An Aarti Paarti!!! I'll admit I have never been a big fan of the Next Food Network Star, but there was something, or rather someone, about their latest competition that made me change my mind - Aarti - the new Next Food Network Star!!! She has such an upbeat presentation style and her food looks amazing - she's infectious!!! Just look at that smile - I challenge anyone not to smile back - these are the people you want to surround yourself with!!!
Next question - can the girl cook? Well let's try one of her recipes, many of which feature an Indian flavor profile. I know exactly which recipe to try - her take on the falafel - the Pea-Lafel!!! What's a falafel - it is a Middle Eastern menu standard - a fritter of sorts made from either chick peas or fava beans - served in pita bread with a yogurt sauce. I love them and have been in pursuit of the best falafel recipe for years - most fail in my opinion because they are too dense.
Aarti takes a unique spin on the standard - in place of the chick peas she uses frozen green peas and edamame - I'm interested. Here are the ingredients: the peas and beans, a trio of spices including fennel, fenugreek, and coriander seeds, lots of mint, garlic and shallots, with yogurt for the sauce.
Here are the Pea-lafel ingredients after a whirl in the food processor.
The recipe calls for frying, as do most falafel recipes, and for my first attempt I decided to abide with the frying instructions - next time I will try oven-frying them. Here they are out of the pan - beautiful - I just love the color of the sweet pea / edamame puree.Here's dinner - Pea-lafels on whole wheat pita (Wegman's Pita - delicious), served with the yogurt sauce included in the recipe. As sides I added a tossed salad with yummy local tomatoes and salad greens, and sauteed zucchini and carrots.
Verdict - the Pea-lafels are the best falafel recipe I have ever tried and I've tried a lot!!! I can't wait to try more of Aarti's recipes!
When you visit Aarti's link take note of her blog banner - wouldn't that design make a fantastic juvenile fabric???