As I always say salads are the best dishes to have on your table when you want to practice food photography. Firstly, they are so colourful, they will elevate your pics to a whole new level. Secondly, you don’t need a lot of time to put them together and can also munch on them as you click shots. This was one such unexpected shoot by my brother-in-law on a Tuesday morning. We were having salad for breakfast ( yep we do that :P) and the lighting was perfect (nice weather).
Recently this thought crossed my mind- of trying a non-veg style falafel. I had never tried one in Kuwait but I thought it was doable by adding chunky chicken or minced meat to falafel dough. I began imagining how it would look inside a pita pocket or a salad and then with 2 tomatoes, 1 cucumber, a little mint and curd plus some leftover lettuce at the verge of rotting, I pulled this off. Yep, the pic might look lavish but my ingredients were frugal.
I would say chicken or no chicken,falafel tastes awesome. And if you agree with me try this recipe with or without chicken. My little one who just turned one had this falafel and she seems perfectly fine. So its safe for babies I guess. I think we should introduce kids to as many varieties of food we can when they are young. My mom did and I turned out fine so I am doing it to my kiddo.
Ingredients for Chicken Falafel
Chickpeas- 500 g
Chicken boneless- 250 g
Mint leaves- 1 sprig
Garlic- 6-8 cloves
Salt- to taste
Coriander powder- 1 tbsp
Cumin powder- 1 tsp
Paprika- 2 tsp
All purpose flour- 2 tbsp
Cilantro- 1/4 cup
Oil- for frying
Yogurt- 2 cups
Mint- 1 sprig
Dill- 1 sprig
Soak the chickpeas for 12 hours or overnight. Grind it using all the ingredients mentioned above except oil and all purpose flour. Let the dough rest for 2 hours.
Now add the all purpose flour and shape the falafel into balls or patties. I prefer flattening them so that I can use minimal oil to fry. I did these falafel in two batches. I fried the first and baked the second. Personally, I loved the fried ones to the baked ones. But I think for the sake of health baking can be opted for.
As a dip you can use hung curd whisked with salt, chopped dill leaves and mint leaves. Chill this dip before serving. Plate the salad by layering chopped lettuce, cucumbers and tomatoes as a bed and place the falafel on top of the salad. Finally drizzle the yogurt dip (its a simplified tzatziki dip) and the salad is ready! Garnish with mint leaves for a refreshing flavour. Another way to serve this salad is to break the falafel balls into pieces and mix them with the veggies and yogurt dip. This is more like a chaat and will make a great tea-time snack or party starter.
Do let me know if you try any salads this summer, I find salads quite refreshing during summers especially if they are chilled. Having said that I am having a Mexican taco chicken salad for dinner. What are you having for dinner?