Sunday, October 25, 2015


We had a mini party at our place a couple weeks ago.  A few of our close friends came over.  We all had kids the same age.  When our kids were younger, we used to meet our friends regularly, because every Friday, kids would start asking for play dates and sleepovers.   We would also go regularly to Balvihar and could get updates on important and not so important events in each others' lives.

Now our kids are much older and several have gone away to college.  Of those still at home, some are applying to schools this year and others are busy with school and sports.

So now we have to plan ahead so that we can meet and catch up.  Since I planned this party a couple of weeks in advance, I sent out a poll on what cuisine people wanted to eat.  Mediterranean won!

It was a potluck.  For tapas, we had polenta with mushrooms and caramelized onions, hummus and roasted pepper fillo cups, baba ganoush, hummus, crackers, dolmades, and olives.  For the main course,  we had a mediterranean soup with harissa, green peas soup,  tabbouleh, couscous salad, quinoa salad, pita bread,  hummus, falafels, tzatziki sauce, lettuce and cucumbers, mediterranean rice, and for dessert, we had fruit tarts and fruits.

We all enjoyed both the dinner and the company.  

I have had this fantastic falafel recipe from my friend Neerja.  Neerja makes the most amazing appetizers, and had brought these to a party.  I followed her recipe exactly.  The falafels came out great!  I have reproduced her recipe here just as she sent it to me.  Thanks Neerja!

Here is what you need:

  • 1 cup dried chickpeas - Soak overnight
  • 5 dried red chillis - soak in a small cup of water for 30 mins.
  • 1 small onion - chopped
  • 5 cloves garlic - chopped
  • 1 small bunch Italian parsley - stems removed
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 6 Tbsp. rice flour
  • 1 Tbsp. coriander seeds - grind in spice grinder
  • 1 tsp. cumin seeds - grind in spice grinder

Here is how I made it:

  1. Drain water from the chickpeas and dried red chilies. Using a food processor, Pulse to a coarse breadcrumb texture.
  2. Add onion, garlic, parsley, salt, coriander and cumin powders and pulse some more.
  3. Scoop the falafel mix into a dish, cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
  4. After a couple hours have gone by, remove mix from the fridge. Add baking soda and rice flour to it. Mix well.
  5. Heat oil for deep-frying. Make small balls.
  6. Deep-fry slowly on medium heat until they turn nice and golden. The falafels will be crisp for many hours to come if fried this way.

Serve as an appetizer or as a pita sandwich


  1. Absolutely fantastic pictures! So excited the falafel recipe worked beautifully for you :).

  2. Wow mouthwatering and very tasty looking recipe. I will definitely try this at home. Have you tried Pakistani Cooking Recipes I love all Pakistani Recipes and mostly the appetizers by zarnak sidhwa recipes


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