Doaa and Freda are very serious about their research as they set about creating a new spice kit. Falafel was no exception. Eaten throughout the Middle East, each region makes it a little different. Doaa and Freda decided to go to the source after discovering that falafel originated in Egypt. They combined the influences of both Egypt and the Levant to come up with their unique spice blend. The cumin and coriander are typically the only seasonings used in Egypt. Egyptian falafel is also characterized by the heavy use of spices and herbs, whereas Levantine falafel is less heavy-handed with both. Traditionally, Egyptians would use dried, split fava rather than chickpeas to make their falafel and if you can find them, I would definitely recommend it. Either way, these fried balls of deliciousness are packed with flavor incredibly easy to make at home.
Makes approximately 18 balls
1 cup dried split fava or chickpeas, soaked for 8 hours in a bowl of cold water
1 medium onion, quartered
4 garlic cloves
4 sprigs of parsley
2 tbsp Spice Tree Organics Cairo Falafel
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 tbsp water, or more if needed
3-4 cups of oil, for frying
1. Drain the fava or chickpeas, and place them along with the other ingredients and 2 tablespoons water in a food processor. If your food processor bowl is small, pulse the chickpeas first, remove them, and then pulse the onion, garlic, and parsley.
2. Add the chickpeas back to the bowl, along with the spices, salt, baking soda, and water. Run the food processor until the mixture is well combined and finely chopped.
3. If the mixture is not coming together, add more water, a little at a time, until it does.
4. Heat the oil in a large heavy-bottomed pot to 350°F.
5. Take a tablespoon of the falafel and roll it between your hands to form a ball. Press firmly so that the ball holds together and squeeze off any excess water so that you are left with compact falafel balls. Repeat until all balls are made.
6. Carefully deep fry falafel until golden brown, about 2 minutes each (fry in batches of 4 at a time to prevent over-crowding). They will puff up significantly, so do not shallow-fry these!
7. Serve hot, with tahini sauce, hummus and tabouleh salad.
A few days after the devastating earthquake that hit the region of Lazio, I made this classic dish that was invented in Amatrice, one of the towns most severely affected. It was my version of lighting a candle for them. With thousands still displaced, the work ahead seems insurmountable. Italian Restaurants across the world have been donating portions of profits from the sale of this dish to the Red Cross. We’d like to do the same and help in our own little way. Any Italian products we sell for the next month, we’ll donate 15% to the Italian Red Cross. It’s not much but every little helps. If you’d like to donate directly, here’s the link
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
12 ounces sliced guanciale or if you can’t find it pancetta
1 red onion, halved lengthwise and then thickly sliced
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 jar Classic Red
1 pound Bucatini
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and salt well.
2. Meanwhile in a large skillet, combine the olive oil, guanciale, onion and red pepper flakes. Cook on a low heat for about 10-12 minutes until the fat has rendered and the onions are softened. Raise the heat to medium for a few minutes so the onions and guanciale begin to brown.
3. Drain most of the fat and add the tomato sauce and bring to a simmer. Cook for approximately 5 minutes on a low heat.
4. While the sauce is cooking, cook the bucatini until al dente, drain and add to the simmering sauce. Cook for a further minute stirring well.
5. Serve with freshly grated Parmesan cheese.
This dish is street food in the best sense. Spice Tree Organics have wonderfully recreated the delectable flavor that so many New Yorkers crave on their lunch breaks and often wait in long lines to savor. Whether you’re a fan of Halal Cart Chicken or just looking for an easy weeknight dinner, you should give this a try. It far surpasses any I’ve tasted on the street and making it at home, I can ensure it includes only the freshest ingredients.
NYC Halal Cart Chicken with White Sauce
1 lb boneless chicken thighs, cut into small cubes
1 tablespoon Spice Tree Organics NYC Halal Cart Chicken
1 ½ teaspoon vinegar
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 Medium onion, sliced into strips
Sea salt to taste
1/2 cup diced cherry tomatoes for garnish
1 tablespoon fresh minced parsley for garnish
1. Mix the vinegar, 1 tablespoon oil, spices, and salt in a bowl. Add chicken and mix to coat well.
2. Refrigerate and let sit for 2 hours to marinate.
3. Heat remaining oil in a skillet and sauté onion until translucent, about 5 minutes.
4. Add chicken and cook thoroughly for approximately 10 minutes.
5. Serve alongside turmeric flavored basmati rice and white sauce, recipe below.
6. Garnish with cherry tomatoes and fresh chopped parsley
¼ cup mayo
¼ cup sour cream
1 small garlic clove, finely grated
2 teaspoon white vinegar
½ teaspoon sugar
1 tablespoon water
Sea salt and freshly cracked pepper to taste
2 tsp chopped dill
1. Mix all ingredients in a bowl.
2. Refrigerate for one hour to allow flavors to combine.