RECIPE: TURMERIC-SPICED FALAFEL

More than half of the food the average Trinbagonian eats is imported. This should come as no surprise since our twin isle’s annual food import bill is approximately $6 billion. By purchasing local, you funnel money back into our community and support its growth and sustainability for future generations. Our weekly column “In Season” features a sweet and savoury recipe for one readily-available ingredient, so you can take advantage of the vibrant bounty from farmers’ markets, local farm stands, and your own yard.
 
Turmeric, a bright golden-orange spice mostly used in curries, mustards and golden milk lattes, has gained quite the reputation as a super superfood. Trinis love turmeric for its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Its active compound, curcumin, has been extensively studied for its disease-fighting potential and preventive health benefits. When it comes to taste, turmeric has warm, slightly earthy and sometimes-sweet-and- savoury-at-the-same-time flavours that keep us coming back for more. Here are two ways to add more turmeric to your diet.

 

TURMERIC-SPICED FALAFEL
 
Falafel is a traditional Mediterranean dish made from chickpeas. We added turmeric for more health benefits and a gorgeous yellow glow on the inside. You can’t save time by skipping the soak: this recipe will not work with canned, pre-frozen or boiled chickpeas—you must buy them dried and soak them first. We think it’s served best with hummus, tzatziki or garlic sauce over a bed of greens. Try it and write to us on Facebook to let us know what you think!
 
Serves 12
Soak Time: 12 hours
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes

 

INGREDIENTS
1 pound chickpeas, dried
3 cloves garlic
1-inch fresh turmeric, peeled 1 small onion
1 bunch parsley
1 teaspoon paprika
1⁄4 teaspoon coriander
1⁄4 teaspoon cardamom powder
1 teaspoon geera seeds
1 to 2 tablespoons cornstarch, chickpea flour or all- purpose flour
Salt and pepper to taste
Oil for frying

 

DIRECTIONS
  1. Wash the chickpeas in clean water and then place into a large bowl. Pour three times the amount of water over the peas and allow to soak overnight.
  2. The day after, heat oil in a deep pan to 300°F or medium heat.
  3. Add garlic, turmeric, onion, parsley, paprika, coriander, cardamom and geera to the bowl of a food processor. Pulse for 3 to 5 minutes, scraping down the sides several times in between. Process to break down the spices as much as possible.
  4. Add chickpeas and flour to the spice mixture and pulse until a fine, mealy mixture forms. You should be able to roll a ball in your hands without it crumbling apart.
  5. Scoop the mixture out in heaping tablespoons; roll into balls or disks.
  6. Fry the falafels until brown and beautiful. Break one in half to ensure the inside is properly cooked thorough.
  7. Serve on a salad, in pita bread or lettuce wrap. Always serve warm with garlic sauce for maximum yumminess.
  8. Serve warm. Enjoy!
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