2 medium red bell peppers, seeded and cut into 1 1/2-in. pieces
Four 8-in. skewers
Combine 1 cup yogurt, garam masala, curry powder, garlic, 1 tsp. salt, and pepper in a large resealable plastic bag. Add chicken, seal bag, and shake to coat. Let marinate 20 minutes at room temperature.
In a small bowl, stir together remaining 1/2 cup yogurt, the feta, onion, lemon zest, and 1 tbsp. mint; set aside.
Bring 2 qts. water to a boil and add 1 tbsp. salt. Add couscous and cook until tender, 12 to 15 minutes. Drain, return to pot, and add olive oil. Cover to keep warm.
Thread chicken and bell pepper onto metal skewers and discard marinade. Preheat a gas or charcoal grill to medium-high (you can hold your hand 1 to 2 in. above cooking grate only 3 to 4 seconds). Grill kebabs, turning once, until chicken is browned and cooked through, about 10 minutes. Pile couscous on a platter, sprinkle with remaining 1 tbsp. mint, and arrange kebabs around it. Serve with yogurt-feta sauce.
In a blender, whirl the mango; 3/4 cup plain low-fat yogurt; 2 tablespoons honey; the fresh lime juice; 2 ice cubes; and the freshly grated lime zest until smooth. Divide mango-lime smoothie between 2 straight-sided glasses and set aside.
Rinse blender, then whirl the banana; the strawberries; 1/2 cup plain low-fat yogurt; 2 tablespoons honey; the fresh lemon juice; 2 ice cubes; and the freshly grated lemon zest until smooth.
Layer banana-strawberry smoothie onto mango smoothie, gently spooning mixture around inside edge of each glass to create a clean horizontal line.
Combine first 12 ingredients in a large bowl; stir until just combined.
Divide mixture into 8 equal portions; shape each portion into a (2-inch) patty. Place patties on a jelly-roll pan coated with cooking spray. Broil 4 minutes on each side or until desired degree of doneness.
Place 1 tomato slice and 1 patty in each pita half; top each half with 1 1/2 teaspoons yogurt.
Vegetable oil for frying (grapeseed, canola, and peanut oil work well)
You will also need
Food processor, skillet
Pour the chickpeas into a large bowl and cover them by about 3 inches of cold water. Let them soak overnight. They will double in size as they soak – you will have between 4 and 5 cups of beans after soaking.
Drain and rinse the garbanzo beans well. Pour them into your food processor along with the chopped onion, garlic cloves, parsley, flour, salt, cumin, ground coriander, black pepper, cayenne pepper, and cardamom.
Pulse all ingredients together until a rough, coarse meal forms. Scrape the sides of the processor periodically and push the mixture down the sides. Process till the mixture is somewhere between the texture of couscous and a paste. You want the mixture to hold together, and a more paste-like consistency will help with that… but don’t overprocess, you don’t want it turning into hummus.
Once the mixture reaches the desired consistency, pour it out into a bowl and use a fork to stir; this will make the texture more even throughout. Remove any large chickpea chunks that the processor missed.
Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1-2 hours. Note: Some people like to add baking soda to the mix to lighten up the texture inside of the falafel balls. I don’t usually add it, since the falafel is generally pretty fluffy on its own. If you would like to add it, dissolve 2 tsp of baking soda in 1 tbsp of water and mix it into the falafel mixture after it has been refrigerated.
Fill a skillet with vegetable oil to a depth of 1 ½ inches. I prefer to use cooking oil with a high smoke point, like grapeseed. Heat the oil slowly over medium heat. Meanwhile, form falafel mixture into round balls or slider-shaped patties using wet hands or a falafel scoop. I usually use about 2 tbsp of mixture per falafel. You can make them smaller or larger depending on your personal preference. The balls will stick together loosely at first, but will bind nicely once they begin to fry. Note: if the balls won’t hold together, place the mixture back in the processor again and continue processing to make it more paste-like. Keep in mind that the balls will be delicate at first; if you can get them into the hot oil, they will bind together and stick. If they still won’t hold together, you can try adding 2-3 tbsp of flour to the mixture. If they still won’t hold, add 1-2 eggs to the mix. This should fix any issues you are having.
Before frying my first batch of falafel, I like to fry a test one in the center of the pan. If the oil is at the right temperature, it will take 2-3 minutes per side to brown (5-6 minutes total). If it browns faster than that, your oil is too hot and your falafels will not be fully cooked in the center. Cool the oil down slightly and try again.
When the oil is at the right temperature, fry the falafels in batches of 5-6 at a time till golden brown on both sides.Once the falafels are fried, remove them from the oil using a slotted spoon.
Let them drain on paper towels. Serve the falafels fresh and hot; they go best with a plate of hummus and topped with creamy tahini sauce
Serving Suggestion: Falafel can be served as an appetizer with hummus and tahini, or as a main course. Stuff pita bread with falafel, lettuce, tomatoes, tahini, salt and pepper. As an alternative, falafel can be formed into patties and served like a burger.