1st Stop: Israel

The best places to look for genuine street food are at food stalls in street markets. My first encounter was at North Sydney General Market last Saturday. I was advised that one of the new stalls is cooking Shakshouka for breakfast, and without hesitation I went to taste.

imageI was greeted with a complimentary Falafel while my Shakshouka was simmering in purgatory. My eyes rolled out of joy with the intense flavours and I saw stars shinning right in midday!

Shakshouka is one of the best quick meals that can be prepared in 10 minutes.  I usually cook it at home when I have a little bit of this and that in the fridge that once combined together, they make an awesome hearty meal for 2.

Shakshouka is a staple of Egyptian, Tunisian, Libyan, Algerian, and Moroccan cuisines traditionally served up in a cast iron pan with bread to dip in the sauce. It is also popular in Israel, where it was introduced by Tunisian Jews and ever since it became the 2nd national street food of Israel, after the popular Falafel.

Falafel on the other hand has created a controversy in the Middle East with every country claiming it’s theirs, which is why after hundreds of years; we are still fighting over Falafel, and between us? I think the taste and benefit of Falafel is worth the struggle.

Shakshouka and Falafel have lost their Jewish identity in Australia, and are now adapted in many café menus all over Sydney as a healthy and/or vegetarian option, but they lack the delightful genuine taste that I had for as little as $9.00 for Falafel, $10.00 for Shakshouka at Homeland Street Food stall. If you are lucky enough; joine me at the North Sydney General Market every second Saturday of the month; I’ll definitely be in the queue, drooling for another great experience.

Shakshouka

ShakshoukaShakshouka is a combination of 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1/2 white finely chopped onions, 2 medium minced garlic cloves, 3 fresh tomatoes diced, 3 capsicum (I usually go for the coloured ones just to create a happy dish), 1 fresh Chilli (depending on how sexy you like it), a Pinch of salt, 2 large eggs, Pita bread toasted for serving, and 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh parsley leaves for garnish.

Cook the onion and garlic together with oil and add the chilli and salt. 2 minutes later add the capsicum, followed by the tomatoes 3 minutes later, then make 2 holes in the pan and break the eggs until cooked. Once the fire turned off, sprinkle the parsley and serve with toasted pita or turkish bread. Easy!

Falafel

There are two ways to have a good Falafel:falafel and shakshuka

1-      You either need to soak a cup of Chickpeas and a cup of fava beans overnight, Drain and rinse in a food processor the next day.

Add 1 small chopped onion, ¼ cup of minced parsley, ½ bunch of coriander, 4 minced garlic, 1 teaspoon of baking powder, salt, cumin and spice powder. Pulse, scraping down the side of the bowl, to form a paste.

Add the water and process until the mixture is gritty but fine.

In a medium saucepan, heat 5 cm of oil to a high degree (avoid olive oil for deep frying and substitute with sunflower oil)

Scoop rounded tablespoons of the Falafel mixture into the hot oil and fry in small batches for about 2 minutes or until browned and crisp. falafel

Drain on paper towels set over a wire rack and serve hot, with tahini and/or hummus, fresh tomatoes, mint, lettuce, radish and pickles in pita bread.

Or

2 – You can walk to the nearest Lebanese bar and get one.

Did I just say it?! Falafel originates from Lebanon. Period.

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10 Comments Add yours

  1. deeFoodie says:

    I swear falafel originates in India. Really!! Teheheheee

    1. tinaaboutaan says:

      I don’t think soooooo!

  2. Michele says:

    Those who haven’t tried Falafel Frayha in Beirut haven’t tried Falafel 😉

    Great article… I already witnessed your Shakshouka… delicious!

    1. tinaaboutaan says:

      Indeed! Freyha in Achrafieh rules!!!

    2. HishamAD says:

      How about falafel Zaynoun in bechara el khoury?

      1. Tina says:

        Nice tip Hisham! I will be in Beirut next week 🙂 i will try it and let you know 😉

      2. HishamAD says:

        Awesome! Maybe Wed go for dinner somewhere

      3. Tina says:

        Why not! I am in Turkey now exploring mezze then heading to Greece for a further exploration

      4. Tina says:

        Hello Hisham! I was stuck in Zahle most of my stay! Couldn’t try much but horraaaay i’m going to Beirut today to try some food trends 🙂

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