Balaboosta, “Bold mediterranean recipes to feed the people you love”. For those of you who don’t know Einat Admony, she is the chef and owner of “Taim Falafel & Smoothie Bar (she has two locations) and the restaurant Balaboosta.” All three located downtown Manhattan.
When I found out Einat Admony had written a cookbook, I became interested right away. Not only do I love her restaurants but also, being Middle Eastern myself, some recipes hit close to home. Her book is filled with easy-to-follow recipes, hearty dishes that brings people together. Also, plenty of kids friendly recipes, grilling, quick meals, comfort food and much more.
I picked two recipes I know and love to share with you, pickled red onions and falafel (with a twist). Both recipes were really good, the falafel mixture had Kalamata olives and no parsley or cilantro as accustomed, although she does offer it as an alternative. It was a very interesting twist to a classic falafel. The pickled onions were spot on, the only discrepancy was in the quantities, the recipe calls for 8 medium onions and I had enough with 4 for 1 quart. This did not affect the taste. Overall, a really good cookbook to have on hand if you want to experiment with Middle Eastern cuisine.
You can buy Balaboosta HERE
For the falafel
2 cups dried chickpeas, soaked in cold water overnight
Canola oil for deep frying
1 medium yellow onion, coarsely chopped
3 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
1 tbsp coriander seeds
1 cup pitted Kalamata olives
1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
Drain the chickpeas into colander. Heat a medium pot filled with enough oil for deep frying. Combine
the onion and garlic in a food processor. Pulse until the mixture is finely ground. Crush the coriander seeds with the back of a metal spoon. Add them and the chickpeas to the food processor and pulse just until the chickpeas are broken into smaller chunks.
Add the olive oil, salt, cumin and pepper. Process until the mixture in finely chopped but not pureed, scraping down the sides of the container as needed. You’re looking for the mixture to resemble coarse meal and not hummus! If the mixture is a little too wet, simply drain off any excess liquid after you pulse it in the food processor. Shape the mixture into 1 1/2-inch balls and set aside.
When the oil in the pot reaches 375˚F, cook 3 or 4 falafel balls at a time until golden brown, about 3 minutes. Make sure to work in small batches to keep your oil nice and hot, which keeps your falafel tender and crispy.
For the pickled onions:
Makes about 1 quart
8 medium red onions, thinly sliced
(I used 4 and it was enough for 1 quart)
1 small red beet, sliced into paper-thin rounds
1 bay leaf
1 small star anise
1 small cinnamon stick
2 cups white vinegar
1 cup sugar
Place the onions, beet, bay leaf, star anise, and cinnamon stick in a 1-quart glass jar. Whisk together the vinegar and sugar in a small bowl and pour it over the red onions. Allow to ferment for at least 1 week in the refrigerator.
For the rest of the recipes on the first photo: