The past few years, the culture of street food has become superior to the restaurant. The population, of course, is interested in parfait and langoustines, but we are not ready to exchange street food for this. And the point is not even in the high price segment. Daily absorption of haute cuisine dishes will certainly get bored, and the soul will reach for burgers, shawarma and hot dogs. Fans of fast food were retrained as adherents of a healthy diet and came up with an original substitute for falafel, which is harmful, but to their favorite dishes. Today 1 shawarma cart accounts for 2 with falafel. The city adopted a new variety of street food, without even thinking about the composition and quality of the ingredients.
What is falafel really like, is the new street snack safe and healthy?
What is falafel
This dish is in the form of miniature chickpea balls. The first falafels were prepared by the Egyptians, but recently the dish entered the category of street food. The first falafel deep-fried chickpea balls were offered to customers. Some establishments changed the recipe and used beans, quinoa and special mixtures of spices instead of chickpeas. After the formation of the fashion for healthy eating, falafel slightly changed their menu. Establishments refused to deep-fry and began to fry cutlets in a dry frying pan or bake in the oven. Falafel is served with fresh tortilla, sauce (depending on the establishment) and a lot of vegetables. The dish consists of the optimal amount of protein, fat, carbohydrates, and is perfect for breakfast or lunch by calorie content.
Chickpeas are common in all culinary traditions of the Middle East. Less common in the regions of the Middle East and North Africa.
In Israel, falafel is recognized as a national dish. Each gastronomic guide notes at least 3 Israeli falafel, which must be visited in order to get the right opinion about the country. The dish is recognized as an unofficial symbol of Israel and is revered by both local and tourists.
Falafel leaked to Western countries relatively recently. It, like shawarma, is prepared in exotic snack bars, mobile cafes or local establishments. Now the appetizer is especially popular with vegans and vegetarians, and not the religious public.
Brief historical background
A simple, but healthy and nutritious dish first appeared in Egypt during the early Middle Ages. Falafel began to cook Copts.
Historical background: the Copts are Egyptian Christians. They belong to one of the most ancient branches of the Christian religion.
The Copts kept a strict fast and loved to eat. Gastronomic love prompted the population to cook something special and always similar to meat. Vegetable chickpea protein has become an excellent substitute for the animal in terms of taste and energy value. The copts boiled chickpeas, crushed mashed potatoes to the consistency, added various spices, herbs, oils, then rolled them into small balls and sautéed until golden brown. The finished dish was sprinkled with sesame seeds and watered with sauce.
Paradoxically, the first falafel in Tel Aviv was opened by a simple Jewish widow, who previously lived in Berlin. She arrived in the city in the early 1940s, fleeing the Nazi regime. The widow would be very surprised if she knew that in a few years in the same Berlin, falafel would become the most popular street food.
In 2011, Israeli McDonald's launched a new adapted network called McFalafel. The menu was designed specifically for the Israelis, taking into account the peculiarities of national cuisine. It seemed to the creators that the new network would make a splash. But “McFalafel” encroached on authenticity. Instead of the classic falafel, flat chickpeas were served there. Conservative gastronomic connoisseurs rebelled and began to boycott the network.
Alternative version of the appearance of the dish
There is a version that chickpeas appeared among the ancient Phoenicians. The people lived in the modern territory of Lebanon and Syria. It is believed that falafel was the main food for the poor, who did not have the means to buy meat or opportunities for self-raising livestock and subsequent slaughter.
The advent of Christianity contributed to the spread of chickpeas. Regular posts forced the population to look for alternatives to meat, so they began to cook falafel in every home.
The main component of the dish is chickpeas. Consider the option of dietary falafel, which is served with a lot of vegetables, thin Armenian lavash, and the chickpea cake itself is baked or fried in a non-stick pan without oil.
Maintaining Natural Beauty and Health
Chickpeas concentrate lysine. It is an essential acid from which protein compounds are formed. Lysine is necessary for growth, tissue repair, production of antibodies, enzymes and hormones.
The daily dose of lysine is about 2-3 grams.
Amino acid protects the human body from viruses, including HPV (human papillomavirus). In 2003, the study "The effect of dietary lysine deficiency on the immune response to Newcastle disease vaccination in chickens" was conducted, which proved that amino acid deficiency can lead to immunodeficiency states.
The substance supports the functionality of the heart and blood vessels, protects the walls of the arteries from clogging, thereby preventing a whole series of diseases.
Lysine deficiency affects protein synthesis, leading to:
- decreased performance;
- growth retardation;
- a sharp decrease in body weight;
- loss of appetite;
- excessive irritability;
- hemorrhages in the eyeball;
- anemia (anemia);
- hair loss and deterioration;
- pathologies of the reproductive system.
The effect of fiber on the body
This is a crude part of plants that is not absorbed by the human body. The component is found exclusively in plant foods and is vital for a quality and healthy life. Fiber is responsible for:
- blood glucose regulation;
- satiety, which prevents overeating and obesity;
- work and protection of the cardiovascular system;
- high-quality energy metabolism;
- normalization of cholesterol;
- condition of the skin;
- general well-being of a person.
The most important component in the composition of Turkish peas is protein. By its quantity, chickpeas are the absolute leader among legumes. Vegetable chickpea protein saturates well, is easily absorbed, and supports human activity.
The component is especially important for vegans and vegetarians. Due exclusively to plant foods, it is very difficult to stabilize the balance of protein-fat-carbohydrates. Lack / excess of one of the components will inevitably lead to disturbances, diseases or a depressed state.
Improving metabolic processes
Falafel is abundantly seasoned with natural spices, which have a beneficial effect on metabolism. Spicy foods cause fast saturation, speed up metabolism and help the body absorb food faster and more efficiently.
Moreover, spices that are added to the snack have immunomodulatory, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic and detox properties. Spices add to the dish not only an expressive taste palette, but also enormous benefits for human health.
Classic Falafel Recipe
It is almost impossible to control the cooking process, which is served in falafel. To make the appetizer as useful as possible - make it yourself. Use the minimum amount of oil (or completely abandon it), freely vary the ingredients, create your own combinations.
We will need:
- chickpeas - 250 g;
- onions - 1 head;
- garlic - 5 cloves;
- juice of 1 lemon - 4 tablespoons;
- chopped parsley - 1 tablespoon;
- crushed cilantro - 2 tablespoons;
- chili pepper - 5 g;
- zira (crushed cumin) - 2 teaspoons;
- chopped coriander - 1 teaspoon;
- rice flour (can be replaced with whole grain) - 2 tablespoons;
- vegetable oil to taste - 1 tablespoon;
- soda - ½ teaspoon;
- raw sesame seeds - 2 tablespoons;
- natural yogurt without fillers - 20 ml;
- tahini - 70 g
Soak chickpeas in cold filtered water. In the morning, throw the Turkish peas into a colander, let the liquid drain. It is important that the peas lie in a colander for at least 30 minutes and dry well. Grind onions and garlic into small cubes. Chickpeas, herbs, onions, garlic, 2 tablespoons of lemon juice, beat in a blender until smooth. Mix soda with rice flour and beat the mixture into a blender bowl. Then send the spices and 2 tablespoons of filtered cold liquid. Mix the ingredients thoroughly and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. The mixture should mold well and roll into balls. If you skip the cooling step, the falafel will fall apart and stick to your hands / devices.
Preparing the sauce: mix tahini, natural yogurt, 2 tablespoons of lemon juice, chopped garlic. Stir the sauce thoroughly. Its consistency should resemble liquid viscous honey. If the sauce is too dense and dry, add natural yogurt or tahini.
Moisten your hands with water and begin to form tight circles from the chickpea mixture. The approximate weight of each flattened ball is 25 grams. Sprinkle falafel with sesame seeds and send to a hot pan (up to 180 ° C). Fry falafel on a drop of vegetable oil to fry on each side. Put chickpeas on paper towels to remove excess fat. To reduce calories, you can bake falafel in the oven or fry in a non-stick pan.
Serve immediately after cooking with natural yogurt and tahini sauce.
Contraindications to the use of dishes
It is recommended to eat falafel only in trusted institutions that monitor their reputation and are responsible for product quality. Always choose baked falafel or fried in a pan without oil. Deep-frying “enriches” the appetizer with additional harmful fat, cholesterol and empty calories, which add neither health nor taste. If you do not trust the institutions or want to experiment, prepare the classic falafel yourself.
Turkish peas have no absolute contraindications. It should be excluded from the diet only with individual intolerance, which is extremely rare. All legumes belong to the group of so-called "heavy" food - they are quite nutritious and high-calorie. The body has to spend a lot of time digesting and assimilating chickpeas. In some cases, when the digestion process is delayed, the beans cause fermentation.
Because of this feature, the amount of chickpeas in the diet should be reduced in case of: gastrointestinal tract disorders, gout, peptic ulcers, bladder pathologies, stool and blood circulation disorders. In old age, when the metabolism slows down, the use of chickpeas must be agreed with the therapist.
So that the process of assimilation of chickpeas is as quick and safe as possible - learn how to combine products correctly. A few hours before the meal, drink a glass of water with lemon and mint, and add a large amount of vegetables to the falafel itself. They will accelerate the metabolism, help food to better digest, eliminate the severity and pain in the abdominal cavity.