brunch menu at “Not Just Jazz by the Bay, Pune “, six years back! They used to serve Hummus Dip with Lavash ( kinda crisp pita bread). Since then, I have been having it at many places – generally as a part of Lebanese or Mezze Platter. My friend, (now a better friend & husband) Ashim, used to gorge on hummus and often bought a fresh hummus jar from Defence Bakery along with Lavash!
Post wedding, hubby dearest’s love for the dip and the sudden discovery of fresh pita pockets at a local bakery here in Singapore gave me the motivation to try my very own version of Lebanese platter!
I have tried this recipe many times and now feel ready to share on Hungerlane! So here is a step by step recipe!
The beans need to be soaked for over 6-8 hours and drained. They are added in the food processor just like this to get a coarse mixture for crackling falafel balls.
Falafels should be fried only when they are about to be served. The hot, crispy falafels with cold salad in pita pockets is a combination worth dying for! But what about the dips and sauces?
As promised, here are two dips that would accompany falafels in our lebanese platter- Hummus and Green Tahini!
DIPS and SAUCES
Note, Hummus uses boiled chickpeas instead of just soaked. Make sure you give the soaked chickpeas 8-9 whistles so they are soft to give us a puree consistency for Hummus. Sesame seeds are an important ingredient that makes both the dips creamy and adds a little oil of its own. Cumin seeds are best used little roasted; fresh and juicy lemon works the best! Here’s how we should proceed:
ASSEMBLING into a PLATTER
Get Pita pockets from your local bakery, its a round bread like a pizza base but once its cut in between it opens up into a pocket. If you cannot find Pita pockets, go for wraps. Falafel in wraps also taste just as delicious. You can even opt to serve just Falafels as an entree with hummus and salad. Its a good variation to the Hara Bhara kababs we have in Indian Starter menu.
You may choose to go with the salad of your choice: Fresh Cubed Cucumbers, Cherry Tomatoes, Thin long sliced- Lettuce, Broccoli pockets (steamed) , Cabbage.. be creative! Some people even love to add boiled red beans and boiled chickpeas.
Once you have decided on your salad and have it along with you, here’s all that you need to do:
1. Warm Pita pockets in microwave for 30 secs or you can bake it a little in your oven (care, they should not get crisp!)
2. Cut them into half, open a pocket and spread generous amount of hummus spread.
3. Fill it with salad and 2-3 fresh fried falafel ( or as much it can take or you want it to take :))
4. Top it with green Tahini sauce, and serve it in a platter. You may wrap the pita pockets in soft tissues to make it easy to pick up.
5. Make sure you serve extra Hummus and Tahini. You never have enough of them. I create a depression in my hummus blob, fill it with olive oil and sprinkle chilli powder, I even serve a slice of fresh lime for the ones who like it more tangy.
Make sure the pita bread is fresh and so is the salad. If kept for too long, this dish can be a little dry on the palette. You can opt to be a little generous with the olive oil ( drizzle it on Pita too, if need be). Serve it Hot and Fresh.
We hope you would try and love this recipe. It’s something that does not expect you to be standing in front of the gas stove for long! Boiling chickpeas for Hummus and frying falafel are only two activities that would make you turn on the flame! We hope you try this recipe and put your food processor into good use.It even helps us take a break from the monotonous menu!
Restaurant we like:
There are many restaurants that serve Falafel as a part of their menu. But here in Singapore , we found a place in the plush bay level of The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands. The restaurant touts of good health and rightly so, does complete justice to its name.
PITA PAN- Pocket full of Health
It not only enjoys exclusivity of being only place serving just middle eastern menu in Singapore but also a vegetarian place to top that! ( something that’s not too common on this part of the world). Needless to say, we are a regular there. I can’t stop myself from bragging about this place but I guess this post is becoming too long ! So would save the review for later, till then we might try the whole menu! Still, giving you a sneak peak of the place , clicked on one of our visits from mobile. You don’t want to miss it on your next visit to Singapore.
We will come with more on this place and may be recipes of other dishes they serve like Shakshuka sometime soon! 🙂
Till then, we hope you keep cooking and sharing!