Falafel Frida Defies Pharaoh

Sitting on his throne, the mighty and proud Pharaoh was lost in deep thought. Seven disasters, one more severe than the other, have plagued his country. Egypt was devastated.

No livestock and no crops left, the starving population is about to rebel, and here are these two guys, Moses and Aaron, threatening with yet another catastrophe – locusts! The Pharaoh’s advisers are whispering into his ears, “Your Divine Majesty Ramses, how much longer are you planning to sit here like Rodin’s Thinker? When are you going to stop swinging like a weather-wane between yes and no? Don’t you see your country is going to  a very hot place in a hand  basket? Granted, it’s always pretty hot in Egypt, and your people are expert basket weavers, but they’ve got to eat, too! Let these stiff-necked people go already!”

ramses-yul-brynner

“Oh, okay, ” says Yul Brynner – pardon me, Ramses II, – “call these two characters back, and I’ll tell them they may go and pray to their … whatever they pray to… But wait, who and who is going?”

“What do you mean, who and who? Everybody! – says Moshe, having been brought back to the palace, – With our children and our elders, with our sons and our daughters, and with all our livestock we will go to celebrate and serve our G-d!”

“Hold it! Are you telling me Falafel Frida is also going? No way! You men can go and serve whatever, but women and children stay! I can’t even function without my falafel for lunch! Everybody makes those deep fried fava bean balls that give me indigestion, but Frida’s falafels are made of chickpeas and baked. My country needs Falafel Frida!”

And so the Pharaoh’s falafel addiction caused the next plague, locusts, and one more, darkness that covered the entire country.

“Go already, start packing! – screamed Ramses at Moses, hastily summoned to the palace, – Take your women, take your children, just leave your livestock. What do you need it for, anyway?”

“We might have to bring sacrifices but until we actually get there, we won’t know the order of service, so it’s best to be prepared.”

Sounds like a perfectly reasonable explanation, but when the A-mighty wants to punish someone, He removes his reason, or so the saying goes.  G-d hardened the Pharaoh’s heart, and he changed his mind again, thus causing the last and the most terrible plague – death of the firstborn.  Grieving for his son and heir, Ramses was ready to give up, when he remembered Frida. Everyone will get their freedom, but not Falafel Frida! As all the Jews were busy roasting lambs, eating flat bread that hadn’t had time to leaven (rise), and packing their belongings, Frida was abducted and brought in front of the Pharaoh.

“Ask what you want, – offered the king, – lands, palaces, slaves, a brand new Tesla and an off-shore bank account, but stay, I beg you!”

“I choose freedom, – replied Frida, – but I don’t mind sharing a recipe if I can go right this minute, otherwise my husband will make a mess of packing my pots and pans.”

flfl 1.jpg

I guess this part of the Exodus story was lost due to its insignificance, but whether there really was Falafel Frida or not, two facts are indisputable: the Jews chose freedom, and the Egyptians started making chickpea falafels.  There are many different variations, but mine is basic, just like the mythical Frida’s: add olive oil, lemon juice, cumin, salt and pepper, and lots of garlic and cilantro.

flfl 2.jpg

Pulse it all together in a food processor, making sure to scrape the sides once in a while, but don’t blitz it into a paste. Falafels are best when they are a little chunky.

flfl 3.jpg

Just like Frida, I bake falafels instead of frying. My motto: “We try not to fry!” Just get the balls rolling, or get your kids to do that – kids love it! – and bake them for about 15 minutes on each side on a lightly misted cookie sheet.  While they are baking, you can watch this totally unique rendition of the “Four Questions” asked at a Passover table.

Was that fun or what? If you are curious, here is the translation.

The Four Questions

Why is this night different
from all the other nights;
 
On all other nights we eat both
chametz and matzah,
on this night, we eat only matzah
 
That in all other nights we eat
many vegetables,
on this night, only maror
 
That in all other nights we do not
dip vegetables even once,
on this night, we dip twice
 
That in all other nights
some eat sitting and others reclining,
on this night, we are all reclining
flfl 4
Meanwhile, we have healthy, nutritious, and delicious falafels that freedom-loving Frida would’ve been proud to serve to the finicky pharaoh.
INGREDIENTS
  • 2 cups cooked chickpeas (1 cup dry)
  • 2 – 3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  •  1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

PROCEDURE

  • Preheat oven to 375°F. Mist cookie sheet with oil.
  • Drain chickpeas,  place in food processor, add the rest of ingredients. Pulse until chunky, not creamy, occasionally scraping down the sides. Add more olive oil, if necessary.
  • Roll mixture into balls, place them on cookie sheet, mist with oil on top.  Bake 10 to 15 minutes on each side or until golden.

Enjoy!

 

 

 

 

 

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87 Comments Add yours

  1. domnuio says:

    Beautiful !!!
    love it very much

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you so much – I am glad you like it!

      Like

  2. A_Boleyn says:

    Very humorous story of Moses and the exodus from Egypt in spite of those plagues. I love falafel and make pretty good ones myself. Maybe not as good as Frida’s since I’ve baked but I prefer the taste of shallow fried ones. 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Whatever makes you happy, and I am happy you like the story – thank you for your kind comment!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. A_Boleyn says:

        The flavour and texture of the falafel makes it one of my few meat-free mains that are as satisfying as eating a burger or a Salsbury steak especially served with some tzatziki or tahini sauce. I DO use an egg to bind however. The fresh herbs are essential for a truly tasty falafel.

        https://aboleyn01.wordpress.com/2016/06/19/red-pepper-falafel-baked-versus-shallow-fried/

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Thank you for sharing a link. Yours look more like flat patties, rather than falafel balls, and with eggs, are similar to my veggie burgers https://koolkosherkitchen.wordpress.com/2016/06/06/oriental-veggie-burgers/
        Whatever they are, they are delicious!

        Liked by 2 people

      3. A_Boleyn says:

        Thank you for the veggie burger link. They look great.

        My cast iron frying pan isn’t too deep and I don’t use a lot of oil so my falafel have to be flat enough to be almost submerged in the oil. They do get a bit rounded as they poof up but they’re more patty like. My kibbeh are rounder … maybe I should make my falafel rounder too. 🙂

        http://a-boleyn.livejournal.com/201532.html

        Liked by 2 people

      4. I love kibbeh, but it’s the same issue – they have to be fried. I have not come up with a way to bake them yet.

        Liked by 1 person

      5. A_Boleyn says:

        I’ve made the baked version. It’s .. OK. I prefer the fried ones. 🙂

        https://aboleyn01.wordpress.com/2016/08/16/baked-kibbeh-kibbeh-bil-sayneeye/

        Liked by 2 people

      6. A kibbeh pie – how cute! This I’ve got to try, and thank you for the link.

        Liked by 1 person

      7. A_Boleyn says:

        I started keeping a blog a couple of years ago and started duplicating the posts from my old Livejournal. Both the links LJ/blog are mine. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  3. As always a wonderful alternative historical story and fabulous recipe! Thank you very much 😺 xxx

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you so much – I am glad you like it!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Funny way of telling the exodus!
    Though for culinary accuracy, the Egyptian falafel is made with broad beans, not chickpeas. As for the chickpeas version, they are soaked, not cooked, but the cooked are definitely easier on the digestion, and on Passover with all the Matzah, this is quite important! 😀

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Ronit, we don’t eat chickpeas with matzah! This whole week I’ve been frantically trying to get read of all the chometz, including several kinds of precooked beans I usually keep in the freezer.
      I’ve found in several sources that in ancient Egypt, presumably during the times of the pharaohs, they used both broad (fava) beans and chickpeas. That was the premise of my whole story. And you are right, of course, I use cooked, rather than soaked, chickpeas for the same reason I bake them instead of frying – digestion.
      Have a Hag Kosher v’Sameach!

      Liked by 3 people

      1. I forgot the Ashkenazi addition of not eating legumes. Well, that would definitely help digestion wise! 🙂

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Yes, we do go crazy in many different ways! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Safek says:

    I’ve never tried baking falafel! I think I need to try your recipe after Pesach. Thanks for the laugh and the recipe!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. My pleasure! I am doing everything I can to get rid of all the Chometz in the house!

      Like

  6. I am so making this over the weekend! Gluten free too! M’wah!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Ess gezunt-a-heid! Enjoy!

      Like

  7. Happy Pesach, friend!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Same to you and yours, especially the kinderlach!

      Like

    1. Thank you so much for reblogging!

      Like

  8. Wow, what a wonderful composition, with all we need to have a great meal. Thank you, very much. for this great entertainment and the recipe.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. My pleasure! I am so glad you like it!

      Like

  9. susieshy45 says:

    I love Filafel especially the fried ones . You are right, in this case, chunky is better.
    Have you researched the Indian vada, made of urad dal and the other vada made of toor dal- both are variants of Filafel I think and equally tasty and gluten free ?
    Susie

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I have tried making chana dal vada, but it is almost the same as falafel, other than the spices.They are all delicious!

      Liked by 2 people

      1. susieshy45 says:

        I agree. I can eat at least 5-6 falafel’s or vedas if given.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. You have good appetite for good food – that’s great! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      3. susieshy45 says:

        You can only appreciate the worth of a good appetite when you are sick and lose it.
        Susie

        Liked by 2 people

  10. Ginger says:

    Tesla and an off shore bank account .. your bible stories have a delightful variation that mine missed! lol and I am a real falafel fan. Friends have commented seeing me in a kebab shop – I’m veggo – not realising that they make the best falafel altho maybe not Freda’s.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you so much – I am glad you enjoyed the story and the jokes! By the way, I picked the name Frida not only because it sounds like freedom, but also because it means “joyful.” So enjoy your falafels anywhere you can find them!

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Ginger says:

        Yes they are joyful, good pick! This is exactly why I enjoy your posts even tho I don’t cook, you mix it up, thanks for brightening my day.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Oh you are so sweet! Thank you for your kind words!

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Ginger says:

        How are you going with that interview or do you want to leave it until that blog is better known?

        Liked by 1 person

      4. I am sorry, dear, but I told you it will take me a while. I am very busy right now with Passover preparation. I hope you don’t mind!

        Liked by 2 people

      5. Ginger says:

        No, thank you for reminding me! I am just keen to know more because you have so much to offer. Enjoy your preparations

        Liked by 1 person

  11. ラベンダームーン says:

    Sound do delicious❤ thank you for always telling stories with recipes🌼 I shall make falafel for Dinner

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you so much, dear! I am glad you like it – enjoy!

      Liked by 1 person

  12. israelisalad says:

    Dolly, I love your stories! And this falafel recipe looks so easy. I usually buy frozen falafel balls, but this recipe may stop that. I’ll have to try it after Pesach. 🙂 חג כשר ושמח!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you so much! And the same to you and yours – Hag Kosher v’Sameach!

      Liked by 1 person

  13. spearfruit says:

    I always enjoy your stories along with your recipes Dolly. You know seeing you always makes me smile. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I am so glad I manage to bring a smile into your day!

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Osyth says:

    Loooooove falafel and looooooved your rending of the Plagues, Moses (supposes his toes’ are roses) and the exodus. ❤️

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you – I am just having fun!

      Liked by 1 person

  15. Such a great reading 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much – I am glad you like it!

      Liked by 1 person

  16. Joëlle says:

    Like everyone else, I get a kick out of your alternative historical facts! I haven’t made falafels in a while. Last time I did the chick peas were soaked, not cooked. No digestive problems, weren’t we lucky!
    I need to set up my own special pre-Passover week so as to empty out the contents of my basement freezer. It has been telling me that it is in bad need of defrosting!
    Thank you also for the musical links. As I started reading your post I was humming “Go down Moses” to myself. What would be life without music, recipes, and Dolly’s stories? Dull.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Dear Joelle, you are so sweet! Yes, the classic way is soaking, not cooking, but first of all, digestion (you guessed it!) calls for cooking, and secondly, I needed to get rid of all precooked beans before Passover.
      As I am reworking the recipes from a blog into a book, I am constantly faced with the challenge of not having music. I have not found an alternative.

      Liked by 2 people

  17. Espirational says:

    Great recipe. Love the story!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, I am so glad you like it!

      Like

  18. Kae Bucher says:

    You are so fun:)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Kae! I am happy to entertain!

      Liked by 1 person

  19. Your Falafel looks so delicious Dolly 😀
    I have lots of boiled chickpeas in my freezer, easy to use. I do always use dry and boil many, this save time and electricity, because they need so long boiling time.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I do the same with all beans, portion them out in plastic bags and freeze them, only I cook them in a crock pot. I soak them overnight and start the crockpot in the morning. By late afternoon, they are ready, and I can divide the portions.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I don’t have a crock pot, so I just boil them after soaking them too. The same for all the beans here too.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Same thing, just a little more labor intensive.

        Liked by 1 person

  20. Megala says:

    Fantastic post.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much – I am so glad you like it!

      Liked by 1 person

  21. I don’t know any Jewish people so have never eaten Jewish food. You are my first Jewish friend and I am going to try out some of your delicious sounding dishes.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, dear Kim! Many of my recipes are not specifically Jewish as I love all kinds of foods from all over the world. What makes them Jewish is cooking in accordance with kosher (prescribed by our religion) laws.
      I am honored to be your friend, dear!

      Like

  22. oldpoet56 says:

    I really like the way you are able to ‘blend’ stories together, sort of like a 2 for 1. I am going to reblog this article for you young lady.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for the compliment, for reblogging, but most of all, for calling me a young lady!

      Like

  23. Wake38 says:

    I can’t wait to try this recipe. I love falafels.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for your comment! Please let me know how it turns out.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Wake38 says:

        I will & thanks for sharing.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Wake38 says:

        Hi Dolly,
        I’m back as promised. I made this recipe last night and it was amazing! With the remaining chickpeas, I made hummus-delicious. You’re the best.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Thank you so much for getting back to me! I am so excited that you made it and liked it – it makes it all worthwhile!

        Liked by 1 person

  24. jonahzsong says:

    Loved the story. I love falafel. Your receipt sounds easy enough for me to attempt it. I like the idea of baking rather than frying.

    Lord Bless, Keep, Shine upon you and yours. . .

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, dear! Many blessings to you as well!

      Like

  25. July submissions released: http://bit.ly/2ukQkrt
    Thank you so much for all your lovely entries.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, dear Esme!

      Liked by 1 person

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