Soul Food Friday


If you wish to skip the story, here all the links you need to make the most phenomenal meal, to win over anyone’s heart and stomach.  😉

Falafel- By Sue over at The View From Great Island
Tahini Sauce- (also from Sue) 
Toum-
 By Kristen over at Bourban and Honey
Hummus– my version 😉
Pita Bread- By Delia of  Delia Creates
Mega thanks to all these lovely creatures and fellow foodies. ❤
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Back when I was a kid, we used to call it “junk food Friday’s,” which consisted of homemade french fries, heinz beans, fish fingers, frozen veggies and fried mushrooms.
Once in a blue moon we’d even head to McDonald’s, where we each got to choose one item (a burger) to be brought home and eaten with home cut fries.

All in all, my parents were pretty awesome about home made food, which I greatly appreciate now, and didn’t so much back then. Always the way, hey? I don’t even think I had a full “Happy Meal” til I ditched all the rules, took off, and began writing my own. Alas, no McDonald’s anymore for some years now, BUT I assure you, there are many happy meals being made.

In my stay at my parents place, I’ve fallen back into tradition with them for junk food Friday’s, though they really aren’t. Everyone eats pretty well around here, and indulges in the usual goodies of ice cream cakes and cookies etc, every now and again. The Friday has become Vietnamese/Thai from Pho Lee, (which does a mean Pad Thai), or seriously delicious Middle Eastern takeaway from London’s infamous Barakat, (with pizza every now and again).

This passing Friday, I announced that I would treat everyone for whatever they agreed upon, but got it in mind soon after that actually, what I really wanted was to replicate Barakat’s really really really yummy food.  And so I set out to do just that.

My vision, first and foremost “Toum.”
I must admit that the whole idea did begin with the greatest garlic sauce I’ve ever had. I picked up the recipe here, by the lovely Kristen, over at  “Bourban & Honey, and it turned out phenomenal.img_5968

(I did add aquafaba to it, (thought it’s not necessary) because I’ve been on such a kick of late and having made plant based mayo (which was a total hit), I knew it would work).

Though I’d had it before, I never knew it to be called “toum” rather just, “that awesome garlic sauce.”

Carrying on-early in the day, I prepared the dough for pita bread. Since coming across it, I always go back to **Deliaimg_5972‘s “Best Ever Bread,” recipe. It really is just that! It’s so quick to prepare, only needs a half hour rise time (though having made it in the morning, it sat most of the day before I used it- and was perfect), and tastes absolutely gorgeous. It’s also incredibly versatile, as I’ve made all sorts of things from it- pizza dough, buns, regular bread, focacciacrusty masala bread, and of course, the pita. Whole hearted thanks Delia. Two years later, and I would never abandon your recipe! 😉

**To make the pita, I just took a palmful of dough, lightly rolled it into a ball, flattened it and stretched it out with my hands. No rolling pin.

Pitaimg_5965 dough rising beautifully off in a warm corner, I got onto making the falafel mix. My folks had said that there was a mix somewhere, but you know me- if I’m doing it, it’s happening from scratch, – no questions asked.

Man, was it ever good.  I was so very impressed with how the img_5970beautiful chic pea patties turned out. They were indeed deep fried. For the first time making these babies, I went along with tradition, though I will go for baking next time…maybe. 😉  I did end up adding a little extra flour in img_5966the end to hold them together, though I’ve a feeling the oil wasn’t hot enough when we started frying. Make sure your oil is piping hot!

Having img_5964set the falafel mix into the fridge, I was onto the toum, as already described above. I hadn’t planned it, but when that was done with, I thought to make tahini sauce, another first, which couldn’t be skipped because it’s just so easy.

Finally, before getting to the main job of actually frying the falafel and making the pita bread, I decided on making hummus. There was some already in the fridgimg_5963e (store bought), but I really do love my own, and it tastes a million times better. I always pop a little bit of tumeric in these
days, for a little color, but mainly because it’s just great stuff. Food, drink, skincare, whatever- add a pinch, I say! Here’s an older version I made with roasted red pepper- you could simply omit that, add the pinch of tumeric, et voila, done. 😉

So then, onto the frying we go. I asked Dad to help out there so I could get onto the pita bread at the same time. On a side note, my father is truly a closet chef, really.  I think he secretly loves being in the kitchen, and jumps at every chance to create. (He made a delicious paneer biryani the other day!).
Mom makes great stuff too, though dad seems to enjoy the creative process more. Her job for our Soul Food Sunday was to replicate Barakat’s delicious salad, compete with pickles and such- and it was absolutely perfect.

img_5875

It really was a mighty team effort, and especially since mom was in such a funk prior to starting.  I just couldn’t be swayed from the brilliant creative mood I was in (much as she tried, I wouldn’t sing her tune even when directed straight at me).
Instead, I blessed the heck out of her, and within no time at all, she was the taste tester for my toum, tahini paste, falafel…and asking why I don’t open a restaurant etc.  Yep, I just threw in a little love vibe/soul talk there. “Truly, if you don’t like what you see, change the way you see it and the thing you see will change.” I just refused to see mum in her funk, and rather saw the perfection in her, which she came round to.

There were many high fives, and hugs later. “See, we did it. You did it,” I said…The whole process was worth it just to see sweet lil’ mama in joy. God Bless that little cookie. ❤

Back to the meal- dad’s brilliant idea, after having finished making all the falafel- “why don’t we deep fry the pita too?” No argument there, right? Done and done. I was making the pocket sized pita’s  on a large pan (no need for oil/butter), and the last few expanded beautifully in the bubbling hot oil. I have no pictures…but remember elephant ears? Now we know how to make them. 😉 I’m sure they’ll come up in a post soon-I’ve already been requested to make more bread dough, which I think will definitely be one of the recipes that sticks long after This Little Cookie is gone. 😉

Play- play til your hearts content. I know I’ll be initiating more of this kind of love fest as everybody wins. ❤

xxManj

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A Cup of Yum! 


I love my daily roasted bean fix of coffee with almond milk, but sometimes I’d like a warm drink (especially on these cold days), later in the day without the caffeine.

This here has done the trick quite well, and before I go make myself one, I’m sharing with you. 😊

Go on, grab your favorite mug ~

  • Fill 1/2 way with boiled water

Add:

  • 1 tsp almond meal (ground almonds)
  •  1/3 tsp coconut oil
  • 2-3 crushed cardamom pods
  • A pinch of cinnamon
  •  1/2 tsp ground flax (for thickening)
  •  1 tsp honey
  • A scant pinch of salt
  • Fill rest of the cup with your choice of “milk.” (I used almond)

Et voila – c’est tout!

By all means, decrease the amount of liquids for a thicker, richer drink in a small cup, and add a couple squares of 70% Lindt dark chocolate – why not…? 😉

I’ve been playing with a plant based version of Bailey’s (which is also the very perfect thing on a cold day). Hmm- perhaps I’ll perfect that straight away ;). Will share it when my tastebuds celebrate the perfect version- until then, I test 😊

Enjoy!