Vegan Fart Bombs

In food on 08/11/2009 at 8:59 pm

Who likes to fart? C’mon, everyone out there should be raising your hands, or at least chuckling on the inside (while letting out a silent one). I’ve discovered the other surefire way to release some noxious gas: falafel made from dried chickpeas/garbanzo beans. Now, who’s up for a little methane liberation?

Okay it’s my 3rd post of the day, but gimme a break, I got the day off for my birthday and I’m trying to stay cool in this gawd awful humidity. So the other day, we were in Brooklyn Heights, aka Lil’ Middle East, and we ventured into the general grocer after getting our lamb burp on to see if we could find the stainless steel cups they were using at Bedouin Tent.

I had mentioned to the other half I wanted to make falafel, since I was getting tired of rice or grits as the grain of choice to accompany meals. I never really go for Italian pasta for dinner, I don’t know why I think of it as more of a lunch thing. Except for spaghetti with meat sauce, that is.

That said, we bought some chickpeas, straight-from-the-Persian-Gulf primo stuff, dried. I made them to go with porkchops. I tried searching for the super secret Mamoun’s recipe but no such luck. Hers are so green and fluffy, and light as air. Too bad everything else there is subpar, even the pita. Based on her Throwdown episode, I know the key is not to pack the balls too dense. Being the lazy bastard I am, I made quenelles with a big tablespoon so I didn’t have to get my hands dirty. I did try scooping the mix onto an ice cream scoop, but that fell apart. It will take a little practice to perfect.

The best part about making your own falafel is determining what grind you use. I used a coarse mix, to enhance the nutty crunch of the chickpea. Bigger bits also increase the volume of air trapped between each particle so you end up with a lighter ball, not to mention a mouthful of joy. These would also taste good as hors d’oeuvres, perched on top of radicchio with a schmear of yogurt sauce or mustard.

This recipe is adapted from the Bitten Blog, and this is my first vegan recipe, unless I decide to add some ground meat into the mix next time.

1 cup dried chickpeas (NEVER, ever used canned)
5 cloves garlic, lightly crushed
1 small onion, quartered
1 cup chopped cilantro or parsley (cilantro is way better!)
(or use sofrito as a shortcut – instead of the above 3 ingredients)
1 tsp ground coriander
1 Tbsp ground cumin
1 tsp paprika
salt & pepper to taste
1 tsp baking soda
1 Tbsp lime juice
Neutral oil with high smoke point, like peanut, for frying

Put the beans in a large bowl and cover with water by 3 or 4 inches. Soak until plump, ~4hrs or overnight.

Drain beans well and transfer to food processor. Add remaining ingredients except oil; pulse until mixture comes together. Taste. Readjust seasonings.

Put oil in a large, deep saucepan to a depth of at least 2 inches; more is better. Turn heat to medium-high and heat oil to about 350 degrees (a pinch of batter will sizzle immediately).

Scoop heaping tablespoons of batter and shape into balls or quenelles. Fry in batches, without crowding, until nicely browned, turning as necessary; total cooking time will be less than 5 minutes. Drain on paper towel-lined plates

Sauce: Mix Greek yogurt with tahini. Start with 4-1 ratio and add extra tahini to taste. We like about 1/2 cup yogurt with 1/4 cup tahini. Add chopped mint or dill, garlic and lime juice, salt & pepper.

methane delights

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