Tuesday, April 19, 2016

it's so darn easy!

Falafels and Chapati
quinoa falafel and chapati bread
the cloth in the background is handmade by the artist Assunta Perilli
I like making my own bread but I only have time on weekends.  It's on weeknights though, when I desire it most. That's why I fell in love with chapati bread, it gives you what you want in no time.

The Indian flat bread goes well with anything you can possibly think of.  You name it, it works!

burrito - check
panino - check
butter and jam - check
as pizza - check
use to mop the sauce - check
with hummus - check
with scrambled eggs and bacon - check
with chocolate and ricotta - check
as bruschetta - check
brushed with oil, garlic and parsley - check
with grilled cheese - check
as a panzanella or crumbed in salads - check, check!
wear it as a hat - I dare you to check :)

I've tried them all.  The thing is that it's so darn easy to make how could you not?!

Let me get to the point. Two cups of plain flour (I used wholewheat and it works perfect), one cup of cold water, a couple of pinches of salt. That's all. Combine the ingredients in a big bowl and knead the dough until it no longer sticks to the bowl.  Let it rest for 10 minutes. That's it!  No rising, no waiting.

Divide the dough in 8 round balls. Dust the surface of your working space with some flour and with a rolling pin, roll each piece in 8 round evenly thin disks. If the dough sticks to the surface, dust more flour on the dough and on the surface.

Preheat a non-stick pan, large enough to fit the rounds.  Place the flat bread on the pan, wait 3 minutes, flip it on the other side, wait another 2 minutes and flip again. Last flip is direct on the stove's flame or continue on the pan.  On the third flip the dough will inflate like a balloon.  Done.  Move on to the next disk. Watch this video to see how, click here.

Once the chapati bread is made, everything and anything goes well with it. I'm pretty sure you're thinking of something right now.

Chickpea and quinoa falafels, with veggies and a yogurt lemon zest and mint sauce - check! This ecletic mix of flavors has become a staple at my place.
quinoa and chickpea falafel
Chickpea and Quinoa Falafels with Chapati

250 g dried chickpeas
100 g cooked quinoa
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 small onion
1 tbsp finely chopped parsley
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 ground cardamom
1/2 tsp salt
1/ 1/2 tbsp flour
2 cups breadcrumbs
1 litre peanut oil for deep-frying

Soak the chickpeas over night in a big bowl with water.  The next day drain the chickpeas.  Alternate the chickpeas, garlic, parsley and coarsely chopped onion in a meat grinder.  Grind it twice.  If you don't have a meat grinder use a blender and blitz.  Place the mixture in a big bowl and add all the other ingredients.  Mix well with a wooden spoon, or use your hands.

Wet your hands with water and make small balls the size of a walnut.  Roll them in breadcrumbs and set aside. Place the falafels in the fridge for about 30 minutes before deep-frying.

Preheat a deep frying pan with the vegetable oil. When it reaches the appropriate temperature, 180ºC, fry until golden brown.

Serve with fresh chapati bread, your favorite veggies and a tahini and/or yogurt sauce.

To make the yogurt sauce: greek yogurt, a squeeze of lemon juice, some lemon zest, salt, pepper, extra virgin olive oil, fresh mint leaves.  Mix thoroughly.


  1. Tested -- checked!
    ... and so darn good!

    1. and when will you be making me something good little sister?! uh?....just testing ;-)

  2. Oh Elvira, you made me laugh so hard when you said "where it as a hat"! Weather here has been mighty hot and I might be tempted to check that one off. Now, the only thing left to check is to make it, eat it and lick my fingers with glee! And that chocolate-ricotta combo too ;)

    1. The glee...now that's something I need right now! But does it ever get cold in your area? If it's too hot then you need to have chapati with ice cream :*

  3. Hardly! The coolest it gets is 23-24deg. All round tropical weather here. It's currently 35-36deg during the day and 30-31deg nights. Chapati with ice cream it is! Soft fluffy bread + Ice Cream or Thin Wafers with Ice Cream are two popular childhood treats here ;)

    1. it's either I come there with my bathing suit and flip flops or you come here with your boots and raincoat. Whether it's one or the other, we'll adapt our chapati to the weather, it takes more to discourage you and I when it comes to food. That's for sure! :)

  4. Cara Cara Elvira, la mia missione speciale lo scorso venerdì è fallita miseramente perchè di matterelli non ce n'erano più, ma ad ogni modo ho chiacchierato tutto il tempo con Emanuela parlandole al dettaglio della tua squisita ricetta e del tuo/suo bel matterello immortalato! Ecco non vedo l'ora di copiarti questo piatto e di documentare tutto fino all'ultima bricciola!Come sempre qua tutto è poesia!

    1. Ed io non vedo l'ora di vedere le tue manine all'opera! Per ora forse ancora in foto ma un giorno....che sia presto o tardi, queste 4 manine lavoreranno insieme. Chissà?! :)*

  5. Non avrai mica pensato che mi sono dimenticata eh:-))) A mia discolpa posso dirti che me ne sono successe di tutti i colori, l'ultima è il possibile distacco della retina! Aiuto! Ti abbraccio

  6. Amica! Ma come?! Brutto affare il distacco della retina, spero tutto ok ora. L'abbraccio te lo mando io, doppio! :)

  7. Could I use canned chickpeas?

    1. Hi Ashleigh, you can but you'll get another consistency. If you really want to try the canned chickpeas try not mashing them too much, in other words, keep it coarse, not smooth. Let me know how it goes :)

  8. Looks delicious! What kind of veggies are shown here? Lettuce and cabbage?

    1. Yes, red cabbage and lettuce but you can use just about any kind. I personally love the combination with sprouts :-) Thanks for stopping by.