Monday, April 20, 2009

Red Curry Falafel

I saw this recipe in the newspaper and was intrigued by the combination of falafel and red curry paste. I have recently been trying lots of different curries and recipes that include red and green curry paste. I really like the flavors and thought this would be another great recipe. I was right. This was so delicious!
The only problem that I had with this recipe was that the falafel patties were very fragile and I had trouble keeping them in patty-form. I don't know if this is because I didn't want to overprocess the mixture in the food processor (there was a warning about doing so in the article-which I included with the recipe below) or just something else.
I replaced the flatbread that the falafel was supposed to be served on and instead served the patties on spinach with the tomato and avocado garnish on top. I am going to make these again because they were soo good, fast and easy!

*** Update! (7/09/09)
I just received an email from J.M. Hirsch, the creator of this recipe and here are his tips-
"As for the fragility issue, I'd say a couple more quick pulses in the
food processor would fix that. The chunks of chickpea in your patties
look larger than mine. I also sort of manhandled the patties, forming
them into pretty firm disks. FYI, I made these again on July 4, but did
them on the grill. Very good."

I found this article and recipe in The Deseret News
Thai red curry paste adds spark to falafel
By J.M. Hirsch
Associated Press
Published: February 25, 2009
Thai red curry paste, a spicy staple of many Thai recipes, lends gentle oomph to this rethinking of falafel (fritters made from chopped chickpeas and herbs). Jars of curry paste can be found in the ethnic food aisle of most large grocers.
These Middle Eastern fritters traditionally are served with a yogurt sauce, which cuts some of the heat. This version uses thick slices of avocado instead. The fat in the avocado plays the same cooling role as the yogurt.
A food processor makes easy work of this recipe, but be careful not to over-process the chickpeas. Process for too long and you'll end up with hummus (though it probably will be delicious).
And don't be intimidated by the spicy factor. The "heat" of Thai red curry paste is more akin to a vinegary bite than to a hot pepper burn.
1 teaspoon Thai red curry paste
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
4 slices bread (about 4 ounces)
Zest of 1 lemon
15-ounce can chickpeas, drained
2 tablespoons canola or vegetable oil, divided
3 flatbreads, warmed (I skipped this)
Smoked paprika, to garnish
1 avocado, pitted, skinned and cut into slices
1 large tomato, cut into wedges

In a food processor, combine the red curry paste, cilantro, parsley, cumin, salt, pepper, bread and lemon zest. Pulse until the bread is chopped to mostly fine crumbs. Add the chickpeas and pulse until the chickpeas are well-chopped.
Form the mixture into 9 patties, using about 1/4 cup of the mixture for each.
In a large skillet over medium, heat 1 tablespoon of the canola oil. Fry half of the patties until the bottoms are lightly browned, about 1 to 2 minutes. Use a spatula to carefully flip the falafel and brown on the other sides, about another 1 to 2 minutes.
Transfer the falafel to a paper towel-lined plate. Add the remaining tablespoon of oil to the pan and repeat with the remaining ingredients. To serve, arrange 3 falafel on each flatbread. Sprinkle with paprika, then top with avocado and tomato wedges

Coming Tomorrow- TWD- Chocolate Bread Pudding


Meghan said...

I love falafel but don't have it that often. We have this huge jar of red curry paste; it's nice to see another recipe where I could put a (small) dent in it!

Jaime and Jen DISH said...

I have never made falafel but I need to try it because it looks AMAZING!!!

I love the colors in the falafel!


Cathy said...

I love so many things about your blog, Mary Ann, but I think what I love the most is that you are always trying flavors, grains, vegetables, etc. that I'm not overly familiar with. Your blog has really helped me branch out in my cooking, and now when I see something unfamiliar, I'm much more likely to pick it up and give it a try. This looks so delicious - I will be on the lookout for red curry paste!

Anonymous said...

Ooh. I have everything for this recipe. For the rest of this month I'm trying to not buy any food other than fresh vegetables, fruit, and dairy. My pantry is so full.

This sounds delicious!

Engineer Baker said...

That sounds wonderful. I really need to make / have falafel more often, it's terrific stuff.

Aggie said...

I have been wanting to make falafel since I saw it on Ellie Krieger's show...I bet the flavors in this are awesome!! Looks delish!

I totally agree with Cathy...I love how you introduce new stuff to us (well, me!) all the time!!

The Food Librarian said...

I love falafel but never made it. You are a rock star.

Kerstin said...

Yum, looks great Mary Ann! I have always wanted to make falafel and I love the red curry in there!

sarah said...

ooo...this looks delicious! I can't wait to try! Mind if I post to my blog once I do (I will definitely give you credit!)