Baked Falafel with Hummus and Pita

Or, “How to Make Your Home Smell Like Your Closest Falafel Stall”.

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This is literally the easiest meal to make. You can get friends and family to begin peeling chickpeas, slathering on obscene amounts of hummus on toasted pita, slicing, chopping, dicing your favourite veggies while you get done with the really important task of turning on the food processor.

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Really, there is no substitute to homemade falafel. Unless it’s homemade BAKED falafel. I always find myself getting way too full way too fast with falafel that I eat outside. It’s fried, so will stuff you sooner than you’re prepared for. This version, will not. I ate my way through 4 of these, with amounts of pita and hummus that I’m not willing to admit here.

That good, basically.

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Homemade Hummus and Tahini

I don’t know why I put off making hummus all this while. It took an attempt at homemade falafel to realize hummus had to be made first. Falafel without hummus, as Joey says, would be like Friday with no two pizzas.

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This hummus is creamy and classic. With toasted pita and your favourite sliced veggies, this is one dip that can do no wrong.

Also, say hello to my sister’s fingernails :)

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Chocolate Popsicles

I need to bring your attention to something. A questionable ‘studio’ comprising a large but too narrow window, a rickety table, an uncomfortable 30 degrees ambient temperature with what feels like 700% humidity, are not ideal conditions to shoot 4 very unsteady, very melty popsicles.

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If you do choose to live recklessly, throw caution to the (non-existing) wind and shoot in such conditions anyway, be warned, it won’t be pretty. Popsicles will fall on the surface you’re trying to shoot on, one will topple right down the aforementioned window, melted chocolate will be all over the place without you knowing how, and you and your better half will be running back and forth frantically from the freezer to the window. One of you will be shrieking hysterically, depending on who in the relationship is prone to meltdowns. Along with the popsicles, of course.

Or, as we call them, Dropsicles. Let’s eat!

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Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Skillet Cookie

I doubt you missed hearing about this weekend when the monsoons held Mumbai ransom. Even if you were living under a rock, it would have been a very, very wet rock.

Everyone in this city has a ‘can’t live with you, can’t live without you’ relationship with the rains. We are ready to sell vital organs to end the hideousness that is summer, and once the depressingly dark clouds are finally here, we are ready to sell the remaining organs to coax laundry into dry. Anyone else leaving fans running all day all night?

The only comfort is this giant cookie. Because come hail or snow (I wish), it’s always cookie weather. A surprising dip in temperature also makes the oven pretty cozy to stand next to :D

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I’ve been wanting to cook in a cast-iron skillet for ever and ever. I don’t have a logical reason for this desire, but I think the cookie must be it. My sister-in-law got me this one and it was in the oven before you could say ‘skillet’.

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Two and a half great things about this cookie. One, it’s huge. Two, it’s whole wheat. Two and a half, it tastes EXACTLY like these less guilt-free ones. Warm, soft, chewy, slightly under-baked. I dunno why I don’t bake with whole wheat more often. It’s so good. This beauty is generously filled with chocolate chips, peanut butter chips and topped with more honey-roasted peanut butter. Because that’s always a good idea.

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Chocolate Olive Oil Raspberry Brownies

It is a truth universally acknowledged a baker in possession of a ton of chocolate must be in want of a brownie.

(I hope you appreciated that).

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That a brownie is what it is because of the unforgivable amount of butter that goes into it, is a misconception as I happily found out. Olive oil gives these delightful fudgy things even more moisture and the pop of raspberries in the batter is the only kind of additive I will permit in my brownies hereon.

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I made a double batch of these. Dangerous but worth it. With vanilla ice-cream, even more so. Chewy, deeply chocolatey and as gooey as they come.

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Blueberry Banana Chia Smoothie

Or as I like to call it, Deep Purple.

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I’d like me a tall glass of this please. All things good. All things cold. And it’s PURRRRPLE.

Blueberries, banana and ch… ch… chia seeds (so fun to say!), all blended up with yoghurt to give you one terrific morning, evening, anytime drink. Sweetened with honey, only if you want to. A little sourness never hurt anyone.

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Drink up!

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Chocolate Speculoos Cookies

The urge to lift a hot cookie right out of the oven knowing fully well that it will break and break my heart, is something I must fight. Till I master that, here are the ones I didn’t attack.

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I give to you, the thickest cookies you ever did see. Cookies that are almost brownies. Cookies so chocolatey, that they really need Speculoos in them to bring you back to Earth. Cookies that I might have accidentally over-baked because they refused to flatten and remained ginormous. They remained so thick I had to press them down into submission. But after all, if you have to eat a cookie, don’t eat a thin, wimpy one. Except this one. It’s thin, but not wimpy.

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I didn’t try crumbling these over Speculoos ice-cream because I fear for my sanity. But you totally should.

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