The idea of Falapav is an authentic food synthesis. True Honey Buzzard style!
Honey Buzzard recipes are all about combining ethos of 2 different cuisines and creating a new recipe that is a discrete taste. My new falafel sandwich recipe “Falapav” layers within, taste of 2 favorite recipes from the Mediterranean and the streets of Mumbai.
The falafel with a history of over 1000 years, is a popular snack not just in Egypt but all over Mediterranean countries, and an ascending fame all over the world. On the other hand Vadapav, the very own Indian burger is prevalent on the streets of Mumbai, served as the “go-to” food for the Indian common man every day.
Falapav is an interesting taste idea to sandwich the crispy Mediterranean falafels into a soft pav bread from the western region of India, savored with Indian chutneys. If I had to write a formula for this recipe, it will be something like
FALAPAV = VADAPAV – VADA + FALAFEL
What’s the unique Falapav taste like?
For falafel lovers it’s the same good old taste in a new Indian packaging. With recent food innovations, you must have tried some falafel salads and falafel sandwich, now try it in an Indian burger version.
More good news is that I am using beetroot falafels for this recipe, surely some healthier blood for your body.
Also, beetroot falafels are a better taste pair with the tamarind and garlic chutneys. Trust me you won’t miss the hummus!
Well it’s also a win-win for the Vadapav lovers. It will be some food fun to munch the crispy Falafels in the Pav breads, instead of the usual potato Vada balls.
So let’s get on with the recipe of this falafel sandwich!
Starting with our base recipe Vadapav. Well it’s pretty simple, it’s all about arranging the potato vadas or the falafels into a toasted bread, with chutneys smeared on the inside of the breads. Having said that, there is some work that goes into making the 3 distinct chutneys – green chutney, tamarind chutney & dry garlic chutney. The good news is that you can stock up these chutneys in your fridge for a while. The green and garlic chutney for 4-5 days and the tamarind chutney for 3-4 months or more. So you can make them in advance and even relish them with other salads or snack.
FALAPAV is a fusion of the Egyptian Falafel and Vadapav a popular street food from India. In this recipe the beetroot falafels are sandwiched in the Pav breads and smeared with garlic, green and tamarind chutney. You can call this a Mediterranean - Indian burger!
Place the dried chickpeas in a large bowl filled with water to cover the chickpeas by at least 2 inches. Soak for 12 hours (or more if the chickpeas are still too hard). When ready, drain the water from chickpeas and pat them dry.
Place the grated beetroot in a large food processor. Pulse it a couple of times. Now add chopped parsley and pulse again.
Now add the chickpeas, garlic, onion, green chili and spices. Run the food processor 30-40 seconds at a time until all is well combined. You may need to shuffle the ingredients with a spatula in between. Keep blending until a smooth falafel mixture is ready.
Transfer the falafel mixture into a container and remove any remaining whole chickpeas. Now cover the container and refrigerate for at least 1-2 hours or (up to one whole night) until ready to cook.
Just before frying, add the baking powder and sesame seeds to the falafel mixture and stir with a spoon.
Scoop some falafel mixture and form into patties (1/2 - 1 inch in thickness each). It helps to have wet or slightly oiled hands as you form the patties.
Fill a medium saucepan with oil. Heat the oil on medium-high until it bubbles softly. Carefully drop the falafel patties in the oil, let them fry for about 3-4 minutes or so until medium brown.
Place the fried falafel patties in a plate with or plate with paper towels to drain excess oil.
NOTE: When you are almost done frying our falafels, you can also fry some whole green chilis for arranging the falapavs.
For arranging Falapav
Cut the Pav breads in from centre to get 2 halves – top and the bottom. Apply some butter on both halves.
Heat a flat pan on medium flame. Now place both the buttered Pav bread halfs on the pan. Toast it from both inside and outside till they are slightly golden and crisp.
Remove the bread from fire. Apply tamarind chutney on the inner bottom half. Now smear some dry garlic chutney on it. Place a hot beetroot falafel, you just fried on this base.
Take the toasted upper half and apply green chutney on the inner side. Now place it on top of the bottom half & falafel.
You can also poke a fried green chili on top with a tooth pick.
Your Indian-Medittaranean style Fala-Pav burger is ready. Enjoy it hot. Serve with some extra chutneys on the side.