build-your-own falafel sandwich with pita bread and tzatziki sauce, a photo by pipsyq on Flickr.
Yesterday, I handmade around 65-70 falafel balls, about 14 pita breads, and tzatziki sauce in my lab class. My attitude toward cooking is if I can make it by hand, I want to do it. I want to learn every step of the process. I’m not one to take the easy route of buying pre-made foods.
The falafel recipe I used was a basic one from epicurious. I adapted it a bit with the addition of turmeric and adding more parsley and cilantro than it called for. Next time I will make a couple of more changes like using dried garbanzo beans instead of canned and less flour to see if that changes the flavor and texture significantly. However, for a first time making falafel, they were pretty damn good deep fried and dipped in tzatziki.
The pita bread recipe I used comes from smittenkitchen. It turned out good, although could have used a little bit more salt. It was also difficult to stuff the pita bread since they were kind of small. Will need to make them bigger when I’m not constrained by the size of a plastic box for selling. I think the key with cooking pita bread is keeping your baking sheet hot — so put it in your oven while its preheating. Next time I’d like to pan fry it and see how that changes the texture and appearance.
The tzatziki sauce I made was an adaptation from Ina Garten’s recipe. I used more dill and cucumbers and made the recipe in bulk. I like the sour cream addition because it adds a nice tartness, even though it is non-traditional to do so.
Overall, I’m pleased with how everything turned out, but will make changes to enhance and improve the dish as a whole next time.