So I live in a twenty-story condo building. Some days its quiet and some days I feel like I’m in college again when I can hear my neighbor’s tv or parties. But tonight I was the noisy neighbor.
I made three dishes for dinner (plus a veggie) and two of them required the use of my food processor— in my case a blender attachment. My cheap blender seems especially loud when I know how thin the walls can seem.
But the dinner was so wonderfully, delicious that disturbing the peace was worth it.
I’ve learned that timing is a big part of making dinner in a tiny, galley kitchen like mine. So with some quick research and planning, I jumped into going from a can of chickpeas to falafel and hummus. Finding ingredients in Bangkok is a challenge, and my grocery shopping is largely spontaneous, but tonight I did get some sesame seeds after putting the chickpeas in my basket.
To make tahini for the hummus, I roasted 1/8 cup sesame seeds on very low heat with a tiny bit of oil. Stirred it often as Pinterest advised. While they were toasting, I blended the chickpeas, onion, and garlic for the falafel. I followed, roughly, this recipe from A Beautiful Mess. Secondly, I added the salt, pepper and flour. I didn’t have the parsley or cilantro and I’m just realizing that I didn’t add baking powder. *blush* Popped the mix in a bag and into the freezer, as the recipe advised that chilling is important, but I was too hungry to wait two hours.
Another difference from the recipe was I didn’t want to fry the patties. I only have two burners and three inches of counter so baking is better. I did brown each side of the patties in a pan with a bit of olive oil before baking at 400F for about 15-20 minutes. (I didn’t time it.) They turned out golden brown and crunchy on the outside, aka perfect.
For the hummus, I blended the cooled sesame seeds into a paste with olive oil (tahini) then I added the second half of the can of chickpeas, two cloves of garlic, juice of a small lime, pinch of cumin and salt, tbsp of water. This chilled in the fridge while the rest of the meal finished.
To go with my meal, I made chapattis. This is something I learned to make years ago when I visited India. They are so simple: just flour and water + time to rest. I used 1/2 cup of AP flour and 1/4 cup of water plus a pinch of salt. Mix and knead it with your hands until it is no longer sticky. Cover and set aside for about an hour. The dough will get even softer. Then heat a griddle or pan-DRY, no oil. This amount made four chapattis, the size of my tiny frying pan. The rolling of the dough is a bit of an art, but the trick is roll once – turn the dough a bit, then roll again. Fry (no oil!) each side while only flipping once. And if you press on the edges after flipping, the dough should puff up nicely.
To complete the bundle of joy, I added some chopped cherry tomatoes and some blanched green beans. Together is was a delicious, colorful meal. And in the end, I think it only took about an hour, including the time trolling the internet while things chilled and rested.
Not to toot my own horn but when I took my first bite, I thought, “Dang, I’m fabulous in the kitchen!” But really I think it is hard to mess up this meal. *
*I’ve had lots of practice with the chapattis. Buying pita bread or naan would be much easier but it’s expensive here.